A Graduate Speaks
MAY 27, 2008
My former student Ashley Benham, who graduated from CCA with a degree in illustration two weeks ago, wrote a letter regarding the Orphan Works bills before congress which was published in yesterday's New York Times.
illustration by Ashley Benham
(text of the letter is as follows, as the letter is now only available to subscribers to the NY Times online):
Re “Little Orphan Artworks,” by Lawrence Lessig (Op-Ed, May 20):
Two weeks ago, I graduated from college with a degree in illustration — a profession I have dreamed of pursuing my entire life, and one that would be ruined by the orphan works bills. Instead of hiring an artist or a photographer to create a unique image, the orphan works bills would allow a client to simply farm the Internet or other sources to find, and effectively steal, artwork.
In this situation the artist is denied both the payment he deserves for his hard work, as well as the ability to keep practicing his vocation while sustaining a living.
These bills would destroy not only the careers of many talented artists, but also the quality of the arts in our culture.
When it is easier to steal and reuse old ideas and artworks to the point of obsolescence, who will encourage the search for beauty and innovation?
San Francisco, May 21, 2008
Do something yourself!