International Survey on Orphan Works

Contribute to international survey on orphan works

Experts who create and curate digital content from public sector organisations across Europe, are invited to contribute to JISC’s international survey on ‘orphan works’ called ‘In from the Cold Europa 2010’. This survey is run in collaboration with EBLIDA and we hope that members will help to gather as many responses as possible.

There are millions of so-called ‘orphan works’ – photographs, recordings, texts and other ephemera from the last 100 years – which risk becoming invisible because rights holders are not known or easy to trace.

Now this topic is the focus of this survey commissioned by the JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance in conjunction with the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), theEuropean Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) and the Wellcome Trust.

The survey aims to establish how much time, effort and money is spent on orphan works across Europe by people working in the public sector and to find out the effect orphan works have on cultural heritage preservation at an international level.

Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, said:   “If we do not reform our European copyright rules on orphan works and libraries swiftly, digitisation and the development of attractive content offers will not take place in Europe, but on the other side of the Atlantic.”

Organisations such as universities, archives, libraries, museums, health services and public service broadcasters are invited to participate. Although no particular technical knowledge is required, the survey does ask participants to fill in relatively detailed information about the collections (digital and analogue) held or licensed by your organisation.

In  May 2009 over 500 organisations took part in the UK only orphan works online questionnaire which showed that rich primary resources are being ‘warehoused’ at public expense – with little or no prospect of them being delivered online to the public without additional costs and/or risks being imposed on the public purse.

Take part in the international survey ( to help provide real comparisons between European countries on the impact of orphan works. Closing date 26 February 2010 at 18.00 GMT.

Find out more about the issues surrounding this topic by reading the ‘In From The Cold: An assessment of the scope of ‘Orphan Works’ ( report. This report shows how the UK is in real danger of losing 20th century materials due to the current copyright laws, the levels of resources needed to trace the rights for each orphan work and the potential lock down of access to these important works.

Quelle: via EBLIDA, Hinweis auch bei Archivalia

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