Proposal for discussion at the Comité des Sâges’ public hearing - Orphan Works, Issues and Solutions
Issues and Solutions
EBLIDA, the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations, recommends a solution of the Orphan Works problem along the lines described in this paper.
It has become a political goal of European culture policy to establish a European database or information system, Europeana, giving online access to European cultural products. For this project to succeed, it would require digitisation of European books, journals and other culture products on a massive scale.
If Europeana shall contain works published in recent times, i.e. works for which the term of copyright protection has expired, this requires either
- an exception or other sort of legal mechanism allowing the digitisation and making available to the public of the works, or
- a license agreement with the authors and other rights holders, or organisations, e.g. collecting societies, representing these rights holders.
The European copyright legislation does not contain a specific exception permitting libraries to digitise protected works and make them available to the public outside the library, and in the majority of EU Member States, collecting societies can only enter license agreements on behalf of their members. But, how is it possible to clear the rights of works of authors and other rights holders who are not members of a colleting society and cannot be located? That is the Orphan Works problem.
Libraries do not want to digitise “orphan works” as such. They want to digitise certain types or classes of protected works, some of which may be orphan. The typical digitisation projects concern mass digitisation, i.e. digitisation of types or classes of works which are no longer subject to commercial exploitation. The clearing of rights in these cases concerns two “copyright relevant” actions: digitisation and making available to the public.
EBLIDA Newsletter November 201808 November 2018: The November 2018 Newsletter has been published. It features news and updates from Brussels, EBLIDA and Worldwide. Read more >
Contribute to IFLA Global Vision Ideas Store before 31 October 201824 October 2018: We support our partner organisation, IFLA, therefore we would encourage you to please submit your ideas. Your ideas matter! Read more >
EBLIDA Newsletter October 201811 October 2018: Meet the new EBLIDA Director! News on the Marrakesh Treaty, Copyright reform, Bibliosuisse, ECIL Conference Report, Generation Code in Brussels.... and more. Read more >
EBLIDA Newsletter September 201813 September 2018: Read the current Newsletter with the range of activities and interests, library & information society news from Europe, Brussels, EBLIDA and beyond. Read more >
Digital Single Market Directive - the European Parliament lays a Curate’s Egg13 September 2018: PRESS RELEASE: Yesterday, after two years deliberation, the European Parliament voted on its amendments to the draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. Read more >