Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Latest EFF Project: Orphan Works Comments

For my latest project with EFF, I helped write the comments that EFF and Public Knowledge filed with the Copyright Office about "orphan works."  Orphan works are copyrighted works where the copyright owner cannot be contacted.  The orphan works problem arose as a result of the 1976 Copyright Act and subsequent amendments to that act.  The 1976 Act (1) removed the requirement that works be published with a copyright notice, making it harder to identify the author; (2) made copyrights to be effective merely upon creation of the work, rather than upon registration of the work with the copyright office, which also makes it harder to find the author; and (3) lengthened the term of copyright, so that very old works are still possibly covered even though their author is long gone.  The orphan works problem is a serious issue in the United States and throughout the world.

EFF's article about our recent comments is here.  A link to all 91 comments is here.

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