In Berne Convention, Copyright, Copyright Act, Orphan Works, TRIPS

Public Knowledge opposes paying even a reasonable royalty to infringed rightsholder

Unlike publishers, some Free Culture advocates are still not happy with the Copyright Office’s disastrous proposal for orphan works. Public Knowledge (PK) an organization that has been lobbying for orphan works legislation objects to the “reasonable compensation” an infringer would have to pay you if you found out about an infringement:

“[W]hat is the appropriate legal protection for a user of a work who has diligently, and in good faith, searched for the owner of the work? Is protection against statutory damages enough?

“That’s why we proposed a cap on the amount that a user of an orphaned work would have to pay to the owner. This gives the user of the work a tangible amount of certainty of what he or she would have to pay if the owner surfaced. Without this kind of cap, we don’t believe any one would use an orphan work—it’s just too risky. “

“Public Knowledge recommended…that Congress put a “reasonable but low,” cap of perhaps $200 per use that the creators of orphan works could claim as damages, and hopes Congress will adopt that approach.”

“The whole problem [with paying a copyright holder reasonable compensation] “is that there is no “comparable marketplace transaction” for an orphan works situation because there was no reasonable willing seller in the first place.” (emphasis in the original)

You can say that again.

— The Illustrators’ Partnership of America

This may be republished, posted or forwarded in its entirety to any interested party.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

Send us an email and we'll get back to you asap.

Not readable? Change text.

Start typing and press Enter to search