Studie zu verwaisten Werken

Eine Studie schätzt die Anzahl der verwaisten Werke (= Werke, dern Urheber oder Rechtsinhaber nicht zu ermitteln sind) in Europa auf 3.000.000.

Assessment of the Orphan works issue and Costs for Rights Clearance
Anna Vuopala

European Commission
DG Information Society and Media
Unit E4 Access to Information
May 2010

Aus den Conclusions des EU-Reports:

A large number of digitisation projects has been gathered and assessed for this report. The information and figures in the report only illustrate the dimension of the problem without implying any particular policy decisions. The findings indicate clearly that there are considerable amounts of orphan works in collections of cultural institutions around Europe.

This assessment should not be considered as a comprehensive analysis of the situation concerning orphan works in Europe because extensive research has not been carried out in this topic. However, the report is meant to provide solid and reliable raw material for a fullyfledged impact assessment of the issue of the orphan works aimed at considering concrete solutions to remedy the issue in the digital environment, as announced in the communication on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy.

Based on the analysis of the cases gathered, orphan works form a significant part of any
digitisation project and the survey shows high percentages of orphan works for almost all
categories of works, especially among photographs, and audiovisual materials.

A conservative estimate of the number of orphan books as a percentage of in-copyright books across Europe puts the number at 3 million orphan books (13 % of the total number of incopyright books). The older the books the higher the percentage of orphan works.

When handling requests for using older film material, film archives from across Europe
categorized after search for right holders 129 000 film works as orphan which could
therefore not be used. Works that can be presumed to be orphan without actually searching for the right holders augments the figure to approximately 225 000 film works.

A digitisation project in the UK found that 95 % of newspapers from before 1912 are orphan. Also, a survey amongst museums in the UK found that the rights holders of 17 million photographs (that is 90% of the total collections of photographs of the museums) could not be traced.

Vast numbers of items in the collections of the consulted cultural institutions have uncertain copyright status. Even when institutions are intentionally focusing their digitisation efforts on what they believe is public domain material, a lot of effort to establish the exact copyright status is required. Only material from as far as pre-1870 may relatively safely be assumed to be in the public domain, but actually the oldest book still in copyright in the UK dates back to 1859. In the collections of the Danish National Library there are around 160 000 works from the period 1880-1930, requiring extensive research to establish copyright status.

Important information was collected also about the experiences as well as concrete costs
involved in the rights clearance processes of cultural institutions. This information shows that rights clearance is costly and cumbersome for these institutions. In fact, the amount of time and effort to obtain licenses to digitise works has overwhelmed many of them. Data shows that the older the work and the less economic value it has, the more it costs to clear rights to use it.

The National Archive in the UK spent £35 000 and 2 years on clearing copyright for the
digitisation and online accessibility of 1 114 old wills. In less than half of the cases the project managed to find the rights holders and to obtain permission make them available online. Nevertheless in some cases also the digitisation of more recent material can entail high transaction costs.

In Austria, 200 000 digitised German dissertations from 1925 – 1988 in the collections of a university library cannot be made accessible online because of the disproportionately high transaction costs involved in clearing the rights for them. The transaction cost would be 20-50 times higher than cost of digitisation.

A UK project digitising posters from the 1980’s spent £ 70 000 in transaction costs for
clearing the rights for just 1 400 posters. As part of a major digitisation project of (audio-) visual material in the Netherlands (Beelden voor de Toekomst), the total cost of handling rights clearance for 500.000 photographs and 5 000 films has been estimated to be 625.000 € – 3 people will be clearing rights for 4 years in this project.

The cost of clearing rights may amount to several times the cost of digitising the material. As cultural institutions normally do not have the resources or expertise to conduct rights
clearance for digitisation projects, specific funding is always necessary, in particular for large scale digitisation projects. In the absence of efficient sources of rights information to works (such as book rights registries), it can take from several months to several years to clear permissions for only a limited numbers of works. Sometimes it is impossible to clear the rights at all.

In a Dutch project dealing with the digitisation of 1 000 Dutch history handbooks, only 50
books were cleared in a period of 5 months. At this speed, clearing the rights for the whole set of handbooks could take more than 8 years.

These examples show that there is a need for a more efficient way to clear rights, and a
solution for the orphan works issue. The experiences of institutions indicate that a title by title rights clearance can be prohibitively costly and complex, especially in case of mass scale digitisation projects.

Hinweis bei Archivalia.

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