[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Google Print - Peter Brantley in Chronicle of Higher Ed

I may be missing the point of this thread.  There is a difference between
public domain works and orphan works.  You can do anything you want with
public domain works, if you think it is worth the bother.  With orphan works
you can do nothing.  That's the problem.  The default is not "we don't know
who owns this, so let's go ahead and exploit it" but "we don't know who owns
it or if anyone owns it, and until we do know, there is nothing we can do."
The question with orphan works is not who gets to make money or whether
making money is a bad thing, but how can you investigate the rights so that
you know what you can and cannot do.

Lawrence Lessig's proposed policy for orphan works seems to me to be
sensible:  require a modest fee for copyright renewal (with a shorter first
term), and any work that does not get renewed falls (rises?) into the public

Of course, once they are in the public domain, most of these titles will
slip into oblivion once again.  There is a reason no one bothered to assert
ownership over them.

Joe Esposito