Congress To Mull Orphan Works Legislation

Law360, New York (May 24, 2006, 12:00 AM EDT) -- At the urging of the U.S. Copyright Office, Congress introduced legislation this week that proposes to create new guidelines allowing orphan works—creative works whose copyright holders cannot be located—to be available for reuse.

The Orphan Works Act of 2006 (H.R. 5439), penned by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), would minimize penalties for copyright infringement if an infringer makes a “reasonably diligent search” to locate the owner of a copyrighted work without success.

According to Rep. Smith, the orphan works issue arises when someone who wants to use...
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