A regularly updated blog post in which I document trying to get a license to reuse an item for which no copyright information exists, under the UK Government's new legal framework.
Diary Entry 1: Weds 29th October, 1.16am UK time.Well, today's the day! Wednesday 29th October, the day the UK law changes to allow licenses to be granted for "orphan works" - items whose copyright owners cannot be located. This is a thorny problem - as a recent government publication explains
If an individual wants to use a copyright work they must, with a fewA new framework was announced as part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, and has been implemented after a consultation process earlier in 2014. The UK government also introduced regulations to ensure that they comply with the EU Directive on Orphan Works. This new scheme will be administered by the UK's Intellectual Property Office.
exceptions, seek the permission of the creator or right holder. If the right holder – or perhaps one of a number of right holders – cannot be found, the work cannot lawfully be used. This situation benefits neither the right holder, who may miss opportunities for licensing, nor potential users of those works. This is not a situation peculiar to the UK; other countries face the same issues [source].
In my previous blog post I introduced a lovely orphan work, from the mid 1960s: a"lantern" interval slide tempting patrons to buy an ice lolly, used at the Odeon Cinema, Eglinton Toll, Glasgow.
The image is used here with permission from the Scottish Screen Archive, National Library of Scotland. It's part of a collection of Lantern Slides, with no individual collections record. It has a small identifying note to say it was made by Morgans Slides Ltd, which is no longer trading. The Odeon cinema were contacted, but their records dont go that far back for design so they cannot prove they own copyright, but they gave me permission to use it if they do, with the caveat that a copyright owner, whom they cannot speak for, may come forward at some future date. It's an orphan.
I want to adopt it, so I can use it widely, but also, to investigate how easy? hard? costly? problematic? easy? it is to get a license for orphan works under this new scheme.
So let's go! This blog post will expand over time as I update on the process. I have all the data I can get on the item gathered, and am ready to roll. I contacted the IPO last week via email, and they promise that "all the relevant information on how to apply for a license and the due diligence needed will appear on the website on Wednesday morning". There's nothing up there yet (I'm on Australian time writing this, in Melbourne, and its only just past midnight in the UK)... but will check back later, come UK business hours.