Guidance

Orphan works diligent search guidance for applicants

Guidance on searching for right holders in copyright works to obtain permission to reproduce the work.

Documents

Orphan works diligent search checklist: Film, music and sound

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Orphan works diligent search checklist: literary works

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Orphan works diligent search guidance: Still visual art

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Orphan works diligent search checklist: Still visual art

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Details

Orphan works are copyright works where one or more right holder is unknown or cannot be found. These guides can help you find the right holder to ask permission to copy a work. They will also help if you decide to apply for a licence through the orphan works licensing scheme, which requires a diligent search. The guides include details on the sources that applicants must consult and a list of additional sources: not all sources will be relevant for every diligent search. The guides have been developed with professionals in the relevant sectors. Checklists to show that you have completed a diligent search have also been published. The guides and checklists are divided into three types of copyright works:

  • film, music and sound
  • literary works
  • still visual art

To help applicants to the orphan works licensing scheme, there are also sample diligent searches for different types of work. This includes narrative to explain why some sources were searched and not others. The works covered are:

  • film footage - production level
  • printed music
  • unpublished literary work
  • standalone visual art (photograph)
Published 17 September 2014
Last updated 16 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Diligent search checklists RTF documents updated and 4 sample diligent searches PDF documents added.
  2. Orphan works diligent search guidance: Film and sound updated.
  3. All guidance has been updated and a new document for changes 2015 has been added.
  4. First published.