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2015 (EN)
Digitization of Written Orphan Works

Alexandrou, Alexandra

Orphan written works are a reality that was never questioned until recently. The lack of a known author to written works never constituted a problem for libraries or other archival institutions, which offered their services to the public by granting access to works regardless of their nature. The development of technology has dramatically changed the way information is accessed and utilized, causing, among others, the emergence of a demanding audience that wishes for the digital equivalent of books and written works. In view of these current challenges, conventional copyright protection has been unable to rise to the occasion and fulfil such demands. The present master thesis examines the difficulties that have arisen from previous legislation as well as the development of new legislative texts that have come forward as a means to facilitating the use of written orphan works. Existing legislative models and their implementation, as well as tools that are currently being used towards the direction of utilization of written orphan works are thoroughly analyzed and critiqued with regards to their advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, drawing from these real life models and tools, this thesis attempts to provide a uniform solution for the digitization of such intellectual works. Chapter I of this thesis constitutes an introduction to Copyright Protection and Law. Chapter II introduces and analyzes the Orphan Works Issue. Chapters III to VI discuss the existing legislative models, current approaches and tools to the Orphan Works problem. Models such as the Directive 2012/28/EU and the Memorandum of Understanding on Out-­‐of-­‐Commerce Works as well as tools such as the OHIM Orphan Works Database, Europeana, ARROW and Google Books are described and discussed. Finally, Chapter VII, building upon drawn conclusions, suggests a solution that aims to enable a more practical and harmonized environment to the digitization, use and exploitation of written orphan works.


EU legislation
Written orphan works



School of Economics, Business Administration and Legal Studies,MA in Art, Law and Economy

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