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Report on Orphaned Works

By Marybeth Peters

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Book Id: WPLBN0002097025
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 2.02 MB
Reproduction Date: 8/30/2011

Title: Report on Orphaned Works  
Author: Marybeth Peters
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Drama and Literature, Copright Laws
Collections: Education, Authors Community, Literature, Most Popular Books in China, Favorites in India, Science
Publication Date:
Publisher: United States Copyright Office
Member Page: PG Reading Room


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Peters, B. M. (n.d.). Report on Orphaned Works. Retrieved from

This Report addresses the issue of “orphan works,” a term used to describe the situation where the owner of a copyrighted work cannot be identified and located by someone who wishes to make use of the work in a manner that requires permission of the copyright owner. Even where the user has made a reasonably diligent effort to find the owner, if the owner is not found, the user faces uncertainty – she cannot determine whether or under what conditions the owner would permit use. Where the proposed use goes beyond an exemption or limitation to copyright, the user cannot reduce the risk of copyright liability for such use, because there is always a possibility, however remote, that a copyright owner could bring an infringement action after that use has begun.

We also recommend one other threshold requirement for a user to qualify for the orphan works limitations on remedies: throughout the use of the work, the user must provide attribution to the author and copyright owner of the work if such attribution is possible and as is reasonably appropriate under the circumstances. The idea is that the user, in the course of using a work for which he has not received explicit permission, should make it as clear as possible to the public that the work is the product of another author, and that the copyright in the work is owned by another.


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