The Orphan Works Copyright Issue: Suggestions for International Response
Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, 2013, vol. 60, no.3, 701-730
30 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2013 Last revised: 1 Jan 2016
Date Written: 2013
The orphan works problem is one of the major challenges to copyright law today. This problem has been extensively publicized and amplified by the Google Book Search case, which demonstrated that the orphan works problem is a serious obstacle to any large-scale digitization project. Individualized clearances of copyrights seem to be inappropriate and even impossible for large-scale digital library projects such as Google Book Search in the U.S. and Europeana in the EU. The problem has been labeled “a tragic problem” and needs to be solved in a proper way.
This article will first discuss the problem of orphan works and analyze its causes and roots. It will then discuss and evaluate some leading suggestions and models proposed or carried out by some countries concerning orphan works. Finally, it will propose a legal framework to solve the orphan works problem with the objective of facilitating lawful, cross-border online access to orphan works.
Keywords: Orphan works, Copyright, international response
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