May 16, 2022

Must Read: Law Professor/Copyright Expert James Grimmelmann on Orphan Works Lawsuit

A must read for anyone interested in the lawsuit filed yesterday.

Professor Grimmelmann (New York Law School) provides background, key facts, and then analysis.

Here’s one paragraph from the blog post:

The libraries had to have seen this coming. I’m sure that their general counsel have been stockpiling memos on the scans since 2004, and updated them this year with new memos on the Orphan Works Project. The exact form of the lawsuit and its timing may have been a surprise, but they clearly knew they were risking one. Indeed, the Orphan Works Project comes across as a deliberate attempt to test boundaries, perhaps even an attempt to provoke a suit so that the first orphan works battle would be fought on ground of the libraries’ own choosing. But no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and the libraries are now very much caught up in things in a way they weren’t before.

This suit also upends many of the conversations taking place around the Digital Public Library of America.

Direct to the blog post titled, “Orphan Wars.”

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.