Orphan Works: Viewpoints of Three Organizations

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The problem of orphan works has been the subject of a great deal of controversy. Libraries and others are pushing for a solution to the problem as their desire to be able to preserve works with unknown or missing creators have been impeded by the uncertainty of their copyright status. After an investigation the government has agreed that the problem is real and needs to be addressed (Peters), but they are getting a great deal of opposition from organizations that are worried that the language of the bills will result in copyrighted works that are not orphaned being labeled that way, thereby allowing users to infringe without penalty. Three such organizations are the National Music Publishers’ Association, the Illustrators’ Partnership of America, and the Association of American Publishers. These organizations have put forth some ideas that are not being completely unreasonable and should be included in any bill; however, some should not be added to any legislation. The first organization the National Music Publishers’ Association is not opposed to the government creating an orphan works system; however, they have lobbied hard for certain provisions to be included in the bills to make sure the publishers and songwriters they represent do not lose their rights. They are insisting on making a new user “secure a Section 115 compulsory license if the new use requires such a license” (“NMPA Position Paper on Orphan Works Legislation”) and allowing a missing owner to ask for legal fees if they sue. They want comprehensive industry-specific Best Practice guidelines so that new users will have to engage in a diligent search and they want them included in the legislation. They also want these Best Practices to be developed by industry re... ... middle of paper ... ... Sept. 2011. Holland, Brad. "IPA - Senate Hearing on Orphan Works." The Illustrators' Partnership of America. 6 Apr. 2006. Web. 13 Sept. 2011. Peters, Marybeth. "Orphan Works." U.S. Copyright Office. 25 Sept. 2008. Web. 13 Sept. 2011. . "Statement of Allan Adler Vice President for Legal & Government Affairs Association of American Publishers before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property Committee on the Judiciary U.S. House of Representatives Concerning Orphan Works Legislation." House Judiciary Committee, 13 Mar. 2008. Web. . "NMPA Position Paper on Orphan Works Legislation." NMPA. Web. 13 Sept. 2011. .

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