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IFRRO recommends guidelines to facilitate solutions for the licensing of out-of-print works

In a written submission, on the invitation of the Reflection Group of the European Commission on Boosting cultural Heritage online in Europe set up by Commissioners Neelie Kroes and Androulla Vassiliou, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) recommends some basic guidelines aimed at facilitating the licensing Out of Print Works (OPW). There are lots of reasons why a work may not be in stock or available in tangible copies. One shouldn’t therefore automatically conclude either that the rightholders do not intend to commercialise it or that, even if they don’t, that they could have no objections to copies being made available. The key is to respect the author’s and publisher’s wishes on whether or not his work should be exploited commercially and to seek an appropriate license.
IFRRO supports initiatives to preserve cultural heritage, and IFRRO and its membership assist authors and publishers in their collaborative efforts to realise EUROPEANA and the European digital libraries. In this respect IFRRO stresses the need for pragmatic solutions, transparency and an active dialogue with creators and publishers when plans are being made to digitise works and make them available to the public. 
IFRRO has also partnered creators, publishers, libraries and their organisations in the Accessible Registries of Rights Information and Orphan Works (ARROW) project. The aim of ARROW is to enable libraries as well as other users to obtain information on who are the pertinent creators and publishers or other righholders, which are the relevant rights concerned, who owns and administers them and how, where they can seek permission to digitise and / or make available the work and on orphan works. 
The ARROW project and the IFRRO Guidelines on facilitating Out of Print Works licensing are prime examples of how voluntary, stakeholder dialogues can produce effective solutions.

Notes for Editors

The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of collective management organisations in the field of text and image based works. These organisations are known as Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs).
Active in every continent, more than 70 RROs plus about 55 national and international author, publisher and visual creator associations are IFRRO Members and Associate Members. IFRRO’s global network of members contributes to the facilitating of the widest possible legal access to published, copyright protected literary, visual and musical works for the public. RROs administer reproduction and other relevant rights, including certain forms of digital uses, in copyright text- and image-based works on behalf of both publishers and authors including visual artists. These rights are normally referred to as reprographic rights.
RROs also play a key role in the development of cultural diversity by helping to set up the legal and administrative frameworks necessary for the growth of local publishing industries. IFRRO partners organisations such as WIPO and UNESCO to undertake copyright awareness, capacity building and training activities.
Further information
James Boyd, IFRRO Communications and Product Development
Tel: +32 2 551 08 97