Originally Posted by Giggleton
I don't think it's entirely incorrect, if the institution has the hardware and the works they can digitize as much as they want, who are you to say that they cannot?
Of course they can, but it is not always legal, moral or ethical. For one thing you or I or any university, cannot just decide a book is an orphaned work.
A certain effort must be made to determine this. And of course even if the rights holder does not respond, which they are under no legal or moral or ethical obligation to do so, they can still decide to sue you and would likely win.
AFAIK any book that is still in print or sold in bookstores is not orphaned.
Even public domain books contain some caveats. A forward or illustrations, for example or even formatting can not be included if they were added recently (last 50 years or so) without permission.