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Intellectual Property in Libraries

Intellectual Property Guidelines for Librarians

Orphan Works

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Orphan works are materials in which the copyright status of a creation is not known. Most libraries and archives have a countless number of orphan works in their collections. Twice Congress has attempted to pass legislation in favor of allowing users to make copies of orphan works if they conduct a due diligence search. In 2006 and 2008, Congress introduced orphan works bills that called for reduced infringement penalties, support for creators who perform an appropriate search to locate the owner of orphan works, and protection for libraries and archives (United States Copyright Office, 2015, p. 12). However, both bills failed to pass.