Orphan Works Chaos

Earlier, Lawrence Lessig posted a link to a PRINT Magazine article about the Orphan Works Act, an act, that if passed, will make it so that it would be easier to create derivitive works.

The “orphan works” in question are works for whom the copyright status is unknown, such as: unknown author, unpublished works, etc.

Under the act, in order to use the work of another in yours, you’d have to dilligently search for the copyright owner, and license it if you find them, pay to license the work. If you can’t find the owner, or their next of kin, then you’re allowed to use the work, but, when if the proper owner steps forward, you’re required to pay “reasonable compensation.”

Personally, I see nothing wrong with this. Searching for the copyright owner shows that you’re willing to be legal in your use of the work. If nothing else, this act will cause copyright owners to exert their copyrights before it’s too late.

One Response to “Orphan Works Chaos”

  1. When I found out about this act I thought it was a great idea. So many works are stuck in copyright limbo with nobody knowing (or caring) who owns the rights. Why not open those up to public domain use?

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