In case you have not already seen it, the U.S. Copyright Office released a new report in June: Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: A Report of the Register of Copyrights. The Report documents the legal and business challenges faced by good faith users who seek to use orphan works and/or engage in mass digitization projects. A free copy is available at the link above.
It provides a series of legislative recommendations that offer users a way forward out of gridlock, but also take into account the legitimate concerns and exclusive rights of authors and other copyright owners. The Copyright Office has long held the view, which it reiterates in the Report, that too many valuable projects are forestalled because users can neither locate the rightsholders nor protect themselves or their licensees from ongoing exposure to liability. Similarly, recent litigation has highlighted a gap in the law regarding how to fully facilitate mass digitization projects that are in the public’s interest without undermining the rights of copyright owners, including the right to be fairly compensated.