Wednesday 29 October 2014

Starting today, UK has new licensing scheme for orphan works

Orange (or Orphan Works
So spring/summer 2014!
The Orphan Works Directive? So last season! Even if the deadline for implementation is today [but how many Member States have transposed it into their national laws yet? Not all, The 1709 Blog is told ...] and this means that there should be a new exception to the rights of reproduction and making available to the public [see Article 6] that would allow [very] limited uses of orphan works, excitement for prospective users of orphan works might be even greater in the UK.

The orphan works licensing scheme pursuant to s77 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 [the lawfulness of which this blogger questioned here] launched in fact today. This means that it is now possible to apply for a licence to use "at least 91 million culturally valuable creative works - including diaries, photographs, oral history recordings and documentary films." 

UK IP Minister, Baroness Neville Rolfe, said: "The UK's trailblazing orphan works licensing scheme enables access to a wider range of our culturally important works. The scheme has been designed to protect right holders and give them a proper return if they reappear, while ensuring that citizens and consumers will be able to access more of our country's great creations, more easily."

Apparently, "[t]his ground breaking scheme builds on UK and international best practice and is the first to use an electronic application system and searchable register of the licences granted. It is being implemented alongside the EU Orphan Works Directive that enables cultural institutions to digitise certain orphan works in their collection and display them on their websites.Together these two schemes will help to display more of the UK’s cultural work at home and across Europe."

The UK scheme will be administered by the UK Intellectual Property Office.

In all this, if you are wondering about the meaning of one of the key concepts in orphan works jargon, ie 'diligent search', just click here.

1 comment:

john r walker said...

I predict that if the IPO does not diligently supervise the requirement for 'diligent search' , there will be tears and screams and on the other hand, if the IPO does properly police the requirement for diligent search the scheme will run at a loss, for the IPO.