sThig wrote:Orphan works: I've been getting emails saying it's passed and I think it's on the desk of Dubya waiting to be signed off on. I could be wrong, but I believe it got slipped through during the craze of the bailout (when no one was looking).
AFAIK, Orphan Works has NOT become law. The Senate passed a version amidst all the hullabaloo the past couple of weeks, but it did not pass the House. And the House and Senate versions are different enough that it's unlikely that compromise could be reached this session.
However, the fact that it passed the Senate, and came close in the House, means it's probably only a matter of time. And there is no grandfather type clause... so artwork from decades or centuries ago can still be considered "orphan works". So it certainly wouldn't be a bad idea to start watermarking. Of course, regardless of whether OW becomes law, it's always a good idea to protect your work as much as possible anyway.
It's unfortunate that even the U.S. Copyright Office is behind this legislation.