This is your opportunity to make your voice heard at Westminster and Brussels. In 2009 the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA) and the Collections Trust (CT) published one of the few empirical pieces of evidence – In From the Cold – on the scale and impact of orphan works (works for which the rights holders are unknown or cannot be traced) on galleries, libraries, archives and libraries specifically and other organisations more broadly. Orphan works represent a significant barrier to education, research and innovation. Their management requires disproportionate amounts of public funds at a time of austerity, and the significant difficulties of tracing rights holders results in a potential black hole of 20th and 21st century digital content.
We need your help in building the evidence base to support you to deliver digital content more efficiently and effectively, so we are asking you to complete this short survey: http://1686881.polldaddy.com/s/orphan-works-survey.
We know what a chore survey completion can be, but we think it is important to provide policymakers with empirical evidence on which to base decisions rather than lobbynomics. The survey will only take a few minutes and as a thank you we will enter your name to the prize draw – giving you a chance to win a new Kindle! The closing date for the survey is Friday 16 December 2011, names will be entered into a prize draw and winners will be notified by email. We will publish the results of the survey in January 2012.
In 2011, the SCA and CT have been joined by LIBER, Museums Galleries Scotland, Scottish Library and Information Council, Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and SCONUL in an attempt to gauge the changes, through this online survey, that have occurred since the original report was published. The results will be shared with UK IPO, HMG, EC and European Parliament. In the recent Independent Review of IP and Growth, Professor Ian Hargreaves stated that the government “…should begin by legislating to release for use the vast treasure trove of copyright works which are effectively unavailable – “orphan works” – to which access is in practice barred because the copyright holder cannot be traced. This is a move with no economic downside”. Many other countries already have solutions for orphan works. The European Union is also proposing a Directive on Orphan Works.