[License-discuss] Orphan Works: Summary of proposed 17 USC 514

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Sat Dec 5 20:33:29 UTC 2015

Michael R. Bernstein scripsit:

>    2. Large holders and producers of copyrighted works will now be
>    able to 'mine' orphan works for adaptation with little danger,
>    creating new works that they can aggressively defend, and possibly
>    will aggressively discourage others from making competing adaptations
>    that are 'too similar'.

Even if not, it shifts the rules of consent from "yes means yes" to
"absence of 'no' means yes".  How safe that will be for small authors
depends on how the courts interpret what is meant by due diligence.
If the de facto standard is pretty slack, you could find your own out of
print books from a few years back being treated as "orphaned" because
you didn't see the ad in the _East Grong Grong Sheep Ranchers' Weekly_
asking the author to write to P.O. Box 42 at once.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
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