Actually, yes...as tyrannical as it sounds. This legislation is the so called 'Orphaned Works Bill' and it allows large companies ease of passage to use your work (photo, illustration, painting, sculpture, poetry, journailsm etc.) for financial gain without your permission!
No longer would you be able to claim copyright to your work after it has found to be 'orphaned' by a third party and used to their aims. All they have to do is claim that they did a 'reasonable search' to find the owner, which can be faked sooo easily. Small companies and individual artists would be forced to patrol the wide world of media to protect their work, and would be required to register EVERY piece of work they have ever created in for-profit online registries, which do not even exist yet. Even if your work is snatched and used by an opportunist, this legislation makes it very difficult for the rightful copyright owner to recover payment or control of the work again. In essence, the deterrent for potential thieves is low enough that they would most certainly take the risk.
Why would a government which is meant to be 'by the people and for the people' support a bill which has been heartily backed by such huge companies as Google, who stand to make obscene amounts of money if this bill passes? Isn't the government's sole purpose to prevent abuses of power like this, which would directly affect the livelihoods of a sizeable sector of America's working citizens? The creative marketplace would very quickly be transformed, and the companies/organizations who would otherwise pay an honest, hardworking creative professional to do work, could instead say 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free (just by feigning a little ignorance?)'
Hear Brad Holland's very informative and scary radio interview about the orphaned works bill here.
Read more about this wolf in sheep's clothing at www.illustratorspartnership.org
And while you're at it, go sign the A Million People Against The Orphaned Works Bill petition. (You need not be a working creative, or live within the United States to show your support against this bill!)
And if you're as fired up about this gross misuse of government as I am, you can email your state's congressman/senator here. (All you do is enter your zip code, pick form letters or make your own and your email will be sent to all your area's representatives.)
•This bill has been 'fast tracked', which can only mean that they know how shady it all really is.