Research and analysis

Orphan works in the UK and overseas

In March 2012 the IPO appointed PACEC to carry out research on the potential introduction of an orphan works system in the UK.


Orphan works in the UK and overseas

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The research arose primarily from the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review which pointed to orphan works as a major problem of untapped resources in the UK.

As a result of its research, the Review found that the orphan work problem results in large quantities of copyright works being effectively unavailable for use, whether for cultural or commercial purposes. Therefore it was recommended that the government should legislate to enable licensing of orphan works.

Within this context the aims of the study were to carry out some qualitative research in the UK with organisations that had an interest in orphan works and had previously been consulted by IPO. Foreign organisations in countries with licensing systems that included some uses of orphan works were also interviewed.

Authors: Rod Spires, Matthew Rooke.

Published 2 July 2013