I spend a great deal of time talking and writing about copyright law, digital rights management and piracy. And, I always close my articles with a plea for you to contact your elected officials and voice your opinions. As it turns out, the Copyright Office is interested in your views directly on the issue of “Orphan Works.” They are works whose rights holders are missing. Here’s all of the info you need and a link to the official government website. Please weigh in!
The Copyright Office seeks to examine the issues raised by “orphan works,” i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate. Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts or making such works available to the public. The Office is now seeking written comments from all interested parties. Specifically, the Office is interested in whether there are compelling concerns raised by orphan works that merit a legislative, regulatory or other solution, and what type of solution could effectively address these concerns without conflicting with the legitimate interests of authors and right holders. Comments are due March 25, 2005. To learn how to submit your comment, please visit http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/index.html