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Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry on Orphan Works - Input

What do you do if you can't find the copyright holder of a work (say a
photograph, article, or film clip) that you want to use in a book or a
web site? In an attempt to solve this all-too common problem, the
Copyright Office issued a Notice of Inquiry on January 26, 2005
( soliciting advice
on the problem of "orphan works"- copyrighted works whose owners are
difficult or even impossible to find.  This provides an important
opportunity to those who are interested in using materials created since
1923 because recent legislation (most notably the Berne Convention
Implementation Act of 1988 and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension
Act of 1998) have made the status of these materials increasingly

Action Requested:
An important element to the filings before the Copyright Office on
orphan works will be information concerning the experiences that users
and institutions have faced when seeking permission to use a copyrighted
work.  The more information that can be provided concerning difficulties
you have faced in seeking permissions will bolster our arguments about
the need to change the law.

We would appreciate your input to the following questions prior to
March 16, 2005.  Comments are due on the Notice of Inquiry by March 25,
2005.  Responses to the following questions may be sent to Carrie
Russell (

Please contact Carrie if you have any questions. Thank you!

1) Can you provide specific examples of difficulties that you have
faced in identifying and locating copyright owners when seeking
permission for copyrighted works?  If possible, please include the type
of work and its intended use (e.g., photograph, book, article, film
clip), the amount of time taken for each search, and whether or not you
were able to obtain permission for use of the work.

2) How often is identifying and locating the copyright owner a

3) Are difficulties often encountered even after the copyright owner is
identified? If so, please explain.

Carrie Russell, Copyright Specialist
American Library Association
Office for Information Technology Policy
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW  Suite 403
Washington, DC 20004-1701

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