January 20, 2022

New White Paper: "Orphan Works: Mapping the Possible Solution Spaces"


Orphan Works: Mapping the Possible Solution Spaces


David Robert Hansen
University of California, Berkeley – School of Law


Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project White Paper No. 2


This paper surveys a range of proposed orphan works solutions. The goal is to acquaint the reader with the wide variety of solution types, and to identify the positive and negative aspects of each. The paper discusses four general categories of proposed solutions to the orphan works problem: Remedy-limitation approaches, such as the one advocated in the 2006 U.S. Copyright office proposal, that are predicated on a user’s good-faith, reasonable search for rights holders; administrative systems, such as the one adopted in Canada, that allow users to petition a centralized copyright board to license specific reuses of orphan works; access and reuse solutions that are tailored to rely upon the existing doctrine of fair use; and extended collective licensing schemes, which permit collective management organizations (‘CMOs’) to license the use of works that are not necessarily owned by CMO members, but that are representative of the CMO members’ works.

About this Paper: This white paper is the second 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.

Direct to Complete Article (23 pages; PDF, via SSRN)

See Also: Orphan Works: Definitional Issues
Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project White Paper No. 1

See Also: Symposium: Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: Obstacles and Opportunities
April 12-13, 2012
Berkeley, CA.

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.