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http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/bparchive?year=2006&post=2006-02-01,7

After conducting hearings on ths issue of "orphan works" (copyrighted
works that are lost to further use because their copyright holders
can no longer be traced), the Copyright Office has just issued
a report on the hearings, and their recommendations. It's at

http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/

I've only had time to read the executive summary and skim through
some of the rest, but the gist seems to be that they recommend changing
US copyright law to allow use of those works by the public under certain
circumstances. Quoting from the report (via my colleague Beth Camden):

"The recommendation has two main components:

* the threshold requirements of a reasonably diligent search for the
copyright owner and attribution to the author and copyright owner
* the limitation of remedies that would be available if the user proves
that he conducted a reasonably diligent search."

Basically, if a user makes a reasonably diligent search for a copyright
holder, and cannot locate one, they could reuse the work, and sanctions
would be minimized if a copyright holder later turns up who wasn't
findable earlier.
[...]
 

twoday.net AGB

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