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Graphic Artists Guild Advocacy 2014

Posted by Rebecca Blake on November 25, 2014

2014 has seen a lot of discussion on copyright and intellectual property, with roundtables scheduled by the US Copyright Office, and House Judiciary Committee hearings. The Guild has been an active participant, representing the interests creators, and providing the perspective or working artists. Guild Executive Director Patricia McKiernan, Advocacy Liaison Lisa Shaftel, and Guild member Ed Shems spoke at a number of hearings and panel discussions. So far this year, we've presented seven times (in hearings, roundtables, and panel discussions), submitted two comment letters to the Copyright Office in response to their notices of inquiry, joined an amicus brief on behalf of the creators of Superman and artists Jack Kirby, and contributed to articles. A full listing of our advocacy efforts is below.


US Copyright Office Roundtable discussion, “Orphan Works and Mass Digitization”
March 10 & 11, 2014, US Copyright Office, Washington DC
Advocacy Liaison Lisa Shaftel on the panel, and Executive Directory Patricia McKiernan in attendance

Comment Letter to the US Copyright Office notice of Inquiry about “Strategic Plan for Recordation of Documents” 
March 2014
Composed by Lisa Shaftel

US Copyright Office Roundtables on Reengineering of Recordation of Documents
March 28, 2014, Columbia School of Law, New York City
Transcript available here
Patricia McKiernan on the panel

Comment Letter to the US Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry about “Technological Upgrades to Registration and Recordation Functions” 
May 2014
Composed by Lisa Shaftel

House Judiciary Committee Hearing on First Sale Doctrine 
June 2, 2014
Guild Member Ed Shems on the panel, Lisa Shaftel and Patricia McKiernan in attendance

US Patent & Trademark Office, Office of Policy and International Affairs- Copyrights, Roundtable Discussions on “Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory Damages”
June 25, 2014, Harvard University School of Law, Cambridge MA.
Transcript available here
Webcast viewable online
Ed Shems on the panel, speaking on “the relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment”

Guild joined amicus brief in support of “Superman” creators, Siegel and Schuster, and artist Jack Kirby
June 2014
The Graphic Artists Guild joined the National Writers Union (NWU), the Science Fiction Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in signing on to an amicus brief on behalf of Laura Siegel, daughter of the co-creator of “Superman,” Jerry Siegel, along with Shuster, and Jack Kirby, an early Marvel Comics artist. The families of Siegel and Shuster, and of Kirby, petitioned the US Supreme Court hear their appeals of two Circuit Court decisions which rejected their attempts to regain the copyrights. The US Supreme Court refused to review the Appellate Court decision. Warner Brothers, present owner of Marvel Comics and the rights, won.

Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts Symposium “Creation is Not Its Own Reward: Making Copyright Work for Authors and Performers”
October 10, 2014, Columbia School of Law, New York City
Webcast available
Lisa Shaftel on the panel, and Patricia McKiernan in attendance

Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts Symposium Issue Submission for Fall 2014
Composed by Lisa Shaftel

ICOGRADA 2014 General Assembly Meeting, and Professional Platform Meeting,
October 25 & 26, 2014, New York City
Patricia McKeirnan spoke on speculative practices.
Rebecca Blake, Graphic Artists Guild Representative to ICOGRADA and Patricia McKiernan in attendance

Roundtable discussion on United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur Farida Shaheed’s report, “Copyright Policy And The Right To Science And Culture”
October 28, 2014, NYU School of Law, New York City 
Lisa Shaftel on the panel

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