January 23, 2022

From the Authors Guild Blog: University of Michigan Suspends HathiTrust Orphan Works Project…Promises a Reboot"

From the Authors Guild Blog:

Michigan pledged to re-examine its procedures and create a “more robust, transparent, and fully documented process” and continue the project:  “we remain as certain as ever that our proposed uses of orphan works are lawful and important to the future of scholarship and the libraries that support it.”

In the past few days, the Authors Guild, its members, and those commenting on this blog have identified or found leads, many quite strong, to the owners of the literary property rights to 50 of the books that Michigan planned to start releasing for downloading by hundreds of thousands of students in four weeks.  (Additional list of literary property leads here.)  Four of the authors of the so-called orphan books are alive, including one who signed an e-book deal earlier this month, and two of the books are in print, one in a revised edition.  For 14 of the literary works, the spouses or children of the authors were identified, mostly through quick and simple online searches for obituaries.  Five of those obituaries had quite current information about the location of the authors’ survivors, since the authors had died in the last ten years.  One, André Missenard, died just last month in Paris.

Read the Complete Blog Post

See Also: Full Text of U of M. Statement(9/16/2011)

See Also: Paul Courant, U. of Michigan University Librarian & HathiTrust Comment on Orphan Works Lawsuit (9/15/2011)

See Also: New Report from EU: Electronic Clearance of Orphan Works Significantly Accelerates Mass Digitisation




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.