Thanks very much for posting that, Stephen.  What a totally enlightened,
simple good idea that is.  Orphaned works still under copyright can be
licensed for a fee (hopefully a small one) by the government, and then if
someone comes forward claiming ownership (which as we know from ARSC
research, is never going to happen 99.99% of the time), that person's
rights can be established and acknowledged, and payment duly made.  I
presume that this person claiming ownership must provide adequate proof.
Simple, fair and elegant.  A "win" for everyone, including most of all the

This system shows such decency and good sense that it probably has no
chance of being considered in a country such as ours (US), where
obfuscation and deliberate confusion of all copyright law seems to be our
national goals.  What is currently going on in US state courts with the
active creation of new state copyright law for pre-1972 recordings that are
not covered by federal copyright law, spurred on by New York's making up
new state law some years back in the EMI v. Naxos case (in which "new"
precedents are cut from whole cloth), is truly insane, exacerbating an
already hopeless crazy quilt of wildly various state law.  ARSC has been
the only bright light on the horizon in offering real solutions.  It
becomes obvious that there are heavily vested businesses and institutions
that prefer things the way they are.

John Haley

On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 11:47 AM, Leggett, Stephen C <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> "A new licensing scheme launched today (29 October 2014) could give wider
> access to at least 91 million culturally valuable creative works -
> including diaries, photographs, oral history recordings and documentary
> films.
> These works are covered by copyright, but rights holders cannot be found
> by those who need to seek permission to reproduce them. Under the new
> scheme, a licence can be granted by the Intellectual Property Office so
> that these works can be reproduced on websites, in books and on TV without
> breaking the law, while protecting the rights of owners so they can be
> remunerated if they come forward.
> Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property said:
> The UK's trailblazing orphan works licensing scheme enables access to a
> wider range of our culturally important works.
> The scheme has been designed to protect right holders and give them a
> proper return if they reappear, while ensuring that citizens and consumers
> will be able to access more of our country's great creations, more easily.
> The scheme also aims to reunite copyright holders with their works and
> ensure they are paid for their creations, by requiring the applicant to
> conduct a diligent search and allowing the right holder to search the
> register of granted licences. "