U.S. Copyright Office
Library of Congress  

Orphan Works

arrow_nav Comment Submission Form
(Closes February 4, 2013)
arrow_nav Extension of comment period
(November 30, 2012)
arrow_nav Notice of Inquiry
(October 22, 2012)
arrow_nav Mass Digitization:
A Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document
arrow_nav Importance of Orphan Works Legislation
arrow_nav House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Orphan Works
(March 13, 2008)
arrow_nav Orphan Works Act of 2008
(April 24, 2008)
arrow_nav Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (April 24, 2008)
arrow_nav Final Report: Full Report with Appendices (January 2006)  
arrow_nav Main Text (no Appendices)
arrow_nav Initial Comments
arrow_nav Reply Comments
arrow_nav Notice of Public Roundtables
(July 7, 2005)

Roundtable Transcripts:
Washington, DC (7/26/05)
Washington, DC (7/27/05)

Audio Recordings:
Berkeley, Calif. (8/2/05)
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5


Testimony to House Subcommittee
(March 8, 2006)


Testimony to Senate Subcommittee
(April 6, 2006)


Orphan Works Act of 2006 H.R. 5439 (May 22, 2006)


The Copyright Office is reviewing the problem of orphan works under U.S. copyright law in continuation of its previous work on the subject and to advise Congress on possible next steps for the United States. The Office has long shared the concern with many in the copyright community that the uncertainty surrounding the ownership status of orphan works does not serve the objectives of the copyright system. For good faith users, orphan works are a frustration, a liability risk, and a major cause of gridlock in the digital marketplace. The issue is not contained to the United States. Indeed, a number of foreign governments have recently adopted or proposed solutions.

The initial notice of inquiry seeks comments regarding the current state of play for orphan works. The Copyright Office is interested in what has changed in the legal and business environments during the past few years that might be relevant to a resolution of the problem and what additional legislative, regulatory, or voluntary solutions deserve deliberation at this time.