Stories like these about so-called “orphan works” — items still locked up under copyright but where the owners are unknown or impossible to locate — are leading the U.S. Copyright Office to try to fix the problem.
The office is soliciting reply comments until May 9, and has already collected and posted more than 700 initial comments from artists, academics and copyright owners.
Jule Sigall, associate register for policy and international affairs for the copyright office, said the office will hold public hearings this summer and report its findings to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the end of the year. It’s possible that Congress will address the orphan works issue with legislation.
Copyright Office Site: Orphan Works