ACCESS | Asia 's Newspaper on Electronic Information Product & Service
March 2009 No.68  
  Other News

Orphan works focus of new initiative


The Collections Trust and the Strategic Content Alliance have announced a joint initiative to assess the impact of orphan works (works for which the copyright owner is unknown or cannot be traced) on the delivery of services to the public.

As part of the work, an online survey has been set up to allow cultural heritage, education, health and public service broadcast organisations to register how the issue affects their own service provision. The first research of its kind into the extent of orphan works across the UK and Europe, the survey has already received hundreds of responses from collections across the United Kingdom and overseas.

Stuart Dempster, Director of the Strategic Content Alliance, commented, “Orphan works present one of the most significant barriers in the provision of access to content across the public sector. This survey provides a real opportunity to contribute to positive action on this vital issue."

The survey is the first stage in a wider project to tackle the issue of orphan works. Further work will be undertaken over the coming months, including the publication of case studies providing detailed examples of the impact of orphan works on the provision of access to public sector content. A one-day conference to explore the issues and propose a way forward is also planned.

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