APA has posted about a new “registry” for copyrighted works. This seems to be a precursor to a potentially eventual searchable database to prevent one’s work from being labeled “orphan” for the purposes of an orphan works law.
First, there is no such law or even bill at this time, so don’t be getting your knickers in a twist. We don’t need this kind of registry yet and may, in fact, never need it.
Second, this registry has at least one sneaky clause in its contract. Here it is:
YOU authorize The COPYRIGHT REGISTRY to represent INFORMATION, YOU and your CONTENT in collective bargaining for use of CONTENT by third parties and to execute licenses on your behalf for collective uses of CONTENT on terms to be determined by The COPYRIGHT REGISTRY at its sole discretion.
Now, I am not a lawyer yet, not even one-third of the way there yet (so I could definitely be wrong!!), but this clause looks like it’s saying that the site’s owners get to do your fee negotiating with any users of your content that you put on the site. They get to sell your work, in other words.
Actually, the more I read on the site, not just its contract terms, the more I do NOT like this site. It refers repeatedly to “The Orphan Works Act” like it’s a law. It’s not. In fact, there is no bill on it now even, as far as I know. Look at this quote from the site:
For many years, U.S. Copyright law has essentially said that anything you create is copyrighted by default at the moment of creation. You did not need to have your name on it. The Orphan Works Act modifies that. Under some circumstances, The Orphan Works Act lets anyone use your copyrighted work for free if they cannot find it”s owner (an “orphaned work”) and until you find their use and invoice them.
That’s nothing but scare tactics!!! Again, there IS NO ORPHAN WORKS ACT. You do not need to register anything (except your original copyright). This site does NOTHING for you in protecting your work as things stand today and for the foreseeable future.
So, stay away from c-registry.us (yes, I am NOT linking to them…I don’t want to help them get traffic).