Update on Orphan Works Legislation

I’m currently swamped with work, including the aforementioned talk I’ll be giving tomorrow, but just wanted to offer a quick pointer to the important issue of “orphan works” under discussion at the Resources blog.  Essentially, “orphan works” are those texts whose copyright holders are ambiguous, lost, or otherwise unavailable for a variety of reasons (a song’s composer died without a will; a creator of film footage isn’t identified; an advertised corporation is now defunct), making it unreasonable for an artist to use that work in future productions out of fear of copyright infringement.  The orphan works legislation being proposed here would essentially close a loophole in the 1976 Copyright Act to create a process allowing artists to use these texts.  For the full story, do check out the Resources bog entry on the topic.

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