Thursday, July 23, 2009

Guide to Finding an Orphan

(via P. Brantley) The Society of American Archivists have produced a best practice guide for researching rightsholders titled Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices. Here is a sample from the LibraryLaw Blog:

Then, the heart of the beast - what constitutes a diligent effort? I love the way the document clarifies that you first need to try to identify the creator, but that you also need to try to identify the rights holder, which is often different, especially for older works that may have dead authors.

How far do you go in identifying and locating creators and rights holders? This is the $30,000 question, and the guide really helps you here. It's as if you have the collective wisdom of the archivist community at your beck and call. True, this isn't legal guidance based on statutes/court cases, but we don't have those yet. This will likely influence those arenas, should the time ever come.

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