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There’s a lot of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) being spread by some who are opposed to orphan works legislation. This is our second Myths and Facts report about orphan works:
MYTH: The bills would take away copyright protection from every work a visual artist ever created!
FACT: The bills do not take away artists’ rights. The bills set a limit on damages for users of a copyrighted work where the copyright owner could not be found, despite a search conducted in accordance with detailed guidelines that the bills lays out. Under these guidelines, lack of identifying information on a work would not be an excuse to use a work. After such a diligent search, in the unlikely event that an owner came forward after the use had started, the user would have to pay him a “reasonable compensation” for the use. The owner would also be entitled to an injunction in situations where the work was not incorporated into a new work. The bottom line is that good faith users are shielded from liability, and owners are paid if they surface.
If you haven't seen our previous FUD reports, check them out here.