December 27, 2012

Part 2 of Brad Holland’s excellent overview of the orphan works scam

The Trichordist

Artists have taken note of the recent legislative activity in the European Union regarding “orphan works”.  The European Union defines these works as “works like books, newspaper and magazine articles and films that are still protected by copyright but whose authors or other rightholders are not known or cannot be located or contacted to obtain copyright permissions. Orphan works are part of the collections held by European libraries that might remain untouched without common rules to make their digitisation and online display legally possible.”

Of course, these libraries–the real ones, like the British Museum, not the Google Books Project–have a legitimate interest in digitizing their holdings and making them available online.  However, just as we saw with the Google Books project, Big Tech uses orphan works as a dodge (note that the lobbyist for the “Library Copyright Alliance” also is the lobbyist for the Computer & Communication Industry Association and the…

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