U.S. - 'Orphan Works' Copyright Law Dies Quiet Death
- 'Orphan Works' Copyright Law Dies Quiet Death
By David Kravets EmailSeptember 30, 2008 | 5:50:25 PM
Categories: Intellectual Property
Lost in the House of Representatives' push to pass $700 billion bailout
legislation is the so-called Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008.
Late Friday, the Senate passed the measure and sent it to the House, where
it landed dead on arrival.
The act changes the rules and reduces and sometimes nullifies damages for
infringing uses of so-called "orphaned" works as long as there was a
"diligent" effort to locate the copyright owner. Orphaned creative works
are those in which the copyright holder cannot be promptly located.
Lobbyists have assured Threat Level that the House, which is mired in
trying to broker an economic revival package, won't take up the measure,
at least not until after the November elections.
Dozens of copyright groups opposed the measure, saying it encourages
infringement. Copyright expert Lawrence Lessig was against it as well. He
said the bill was too vague when it comes to defining how "diligent" of an
effort is required to locate a copyright owner before a work is infringed