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Occasionally in American history, Government tries to enact dumbass laws, and we, as a responsible electorate, have to kick their butts over it. The Dredd Scott Decision of 1858, The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1881, Prohibition 1919 and now this proposed Orphaned Work law.

The problem is explained by Mark Simon in his piece in, and with their kind permission, I quote from him:

An Orphaned Work is any creative work of art where the artist or copyright owner has released their copyright, whether on purpose, by passage of time, or by lack of proper registration. In the same way that an orphaned child loses the protection of his or her parents, your creative work can become an orphan for others to use without your permission.

Currently, you don't have to register your artwork to own the copyright. You own a copyright as soon as you create something. International law also supports this. Right now, registration allows you to sue for damages, in addition to fair value.

What makes me so MAD about this new legislation is that it legalizes THEFT! The only people who benefit from this are those who want to make use of our creative works without paying for them and large companies who will run the new private copyright registries.

These registries are companies that you would be forced to pay in order to register every single image, photo, sketch or creative work.

It is currently against international law to coerce people to register their work for copyright because there are so many inherent problems with it. But because big business can push through laws in the United States, our country is about to break with the rest of the world, again, and take your rights away.

With the tens of millions of photos and pieces of artwork created each year, the bounty for forcing everyone to pay a registration fee would be enormous. We lose our rights and our creations, and someone else makes money at our expense.

This includes every sketch, painting, photo, sculpture, drawing, video, song and every other type of creative endeavor. All of it is at risk!

If the Orphan Works legislation passes, you and I and all creatives will lose virtually all the rights to not only our future work but to everything we've created over the past 34 years, unless we register it with the new, untested and privately run (by the friends and cronies of the U.S. government) registries. Even then, there is no guarantee that someone wishing to steal your personal creations won't successfully call your work an orphan work, and then legally use it for free.


Why is this allowed to happen? APATHY and MONEY.

Artists have apathy and corporations have money.

For the complete article, check-

I agree. As artists, we prefer to think we are better than all this squalid money and politics, so we can't be bothered. But the truth is, when we don't bother, people do things like this to cheat us. Mozart and Beethoven didn't die rich. Vermeer and Rembrandt had their things auctioned off to raise money. It's not just all about talent. We have to remain vigilant, and defend our rights as artists!

Artistas!No Pasaran!


The Society of Illustrators, Photographers Guild, Graphic Artists Guild, The Illustrators Partnership,even the prestigious NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY, founded by Charles Schulz and Mort Walker among others, is taking the unusual step of urging you to write Congress in opposition to the pending Orphan Works Act of 2008. If enacted, this radical legislation will undermine key elements of your copyright protection. The House and Senate have different versions of the bill, and there are likely to be some modifications, but nothing under serious consideration makes this legislation remotely acceptable.

To take action, simply click this link ( ) and select one of the form letters. We recommend the letter titled “For Visual Artists – Any Image Can Be Infringed”. All you’ll need to do is add your contact information at the bottom of the page and press “Send Message”. It’s as easy as it is important.

Question: What is a Lonesome Jennie?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: When designing the character Speed Racer, Japanese artist Tatsuo Yoshida was inspired by an American. Who?
History for 5/11/2008
Birthdays: Salvador Dali', Chang and Eng Bunker-the original Siamese Twins-1811, Irving Berlin, King Oliver, Martha Graham, Dr Richard Fenyman, Mort Sahl, Baron Munchausen, Jean Jerome, Phil Silvers, Foster Brooks, Denver Pyle, Henry Morgenthau, Doug McClure, Randy Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Rev Louis Farrakhan

1780- A RUDE SHOCK TO THE INDEPENDENCE OF AMERICA.- That was how it was described by a Tory minister back in London, when the British Army captured the last major American seaport- Charleston, South Carolina. Colonial General Lincoln and 2500 regulars lay down their arms, it is the largest surrender of American troops in the Revolutionary War. At one time or another during the Revolution all of the largest US cities: Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston were under British occupation. The capture of Charleston also wiped out what little was left of the U.S. Navy. John Paul Jones was sitting on a beach in New Hampshire waiting for a new ship to be built. It was the French fleet, not the American, that won the Revolution at sea. Up till then the British strategy had been to wait out the bankrupt Yankees and concentrate on fighting the French and Spaniards in the Caribbean. George Washington recognized this strategy was working since Congress was broke and the unpaid Yankee Army on the verge of mutiny. But the victory at Charleston encouraged London to deviate from their plan and commit new armies to conquer America from the South. That decision led to the great British defeat at Yorktown.

