Orphan Works: Mapping the Possible Solution Spaces

Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project White Paper No. 2

24 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2012 Last revised: 21 Jul 2017

Date Written: March 9, 2012


This paper surveys a range of proposed orphan works solutions. The goal is to acquaint the reader with the wide variety of solution types, and to identify the positive and negative aspects of each. The paper discusses four general categories of proposed solutions to the orphan works problem: Remedy-limitation approaches, such as the one advocated in the 2006 U.S. Copyright office proposal, that are predicated on a user’s good-faith, reasonable search for rights holders; administrative systems, such as the one adopted in Canada, that allow users to petition a centralized copyright board to license specific reuses of orphan works; access and reuse solutions that are tailored to rely upon the existing doctrine of fair use; and extended collective licensing schemes, which permit collective management organizations ('CMOs') to license the use of works that are not necessarily owned by CMO members, but that are representative of the CMO members’ works.

About this Paper: This white paper is the second in a series from the Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project, an effort organized by Berkeley Law professors Pamela Samuelson, Jason Schultz, and Jennifer Urban. The project aims to investigate copyright obstacles facing libraries and other like-minded organizations in their efforts to realize the full potential of making works available digitally. More information can be found on the project’s website.

Keywords: copyright, orphan works, digital libraries

Suggested Citation

Hansen, David R., Orphan Works: Mapping the Possible Solution Spaces (March 9, 2012). Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project White Paper No. 2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2019121

David R. Hansen (Contact Author)

Authors Alliance ( email )

2705 Webster St. #5805
Berkeley, CA 94705
United States

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