Small Business Administration Orphan Works Roundtable

The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy held a roundtable on the economic impact on small business (every artist) of the orphan works legislation at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan on August 8. A webcast is available. (The Salmagundi Club is a 137-year old institution to promote the visual arts, named after Washington Irving’s Salmagundi Papers.)

The roundtable participants included a broad cross-section of the creative community all of whom objected to, and many outright opposed, the orphan works legislation.

The roundtable drew approximately 150 people. Audience members included the staffs of members of Congress, representatives of WIPO and at least one person from the U.S. Copyright Office, but the audience was mostly artists and their representatives. The creative community owes a debt of thanks to the SBA Advocate, Tom Sullivan, and his deputy, Cheryl Johns, both of whom devoted considerable time to understanding the issue and the legislation’s effects on small business.

This event was important for a number of reasons, not the least of which was it provided an opportunity for the larger creative community to get to know one another, and to better understand who their friends are.

And are not.