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Copyright Office Roundtable Discussion on Orphan Works – 2014 Edition

The United States Copyright Office brought together stakeholders from across the spectrum of intellectual property producers and consumers to discuss various ways to approach the issue of orphaned works during two days of roundtable discussions Monday March 10th and Tuesday March 11th, 2014, held at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

Almost six years ago, we here at Photo Business News wrote Orphan Works Act = Thieves Charter? which delved into what the bills that were proposed to be law were espousing. We followed that up with Orphan Works – History In the Making, and we even wrote about the problems with the bills then, espousing the need for a solution to orphaned works, just not the one that was being proposed, in Orphan Works 2008 – A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing. We even produced a piece titled Orphan Works – A Unique Set of “Myths” and “Facts” in an attempt to dispel some of the myths surrounding orphan works as proposed.

While the problem has not changed, the public and the stakeholders are much more engaged on the matter now, and the discourse seems to be taking a more reasoned approach. The Association of Research Libraries, for example, has changed their position from a call for orphan works legislation to an approach that utilities fair use. Here, they note “Unlike any option that will require legislative action, fair use is already the law…certain rightsholder groups are sufficiently fearful about misuse of their abandoned property that seemingly no search will be sufficiently diligent for them.”

One thing is clear, this time around, the provisions of the bills that we will likely see in the next iteration will be better and more clear than what was in the 2008 bills. Below are a series of images from the roundtable discussions on the subject.

Over a hundred people came together to participate and listen to participate in a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Karyn Temple Claggett Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs listens to remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Eugene Mopsik, Executive Director of the American Society of Media Photographers, Left, makes remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization as Jeff Sedlik, CEO of the PLUS Coalition, right, looks on, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Jeff Sedlik, right, CEO of the PLUS Coalition makes remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Mickey Osterricher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association makes remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.

(More photos, after the Jump)

Douglas Hill, right, managing partner of Rights Assist, makes remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization as Colin Rushing, General Counsel of Sound Exchange, looks on, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Rob Kasunic, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practices, U.S. Copyright Office makes remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Nancy Wolff, right, counsel for the Picture Agency Council of America makes remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization as Mickey Osterricher left looks on, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Over a hundred people came together to participate and listen to participate in a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Eric Harbeson of the Society of American Archivists makes remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Karyn Temple Claggett Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs listens to remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.
Maria Matthews, manager, Copyright & Government Affairs at Professional Photographers of America makes remarks to remarks during a roundtable discussion on Orphan Works/Mass Digitization as Charles Sanders of the Songwriters Guild of America looks on, Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The roundtable discussion, held over the course of two days, is being held by the US Copyright Office to gather insights for future legislative solutions to orphaned works. Photo: © 2014 John Harrington.


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