Research and analysis

Copyright and the regulation of orphan works

A comparative review of seven jurisdictions and a rights clearance simulation.


Copyright and the regulation of orphan works

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


‘Orphan works’ are works in which copyright still subsists, but where the rightholder, whether it be the creator of the work or successor in title, cannot be located.

This report was commissioned to assist the UK government in evaluating policy options in the implementation of the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property & Growth (2011) to enable and price the use of orphan works.

Authors: Marcella Favale, Fabian Homberg, Martin Kretschmer, Dinusha Mendis, and Davide Secchi

Published 2 July 2013