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Old 05-18-2011, 09:51 AM   #1
Shimarenda
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U. of Michigan Library and Hathitrust tackle orphan works

A short blog entry from Library Journal about the press release:

http://blog.libraryjournal.com/tenna...-orphan-works/
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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I'm certainly glad to see someone is addressing this problem.

There are no doubt hundreds of thousands of these works out there now. In the next 20 years or so, there will be millions of these works. They will not be republished and by the time they are released from copyright in 50-70 years, most will have been forgotten, possibly not even any existing copies to release to public domain.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, my ex-husband's uncle published five or six mystery novels. At that time I could and did check them out of the library. They were quite good, but certainly not best-seller blockbusters. His heirs (if there are any) could republish them today. Would they? I doubt it. However, his books do not deserve to be disappear because of a law passed for Disney's benefit.

IMO the original 28-years copyright, followed by additional 28-year periods (if renewed by the copyright holder) would have been quite sufficient to protect those authors or authors' estates for which there is a continuing potential for future earnings.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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copyright registry

I think a national registry of all copy righted books should be set up. Any book not registered there should be considered to be in the public domain. If the U.S. is expected to go to the expence of enforcing the copyright of any book then the owner of that copyright should pay a fee for that service. No fee no copyright. These free loaders shouldn't expect something for nothing.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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The US is not expected to enforce copyright. That is a civil matter.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:23 PM   #5
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Now that's a really logical idea - set up a national registry, force anyone who wants copyright to pay a fee and then get the government to prosecute infringers... That sounds like a real improvement on the current system where creating a work automatically gives copyright and infringement is a civil matter...

Put another way, what "free loaders" are you talking about or do you really want yet more federal interference in matters that don't concern it?


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Originally Posted by crossi View Post
I think a national registry of all copy righted books should be set up. Any book not registered there should be considered to be in the public domain. If the U.S. is expected to go to the expence of enforcing the copyright of any book then the owner of that copyright should pay a fee for that service. No fee no copyright. These free loaders shouldn't expect something for nothing.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:43 PM   #6
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Rather than declaring these orphan works and handing over the rights to Google, I'd much rather see these books moved into the Public Domain, with the proviso that should a copyright owner come forward they have a right to reclaim their book.
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