Étiquette : Rights clearance

EC Adopts Proposal for a Directive on Orphan Works

27 May 2011 – On 24 May 2011, the European Commission adopted a Proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works with a view to establishing common rules on the digitisation and online display of so-called orphan works. Orphan works are works like books, published articles and films that are still protected by copyright but whose authors are not known or cannot be located or contacted to obtain copyright permissions.

According to a study ACE carried out among its member archives in 2009, about 21% of the films held in Europe’s film archives and cinematheques are estimated to be orphan works. But with no common rules available to make the digitisation and online display of orphan works legally possible, they are doomed to remain untouched and therefore inaccessible. In order to proceed with large-scale digitisation projects such as the Europeana portal, common guidelines on how to deal with such works are necessary.

The Proposal forsees a new EU law providing lawful, cross-border online access to orphan works. Libraries, museums and archives in the EU country where a work was first published would be required to conduct a thorough search to find the copyright holder before creating a digital version. If the rightholder cannot be identified or located, the work would be identified as an « orphan » and that status would apply throughout the EU so that the work could be made available online without prior authorisation until the owner is identified and found.

Further information on the Proposal for a Directive on orphan works as well as other language versions of the related documents are available here.

EFG Conference on Rights Clearance & Orphan Works

13 May 2011 – On 30 and 31 May, EFG – The European Film Gateway will hold the open conference “Taking Care Of Orphan Works – Rights Clearance in European Film Archives”. Representatives from film archives, Europeana and rights holder organisations will meet at EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam, to talk about rights clearing and the unsolved question of how to deal with orphan works in Europe’s film archives.

The keynote speech will be given by Elisabeth Niggemann, Member of the Comité des Sages on Digitisation and Director General of the German National Library.

The conference is jointly organised by EFG partners EYE Film Institute Netherlands, leader of the EFG Work Package “IPR Management and Administration” and ACE, initiator of EFG and one of the leading protagonists in the orphan works debate.

Attendance to the conference is free of charge, however, the amount of seats is limited.

For further information and to register, please visit www.efgproject.eu.