Just to let you all know. This bill will not only effect professional artists but the average everyday person as well. All the family photos you all shoot and put on google, flickr, or your blogs become fair game. Big corporations will be able to use your family photos, make money for your images and you won’t be able o do anything. I urge you to write your congressmen and tell them to oppose this bill. We have to stop give all of our rights to big corporations.
You can use this link to write your state senators.
I did some more reading on this and the idea behind the bill is to open up images and art works, where the owner can not be located, to use in commercial applications. The problem and what everyone is up in arms (me included) is that the definition of Orphaned Works has been defined to vaguely. I did find out that companies do have to make an effort to find the owner before they can claim it as an Orphan Work. Then if the owner does come to claim the work they will have to negotiate reasonable compensation.