Future of orphan works now being negotiated in EU

The EU´s Orphan Works Directive is now being negotiated in a Trialogue between the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament. A month ago a series of cultural heritage insititions wrote an open letter to the Council working group on copyright asking for a balanced and practical solution that would liberate millions of cultural works and facilitate mass digitization.

These proposals in favour of the public interest are not satisfied by the present Council proposal and, much less, by the very restrictive text aproved by the EP´s legal affairs committee.

(from Lucie Gibault´s blog http://www.communia-association.org/2012/02/23/cultural-heritage-institutions-concerned-over-proposed-european-orphan-works-directive/)

  • Diligent search, a valuable concept, must not necessarily apply to every work (including every embedded work), but must be proportionate to the collection being digitized
  • Restrictions on commercial use must be sufficiently flexible to allow for commercial funding of digitization projects
  • Requirements for recording diligent searches, and uses of orphan works, should not be over-specified in law
  • If the use of an orphan work is permitted by the national licensing scheme of a Member State, the Directive should provide for the permission to extend to all Member States in that particular case. (Such a provision would not impose licensing solutions on all Member States. But it would avoid a fragmented Internal Market of mutually exclusive licensing arrangements.)”