NPPA Submits Comments On Orphan Works, Copyright

Jan 27, 2013 Advocacy

In response to a Notice of Inquiry by the U.S. Copyright Office, NPPA has submitted comments on the issue of orphan works and mass digitalization. The comments are for use in advising Congress on how to address current issues involving copyright and orphan works.

These official comments, written by NPPA attorneys Mickey H. Osterreicher and Alicia Calzada, with contributions from board member Greg Smith and NPPA intern Joan Blazich, discuss the issues currently facing visual journalists regarding copyright and propose solutions for creating a system which would treat copyright holders and users of orphaned works fairly and efficiently.

The comments state that “NPPA is gravely concerned that in seeking to address the frustration of ‘good faith users’ of Orphan Works in order to cure their potential liability and ‘gridlock in the digital marketplace,’ the Copyright Office may create a far more serious problem for authors/owners of visual works.” The comments also note that “As visual journalists, our members are squeezed from every side by onerous contracts seeking all rights for little compensation, the proliferation of user generated content by publishers and the widespread infringement of visual works by individuals and organizations. While we understand and appreciate the concerns of those in the copyright community who need to use Orphan Works, we believe it is crucial to protect the copyright of recently created visual works that, for whatever reason, appear to be orphaned when, in fact, they are not.”

Read more in the NPPA Advocacy Blog here.