Orphan Works Proposals Moving Quickly Through Congress

nformation Today, Vol. 25, No. 7, p. 13, July/August 2008

3 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2010

Date Written: July/August 2008


Nearly 16 months after an “orphan works” proposal died at the end of the 2005-06 Congressional session, two new proposals have been introduced and are moving rapidly through Congress. Between April and early May the proposals – one in the House and one in the Senate – were introduced, marked up, and hustled through their respective Committees.

Orphan works are creative works for which the copyright owner cannot be identified or located, or even if the work is copyrighted. Any new use of these orphan works as part of a new work – an archive of old photographs, or a Website featuring collections of letters – runs the risk that the copyright owner could emerge and sue for thousands of dollars for infringement damages. With the Web established as a tool for disseminating these works which might otherwise be lost to time, Congress recognized the need to resolve this problem. It developed a proposal.

Keywords: orphan works, copyright law, legislation, lawsuits, infringement, U.S. Copyright Office, copyright owner, diligence, good faith search, qualifying search, documented search, reasonably diligent search, notice of use, dark archive provision, reasonable compensation

Suggested Citation

Pike, George H., Orphan Works Proposals Moving Quickly Through Congress (July/August 2008). nformation Today, Vol. 25, No. 7, p. 13, July/August 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1640120

George H. Pike (Contact Author)

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-0295 (Phone)
312-503-9230 (Fax)

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