November 26, 2015

UK: Orphan Works: Museums Must Pay for Images Where Copyright is Unknown

From The Art Newspaper:

Museums will have to pay upfront for orphan images, or images whose copyright owners cannot be found, after an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to limit proposals was narrowly defeated in the House of Lords. Several members condemned the government’s plans, which require holders of orphan works to pay for copyright licensing on use, rather than when a rights holder steps forward.


In a statement, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Remuneration should be payable, at the time of use, for orphan works and it should be at a rate appropriate to the type of work and type of use. Not requiring payment of remuneration is unfair to rights holders and, in a commercial environment, it risks under-cutting the market for non-orphan works.”

Exceptions could include public cultural institutions wishing to digitise orphan works embedded in books and journals for limited, non-commercial use, such as on their websites. But museums wishing to use standalone photographs and images will still be required to pay in advance. 

Read the Complete Article

Hat Tip and Thanks: Meredith S.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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