The Orphan Works Problem: The Copyright Conundrum of Digitizing Large-Scale Audiovisual Archives, and How to Solve It
Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 61-71, 2010
Institute for Information Law Research Paper No. 2012-10
12 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2019
Date Written: January 17, 2012
This article examines the problem of 'orphan works' against the background of various projects for mass-digitization of audiovisual content. Orphan works are works for which the copyright owners cannot be identified or located. The fact that a particular work is 'orphaned' makes it impossible to clear the rights and to legally reutilize the work. This article describes and evaluates six different possible regulatory solutions to the orphan works problem, including extended collective licensing and compulsory licensing. The article concludes that if one wants to make the vast European audiovisual cultural heritage available for future usage, regulatory intervention is indispensable.
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