Short summary of EU orphan works proposal

EU Orphan Works Directive proposal

1. The EC proposal rejects any EU wide statutory exception to copyright, is against any form of EU extended collective licensing or orphan-specific licenses given by governments or collecting societies.

2. The EC  proposes the “mutual recognition of national legislation” which means that the 27 member states must accept the diverse orphan works rules of each member state while respecting the EU rules laid out in the proposed EU Directive.

3. The proposal includes a harmonized definition of “orphan works” and the obligation of “a diligent search” of the authors in the country where the work was first published.

4. The principal  aim is to facilitate orphan works digitization principally for “public interest” uses of libraries, public archives, schools, research institutions….

5. Claims by rightsholders are limited to a period of 5 years after the “diligent search”.

6. Member states may authorize commercial, non-public interest uses of orphan works as long as legitimate interest of rights holders are protected.

7.  No limitations on damages, liability or compensation are established in the proposed EU Directive  for good faith infringement of orphan works. No mention is made of any possible contradictions between the objectives of the orphan works proposal and IPR enforcement measures concerning damages and injunctions in ACTA, certain Free Trade Agreements and the proposed Trans-pacific partnership.