Citation Edit

U.S. Copyright Office, Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: A Report of the Register of Copyrights (June 4, 2015) (full-text).


Overview Edit

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.

In the report, the Office proposes separate legislative solutions for each issue. With respect to orphan works, the Office has proposed, with certain conditions, a limitation on liability for good faith users, improving upon its 2006 Orphan Works Report as well as the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act passed by the Senate in 2008.

With respect to mass digitization, the Office has concluded that the addition of extended collective licensing (ECL) in U.S. law would help to facilitate the work of those who wish to digitize and provide full access to certain collections of books, photographs, or other materials for nonprofit educational or research purposes. An ECL framework can facilitate lawful uses that are not otherwise possible (e.g., because they are beyond the reach of case-by-case licensing or the application of fair use or both). The Office's full analysis can be found here.

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