Time to change perspective: Hostages, not Orphans | International Communia Association

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-05-23


U.S Law Professor Lydia Loren has just published a draft paper that contains what may be one of the most sensible contributions to the ongoing discussion about the ‘orphan works problem’. In her paper ‘Abandoning the Orphans: An Open Access Approach to Hostage Works‘ she makes a strong argument that the very name that has been attached to this problem may be misleading and lead to false solutions and thus should be reframed as the ‘hostage works problem’.  Loren states that the term, which was first introduced in 1999, overlooks the core of the problem: ‘These works are being held hostage by a set of rules that result in an inadvertent lock-up of the expression these works contain... (p.22)’  re surprisingly powerful in understanding the current discussion on the European Union level. As we have pointed out before, the current legislative discussion is likely to make the hostage works problem even worse. This is partly to blame on the framing of the problem as an ‘orphan works’ problem that results in a focus on re-uniting these works with their ‘parent-authors’ and protecting them against inappropriate exploitation.  In the second half of her paper, which proposes a solution to the problem, Loren suggests focusing on the role of access facilitators such as libraries, museums and archives (whom, in an somewhat questionable extension of the hostage works metaphor, she refers to as ‘special forces’) and their role in setting hostage works free...”



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Date tagged:

05/23/2012, 15:05

Date published:

05/23/2012, 11:05