Associated Writing Program's (AWP) Statement:
The Orphan Works Act of 2008 (H.R. 5889) was introduced to Congress on April 24, 2008. The bill proposes to that all artists must record their works with private registries as well as paying the registry for the service. If a work is not recorded through these private registries, it would become an "Orphaned Work," its copyright would be invalidated, and it would enter instantly into the public domain. Any interested party could then sell or distribute the work without fully reimbursing the original artist. According to OpenCongress.org, the bill stipulates that the interested party would not be liable if they “performed a diligent search for the copyright holder before using their work.” Supporters claim that the aim of this act is to allow for open access to copyrighted works whose owners are difficult to locate. A petition against the Act at: http://www.gopetition.com/... has gained nearly 10,000 signatures.AWP Current News
This statement also appears in the September 2008 of The Writer's Chronicle, "The Writer's News," page 46.