This is what's going on: there's new legislation in congress that would take away your basic rights to copyright your work. Find out more about it here: http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/orphan.html
There's a lot of big companies with lots of money to push around on this including Getty and Corbis (they're big image databases). It's important for us little guys to stay on top of this. We can't write to our senators yet, not until it becomes an actual drafted bill, so stay informed by emailing the Illustrator's Partnership: firstname.lastname@example.org. Just say you want to be updated if anything new develops on this issue.
This is the guy behind the crazy legislation: Peter Jaszi.
“Through his testimony before the Congress, Peter Jaszi has helped my colleagues better appreciate the importance of fair use to consumers, libraries and universities, technology companies, and society as a whole,” said Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA). “He has been a real inspiration to those of us fighting to restore balance to our copyright laws. With the intellectual support he has provided us, we ultimately will prevail.”
Notice the guy didn't mention anything about being fair to the people who actually create the artwork? One of their arguments is that they'd be protecting high school kids from being sued for using somebody else's images in their reports. That's actually already protected under the current copyright laws. What a useless bill, right?
Thank you to Pamela of "Uniques" for letting us know about this!
Feel free to comment.