May 29, 2022

HathiTrust Suspends Orphan Works Project

From Publisher’s Weekly by Andrew Albanese:

Following the filing of a lawsuit over its scanning and orphan works initiative, HathiTrust this morning said it would suspend indefinitely its plan to release a set of 140 orphan works until its processes for determining copyright status are improved. The move comes after Authors Guild members this week said that owners of some of the works on the orphan list were located and presumed to have valid copyrights.


University of Michigan’s John Price Wilkin told PW that the university remains committed to the orphan works program, and was still confident that the bulk of the books identified as orphans really are orphans. But he said librarians were left with no confidence in the system, and would not proceed until they had a system and procedures they were certain of.

Read the Full Text of the PW Article

Direct to Full Text Statement From the University of Michigan About Suspension of Project

See Also: From the Author’s Guild (9/16/2011)
Additional categories of “Orphan Work” Authors Where AG Has Found Leads Needing Additional Resaerch

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.