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IFRRO submits comments on proposed Orphan Works Directive

IFRRO (The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations) shares the overall aim of the proposed EU Directive on certain uses of Orphan Works to provide legal certainty for the access to orphan works contained in publicly accessible libraries and other establishments specified in the proposal. IFRRO and its members facilitate ease of access to text and image based works that are protected by copyright, while ensuring that the creators are properly remunerated for the use of their works. Solutions are also offered for libraries.

Orphan works should be administered through collective management and licensing. IFRRO members already have experience from administering uses of such works. Regulation and establishment of conditions for uses of an orphan work should be as decided by authors and publishers of the categories of works concerned. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, the Directive should be without prejudice to the right of Member States to implement different solutions at national level.

It is important that the EU Directive does not stray from the orphan works issue and create a blueprint or imply solutions for other issues. The IFRRO comments submitted today are aimed at ensuring that it makes use of existing mechanisms and agreements to enable libraries to use orphan works, while respecting the rights and interests of authors and publishers including their right of remuneration. The full comments are available here.

IFRRO and its members are already leading players in the provision of access to online libraries, through their championing of and participation in the ARROW and ARROW Plus projects. ARROW is a project of a consortium of European national libraries, publishers and collective management organisations, also representing writers – working through their main European associations and a number of national organisations. It is a distributed system for facilitating rights information management in any digitisation programme, scalable to further applications and reduces time and costs involved in obtaining rights information and clearance. The establishment of an Orphan Works Register is one of ARROW’s specific aims. ARROW Plus aims at refining the ARROW system, increasing the number of countries in which it is used and broadening the types of works for which it is used to include visual material.

IFRRO offers its established collaborative network of partner organisations and stakeholders to help the Commission in realising the aims of the draft Directive on orphan works and ensuring legal access to text and image works with fair remuneration to the creators.

Notes for Editors
The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) is an international, independent, not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of collective management organisations and authors and publishers in the field of text and image based works. These organisations are known as Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) which administer reproduction and other relevant rights, including certain digital rights, on behalf of both publishers and authors including visual artists.

Active in every continent, it has some 130 members including 55 national and international author, publisher and visual creator associations. IFRRO’s global network of members helps facilitate widespread legal access to published, copyright protected literary, visual and musical works for the public. IFRRO partners international organisations such as WIPO and UNESCO, and regional ones such as ARIPO, OAPI and CERLALC to undertake copyright awareness, capacity building and training activities. Within Europe, IFRRO cooperates with the EU institutions in developing solutions to facilitate access to copyright work.

Further information
James Boyd, IFRRO Communications and Product Development
Tel: +32 2 551 08 97