Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: A Report of the Register of Copyrights

On June 4, the Copyright Office wrote:
The U.S. Copyright Office today released Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: A Report of the Register of Copyrights. The Report documents the legal and business challenges faced by good faith users who seek to use orphan works and/or engage in mass digitization projects. It provides a series of legislative recommendations that offer users a way forward out of gridlock, but also take into account the legitimate concerns and exclusive rights of authors and other copyright owners. 
 Have they attacked those areas, where changes are needed? Yes.
With respect to orphan works, the Report provides draft legislation that draws upon the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act passed by the Senate seven years ago, albeit with some updates and changes that reflect intervening developments and public discussions. 
And...

With respect to mass digitization, the Report recommends a more incremental approach that would allow the United States to gain experience with an extended collective licensing framework that is in use or under consideration elsewhere in the world.
The full 234-page report is available here.

The June 9, 2015 U.S. Federal Register contains the notice of a "Mass Digitization Pilot Program; Request for Comments", which is mentioned in the report.  The notice can be viewed here.

I am not yet seeing anyone dissecting this report in a news article or blog post.  My hope is that a few people will dig into the details and test the ideas presented.  (Unfortunately, I'm tied up with a project and cannot take time to do so.)  If you know of someone who has done this, please point me towards their work.  (Thanks!)

1 comment:

Angela Enos - Jarman said...

I have been looking up all I can about this, and there are a few blog posts that I feel represent the situation more accurately than the panicking Youtube video everyone is passing around.
http://www.teleread.com/copy-right/orphan-works-copyright-law-controversy-dont-panic/

http://graphicpolicy.com/2015/07/20/dont-believe-the-hyperbole-theres-no-orphan-works-law-before-congress/

http://www.workmadeforhire.net/the-rest/whats-this-orphan-works-business-about/

Hope that helps! It did for me, especially the last one with the recommended pages to read in the report.