Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So now I am being hit on all sides. Not only are people trying to pass the Orphan Works Act, people are now trying to make the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which is supposed to take effect in february. The Orphan Works Act, if it ever passes, will make me have to register every piece of art I make (and pay money to do so), or else it could be declared an "orphan," and anyone who fancies it can use it with no penalty, even though it is MY work. This will apply to any and all artwork, including photographs, including FAMILY PHOTOS. So, beware, if this passes, you may find that awesome picture of your kid's birthday party on the cover of a magazine because it was "orphaned" and they could use it for free.

Now the CPSIA wants to make products safe for children ... makes sense, right? Except that it requires people who make products for children to pay to have their products undergo safety testing, which is way too expensive for small business owners. Which means all those small business owners will have to close up shop (this includes: toys, clothes, accessories, ANYTHING that could be sold to or used for children). This stems back to the dumb "lead in products from China crap."

Children do not only use products that are intended for children. Children are exposed to many things that are meant for adults that potentially contain harmful materials, such as computers, etc. But these items will not be included in the CPSIA. So a kid might be able to choke on my cat-erpillar if they took a bite out of it ... so I say we should ban all solid foods, coins, anything small that may be put into the mouth and swallowed unintentionally; also we should get rid of silverware as you can stab with it, pans because you can beat people over the head with them, bicycles because you could fall and hurt yourself ...

currently products for children have age restrictions. you know "not for children under 3." why can't we make packaging that says "not tested in compliance with the CPSIA." then people could take the chance if they wanted to, or pass it up if they were so inclined.

This upsets me a great deal. I just started making my cat-erpillars again, which honestly I really do consider to be for adults, but are being bought for children. This may mean I will have to stop selling them, or else I could get into trouble.

A lot of people are thinking this act won't last long ... that after February, the loss will be felt, and someone will realize how dumb of an idea it was, and everything can go back to normal.

I have so much to say about this, but I can't form the sentences right now. All I can think about are all the successful small businesses that will have to shut down, and all the cute baby items I won't get to buy if I ever have children, like chunky knit sweaters, fleece hats, those beautiful fabric slings ...

here is some more info: check it out.


jenny said...

INSANE....I have been living under a rock I guess. I didn't know this was happening. Who wrote this ACT? I am going to look at the etsy article.

kathleen said...

Thanks for publicizing this! People need to know it affects a whole lot more than toys. May I also suggest visiting the War Room for up to the minute updates and focused activism? My site is focusing on education and activism for producers of sewn products. There’s tons of solid information there from attorneys and scientists.