21 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 265 (2006)
U.S. Copyright Office Orphan Works Inquiry: Finding Homes for the Orphans

handle is hein.journals/berktech21 and id is 277 raw text is: U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE ORPHAN WORKS
INQUIRY: FINDING HOMES FOR THE ORPHANS
Bj Olive Huang
Copyright holders have exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, per-
form, display, or prepare derivative works of their copyrighted work.' Any
person who wants to use or copy the work must seek permission from the
copyright holder. However, ownership information for a copyrighted work
is sometimes hard to find, and tracking down the owner to ask permission
presents daunting challenges for potential users. If the copyright owner
cannot be found, the potential licensee faces the choice of either using the
work and risking an infringement suit should the owner come forward, or
scrapping the project entirely. Orphan works, then, are those whose
rights holders cannot be located.
In January 2005, the United States Copyright Office initiated an in-
quiry into the orphan works issue, calling for public comments and policy
proposals for increasing public access to the use of copyrighted works
whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate.2 Individual crea-
tors, libraries and museums, nonprofit organizations, and some of the larg-
est players in the entertainment industry filed over 850 initial and reply
comments between January and May 2005.3 In addition, the Copyright
Office held roundtable discussions on the issue in Washington, D.C., and
Berkeley, California.4
© Olive Huang
The author hereby permits the reproduction of this Note subject to the Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License, the full terms of which
can be accessed at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/legalcode, and pro-
vided that the following notice be preserved: This note was first published by the Re-
gents of the University of California in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal's Annual
Review of Law and Technology.
1. 17 U.S.C. § 106 (2000).
2. See Notice of Inquiry, 70 Fed. Reg. 3739 (Jan. 26, 2005), available at http://
www.copyright.gov/fedreg/ 2005/70fr3739.pdf.
3. See Orphan Works Initial Comments, http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/
comments/index.html (last visited Jan. 30, 2006); Orphan Works Reply Comments,
http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/comments/reply (last visited Jan. 30, 2006).
4. See Orphan Works Washington, D.C., Roundtable Transcript (Jul. 26-27, 2005),
available at http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/transcript/0726LOC.pdf, http://www.
copyright.gov/orphan/transcript/0727LOC.PDF; Orphan Works Berkeley, CA, Roundta-
ble Transcript (Aug. 2, 2005), available at http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/transcript/
0802LOC.pdf.

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