/Vol. 77, No. 204/Monday, October 22, 2012/Notices
United States Copyright Office, Report onOrphan Works (2006) (‘‘Orphan Works Report’’ or‘‘Report,’’ at 1,
The Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §101
includes several exceptions and limitations thatwould allow use of orphan works under certaincircumstances, such as §107 (fair use), §108(h) (use by libraries during the last twenty years of thecopyright term), and §115(b) (statutory license todistribute phonorecords). The Office concluded inits Orphan Works Report, however, that existingprovisions would not address many orphan workssituations.
Orphan Works Report at 7.
will be distributed on or about January 1, 2013.This notice is issued pursuant to 42U.S.C. 2996f(f). Comments andrecommendations concerning potentialgrantees are invited, and should bedelivered to LSC within thirty (30) daysfrom the date of publication of thisnotice.
Victor M. Fortuno,
Vice President & General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2012–25948 Filed 10–19–12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7050–01–P
LIBRARY OF CONGRESSCopyright Office
[Docket No. 2012–12]
Orphan Works and Mass Digitization
Copyright Office, Library of Congress.
Notice of inquiry.
The U.S. Copyright Office isreviewing the problem of orphan worksunder U.S. copyright law incontinuation of its previous work on thesubject and in order to advise Congressas to possible next steps for the UnitedStates. The Office has long shared theconcern with many in the copyrightcommunity that the uncertaintysurrounding the ownership status of orphan works does not serve theobjectives of the copyright system. Forgood faith users, orphan works are afrustration, a liability risk, and a majorcause of gridlock in the digitalmarketplace. The issue is not containedto the United States. Indeed, in recentmonths, the European Commission hasadopted measures that would begin toresolve the issue in certain contexts anda number of foreign governments arereviewing or proposing solutions. TheCopyright Office seeks commentsregarding the current state of play fororphan works. It is interested in whathas changed in the legal and businessenvironments during the past few yearsthat might be relevant to a resolution of the problem and what additionallegislative, regulatory, or voluntarysolutions deserve deliberation. This is ageneral inquiry and the Office willlikely publish additional notices on thistopic.
Comments are due by 5:00 p.m.EST on January 4, 2013. Replycomments are due by 5:00 p.m. EST onFebruary 4, 2013.
All comments shall besubmitted electronically. A commentpage containing a comment form isposted on the Copyright Office Web siteat
The Web siteinterface requires commenting parties tocomplete a form specifying name andorganization, as applicable, and toupload comments as an attachment viaa browser button. To meet accessibilitystandards, commenting parties mustupload comments in a single file not toexceed six megabytes (‘‘MB’’) in one of the following formats: the AdobePortable Document File (‘‘PDF’’) formatthat contains searchable, accessible text(not an image); Microsoft Word;WordPerfect; Rich Text Format (‘‘RTF’’);or ASCII text file format (not a scanneddocument). The form and face of thecomments must include both the nameof the submitter and organization. TheCopyright Office will post all commentspublicly on the Copyright Office’s Website exactly as they are received, alongwith names and organizations. If electronic submission of comments isnot feasible, please contact theCopyright Office at 202–707–8350 forspecial instructions.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Karyn Temple Claggett, Senior Counsel,Office of Policy and InternationalAffairs, by email at
orCatherine Rowland, Senior Counsel,Office of Policy and InternationalAffairs, by email at
or contact the Copyright Office bytelephone, at 202–707–8350.
An ‘‘orphan work’’ is an original workof authorship for which a good faith,prospective user cannot readily identifyand/or locate the copyright owner(s) ina situation where permission from thecopyright owner(s) is necessary as amatter of law.
Under current law,anyone who uses an orphan workwithout permission runs the risk thatthe copyright owner(s) may bring aninfringement lawsuit for substantialdamages, attorneys’ fees, and/orinjunctive relief unless a specificexception or limitation to copyrightapplies.
In such a situation, aproductive and beneficial use of thework may be inhibited—not because thecopyright owner has asserted hisexclusive rights in the work, or becausethe user and owner cannot agree on theterms of a license—but merely becausethe user cannot identify and/or locatethe owner and therefore cannotdetermine whether, or under whatconditions, he or she may make use of the work. This outcome is difficult if notimpossible to reconcile with theobjectives of the copyright system andmay unduly restrict access to millions of works that might otherwise be availableto the public (
, for use in research,education, mainstream books, ordocumentary films). Accordingly,finding a fair solution to the orphanworks problem remains a major goal of Congress and a top priority for theCopyright Office.
A. 2006 Report on Orphan Works
The Copyright Office published itsOrphan Works Report (‘‘Report’’) in January 2006, after conducting acomprehensive study at the request of Congress. The Report documented theexperiences of users who are unable tofind copyright owners, the kinds of works at issue, and the kinds of projectsthat may be forestalled. It analyzed thelegal issues, including the application of statutory damages in the orphan workscontext, and discussed a variety of possible solutions. In preparing theReport, the Office conducted anextensive public outreach process,including a series of roundtables in NewYork City and Washington, DC and apublic comment period that yieldedover 850 written comments from avariety of stakeholders. In short, theOffice concluded that the problem of orphan works is pervasive; it affects a broad cross-section of stakeholdersincluding members of the generalpublic, archives, publishers, andfilmmakers.The orphan works problem wasexacerbated by a series of changes inU.S. copyright law over the past thirty-plus years. These changes slowly butsurely relaxed the obligations of copyright owners to assert and managetheir rights and removed formalities inthe law that had served in part toprovide users with readily accessiblecopyright information. Significantamong those changes were theelimination of the registration andnotice requirements, which resulted inless accurate and incomplete identifyinginformation on works, and theautomatic renewal of copyrighted worksthat were registered before the effective
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