April 23, 2014

New White Paper: "Orphan Works: Definitional Issues"

share save 171 16 New White Paper: "Orphan Works: Definitional Issues"

Title: “Orphan Works: Definitional Issues”

Author: David Robert Hansen (University of California, Berkeley – School of Law)

Source: Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project White Paper No. 1 (via SSRN)

Abstract:

This paper outlines responses to two definitional questions that arise in the context of orphan works: (1) exactly what is the “orphan works” problem?, and (2) what is the size of this problem? The answers to these two questions are central to understanding how proposed solutions work to remedy the situation. While the most common descriptions of the orphan works problem focus on unlocatable copyright owners, others have framed the issue in terms of a broader problem of market failure. This paper explores both formulations of the problem. Similarly, the size of the orphan works problem can be viewed from many angles. Rough approximations of the size of the problem for certain types of works (e.g., published monographs) are available, but comprehensive data on the number and value of orphan works do not currently exist for a wide variety of works and the uses to which those works might be put. This paper suggests areas in which further research on these issues is needed.

About this Paper: This white paper is the first in a series from the Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project, an effort organized by Berkeley Law professors Pamela Samuelson, Jason Schultz, and Jennifer Urban. The project aims to investigate copyright obstacles facing libraries and other like-minded organizations in their efforts to realize the full potential of making works available digitally. More information can be found on the project’s website.


Direct to Download Full Text (13 pages; PDF)

share save 171 16 New White Paper: "Orphan Works: Definitional Issues"
Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.