Action is need immediately on the Orphan Works Bill, also known as the S. 2913 in the Senate and the H.R. 5889 in the House. For a detailed explanation of why so many artists oppose this bill go here or to this excellent blog on arts and crafts law. Even if you are not an artist please call or write your senator or congressman and oppose these bills. Do you take family photos? Then this bill will affect you as well.
It's really easy to send email to the House and Senate if you go to this website. Don't remember your representatives name? No problem, they look it up and fill in the required info automatically. It takes two minutes.
Right now once a work, including a photo, is created it is copyrighted. It doesn't have to be registered. If an artist wants to register works of art, he or she can register a body of work instead of having to register things separately. If this bill passes the photo or art is NOT copyrighted until it is registered. Each work must be registered separately. This is not free. In addition, the creator of a work will have to pay, probably multiple times, to again register their work in an unspecified number of data bases to keep people from using the work without paying royalties. And you know what? That probably won't work.