Register of Copyrights
U.S. Copyright Office
The Copyright Office is examining the issues raised by “orphan works,” i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate. Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts or making such works available to the public. As part of their study, the Copyright Office requested written comments from all interested parties. Specifically, the Office sought comments on whether there are compelling concerns raised by orphan works that merit a legislative, regulatory or other solution, and what type of solution could effectively address these concerns without conflicting with the legitimate interests of authors and right holders.