As “parent” rightsholders claim their books through the Book Rights Registry, we think it will become clear that most out-of-print books are not actually “orphans.” Books that were once difficult for anyone to license will become books that are very easy for everyone to license, either through the Book Rights Registry or directly from their owners. Furthermore, many books that some think are in-copyright orphans (including a large percentage from 1963 or before) are actually out-of-copyright, and Google is working to make more information available that can clarify their copyright status.
Of course, some rightsholders may still be too difficult to find. Under the settlement Google will be able to open up access to truly orphaned books, but we still think more needs to be done to allow anyone and everyone to use these works. Any company or organization that wants to open up access to this untapped resource should be able to do so. The settlement is not a panacea, since it only covers a subset of orphaned works, provides only certain uses, and is not able to extend these uses to other providers. The need for comprehensive orphan works legislation is not diminished.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Google on Orphans
On their public policy blog, Google addresses how the Google Book Settlement will increase access to 'out of print' works and also aid to decrease the number of 'orphan' works by enabling a comprehensive process for identification of rights owners. (Google):