In a letter published in today’s Times, the British Library, Tate, V&A, National Portrait Gallery, BFI, Wellcome Trust, Imperial War Museum, JISC and others are seeking to ensure the safe passage of Clause 42 of the government’s Digital Economy Bill, which if passed will provide the UK with the best Orphan Works solution in the world, unlocking vast amounts of collections for the nation.
Perhaps 40% of some of our national institutions’ collections are orphan works. Restricting the digitisation of these works limits access and will leave a huge volume of historically important collections ‘in limbo’. A significant proportion of these were never originally intended for commercial use and should not be treated in the same way as commercially produced in-copyright orphan works.
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