1792- Captain Robert Gray discovered the Columbia River in the Oregon territory.

1812- A merchant named Bellingham who's business was ruined by the Napoleonic wars, walked into the lobby of the House of Commons, and shot Prime Minister Sir Spencer Percival. He was the only British Prime Minister ever assassinated.

1864-JEB STUART FELL- Confederate commander of cavalry Jeb Stuart was a Beau-Sabeur who always rode into the thickest of a fight. This day one soldier shouted:” General, you must love bullets!” Stuart replied:” I don’t love bullets, but I can’t hide from them. I got a feeling I’m not going to survive this war.” Then he rode into battle with Sheridan’s cavalry at Yellow Tavern six miles north of Richmond. A dismounted Yankee marksman spotted the familiar gray horseman with the black plumed hat and cape. As he rode by he emptied his carbine into him. Gutshot, Stuart still managed to ride a mile to the rear before being taken insensible from his horse. He died shortly afterwards. He was 31. Jeb Stuart loved partying and kept around him a colorful crowd that included Sweeny the banjo player, accompanied by Stuart’s manservant Bob on bones and a German aristocrat dragoon named Major Heros Von Borcke, who traveled from Prussia to fight for Dixie. Stuart called him "My dear Von". After his death Von Borcke returned to Germany where he flew the rebel Stars & Bars over his castle in Geisenbrugge in Thuringia until his own death in 1895.

1878-Young anarchist Erik Hymdel tries unsuccessfully to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm Ist. People today fear Al Qaeda but in the "Gilded Age" 1870's to 1920's it was the Anarchist movement- the stereotypical men in broad hats and long black coats with smoldering round bombs. They believed that society itself was the problem and if it could be broken down only then would everyone be truly free. In the times mentioned they assassinated an American President -McKinley, the Tsar of Russia, the Kings of Italy and Portugal, The President of France, The Empress of Austria, took shots at Edward the Prince of Wales and dynamited countless buildings like Wall Street Banks and the Los Angeles Times. When they were executed they usually shouted "Long Live Anarchy!" at the end. Composer Richard Wagner flirted with the movement and once wrote the anarchist philosopher Bakhunin" I work for the same goal as you, namely, a World in Flames."

1945-After the Nazi Germany surrendered, the Nazi governor of occupied Norway, Josef Treboven, committed suicide by sitting on a stick of dynamite. When Wile E, Coyote does it, its funny, but Norwegian Nazis? Very messy.

1956 - Pinky Lee Show last airs on NBC-TV

1972 -On the Dick Cavett talk show Beatle and peace activist John Lennon said his phone had been tapped by FBI. It turns out it was, but at the time we all thought he was just paranoid from too many drugs.

1981- The musical play CATS opened in London.

1981- Bob Marley died of brain cancer at age 36. Jamaican Marley and his group the Whalers made Reggae mainstream in pop music around the world. Ja –Mahn!

1992 - Carlos Herrera, chef, bartender and inventor of the Margarita, died at age 90

1992- Elizabeth McDonald, inventor of the detergent cleanser Spic & Span, died at 98.

1997- Deep Blue, a computer developed at IBM, defeated top world chess champion Gennady Kasparov.
Yesterday’s Question: When designing the character Speed Racer, Japanese artist Tatsuo Yoshida was inspired by an American. Who?

Answer: Yoshida based his design on Elvis Presley in the film Viva Las Vegas.