For list members interesting in copyright, it may be worth while noticing
that the European Union is proposing a new directive on "certain uses of
orphan works". The full text can be found at
This is another attempt to solve the problems caused by growing numbers of
protected works whose owners can no longer be indentified or reached. The
present directive would ONLY apply to written and cinematographic works, and
only to a limited number of public libraries and archives which would under
certain terms be able to publish such works online.'
The proposal, which will come into the European Parliament later this year,
has receives strong criticism from library and broadcasting organisations
which feel that its scope is too narrow. From the viewpoint of sound
archives. the worst is that music and sound (both printed music and sound
recordings) have been completely left outside the directive, as the
Commission feels that orphan music is not a problem, because UK copyright
organisations have told them so.