On vsrealms.com, if you go into Another Realm, you'll find that poster Bendrix started a thread to let people know about a bill being discussed right now dealing with Orphan Works and how it affects you. The link above is to an article discussing what the bill will mean to each of you, since I know a lot of comic book readers and Vs players are creative people, and since I know that neither Another Realm nor my own blog sees as much traffic as General Discussion on Vsrealms, I would post it here, double the chances of you all finding out about it.
Now, I haven't done any of the requisite research on this topic yet, but I plan on doing some reading over the next couple days.
Here are quick bits from the article, to give you some basic info.
"An Orphaned Work is any creative work of art where the artist or copyright owner has released their copyright, whether on purpose, by passage of time, or by lack of proper registration. In the same way that an orphaned child loses the protection of his or her parents, your creative work can become an orphan for others to use without your permission."
The jist of the bill is that it will make it extremely expensive to copyright things, as well as time-consuming, and could involve multiple private registries that you would have to sign up for. Rather than your works being inherently protected, barring you getting rid of that protection, the bill seeks to make your works inherently unprotected, with you having to pay to protect them.
So, there you have it. Again, I haven't done much research on this topic - at this point, I've just read one or two articles. But I encourage all of you to do your own research and see what you think of these shenanigans, and if it pisses you off as mch as it looks like it'll be pissing me off, make sure to contact the politicians and LET THEM KNOW. General apathy costs us a lot, and I hope it doesn't cost us this, too.