Getting Broadcaster Archives Online: Orphan Works and Other Copyright Challenges of Clearing Old Cultural Material for Digital Use
May 21, 2009
Media Arts Law Review, Vol. 14, 2009
This paper explores why copyright clearance issues currently hinder Australian public broadcasters from putting their program archives online, at a time when broadband offers new opportunities for public access. The difficulty of putting program archives online is an example of copyright “gridlock” preventing access to valuable cultural material.
The paper includes case studies of the BBC and NHK Japan who have conducted pilot online archive projects.
The article concludes that the current copyright regime - which is based on an “opt-in” model of individual permissions of all rights-holders, will not facilitate online access to public broadcaster archives on any comprehensive scale. It briefly considers how such access might be achieved if new compulsory statutory licensing schemes or “opt-out” models such as the Google Books Settlement are adopted.
Keywords: orphan works, television, radio, archives, Google Books, copyright, moral rights, clearances, compulsory licensing, gridlock, statutory licensing
Date posted: May 22, 2009 ; Last revised: October 26, 2012