The Library Copyright Alliance, a group of three national library associations representing over 100,000 United States libraries, has filed comments on the Copyright Office notice of inquiry regarding Orphan Works and Mass Digitization.
In the past the LCA has supported legislation on the issue of orphan works — works whose copyright owner cannot be readily determined or contacted for permission to digitize the work. The new comments take quite a different tack and indicate a new confidence in the strength of fair use:
LCA welcomes this opportunity to comment on the Copyright Office’s October 22, 2012, Notice of Inquiry concerning Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. LCA has a long history of involvement in this issue. It provided extensive comments to the Copyright Office during the course of the Office’s study that led to the Office’s 2006 Orphan Works Report. LCA also actively participated in the negotiations concerning the orphan works legislation introduced in the 109th and the 110th Congresses. Although LCA strongly supported enactment of these bills, significant changes in the copyright landscape over the past seven years convince us that libraries no longer need legislative reform in order to make appropriate uses of orphan works. (emphasis added)