To submit a comment, or learn more, visit http://OrphanWorks.org
The Copyright Office is considering rule changes that would make using
copyrighted material much simpler for academics, artists, and musicians.
Specifically, they want to address the problem of "orphan works," copyrighted
works for which the rights holder is difficult or impossible to locate. Right
now there's a window of opportunity to make the copyright system work better
Dealing with orphan works can be an enormous headache for artists, academics,
filmmakers, graphic designers, and musicians. It can be impossible to find
out if a particular work is still under copyright or not. And even when people
would happily pay to use a copyrighted photo, passage, or video clip, it's
often impossible (or extremely costly) to find the copyright holder. When this
happens, *everybody* loses. Artists can't realize their creative vision,
academics can't clearly communicate their ideas, and copyright holders don't
get paid. Even worse, important pieces of our culture get needlessly locked
Right now, the US Copyright Office is asking for public comment on the "orphan
works" problem, so now's our chance to make the system work better. They've
specifically asked for comments from people who have run up against the problem
of trying to clear a potentially copyrighted work -- either for use in a new
creative effort or simply to make the work available to the public once again.
If you have a story like this, it's essential you make your voice heard.
A coalition of advocacy groups including Public Knowledge
(http://publicknowledge.org) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation
(http://eff.org/) have set up a site to facilitate the process of submitting a
And if you haven't had such an experience but know others who may have, it's
essential that you let them know before the period for public comment ends on
Visit OrphanWorks.org to pass this information on to a friend:
Thanks so much for your time, and we hope you can support this exciting campaign
to make our cultural heritage more useful and accessible to everyone.
Questions about the group to: Lenora Oftedahl firstname.lastname@example.org
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