Saturday, February 25, 2006

Orphan Works?

Under the proposed legislation, a person or other entity who wants to use a copyrighted work is required to make only a "good faith, reasonably diligent search" to locate the copyright owner. If, after making such a search, the user is unable to locate the copyright owner, he/she/it gets an almost free license to use the work. If the copyright owner never comes forward, the user gets to use the work for free. Even if the copyright owner discovers the use and demands payment, the MOST the copyright owner can get is "reasonable compensation," i.e. a reasonable license fee for the use actually made. There is NO possibility of statutory damages or attorneys' fees, even if the work was registered before the use was made without your permission.
Could be a solution for copyright piracy: "Well, I did a good faith, reasonably diligent search for the song 'Holier Than Thou' but I just couldn't find the copyright owner..."

ASMP - Urgent Call for Your Action on Orphan Works

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