The European Orphan Works Directive (also known under the name 2012/28/EU) sets out common rules on the digitisation and online display of so-called orphan works, of which the authors or rights holders are unknown and can’t be traced. To facilitate the publication of these works the European Union has installed the orphan works register, where archives and other cultural heritage managing institutions can register the works for which they have performed a diligent search and for which the rightsholders remain unfindable. Audiovisual archives including broadcast archives regularly have to cope with this issue.
In 2020 the European Union carries out an official evaluation of the Orphan Works Directive via a survey. If your faces the dilemma what to when you don’t know the right holders of some content, and you’re convinced that orphan works should be accessible to the general public, then your answers can help to evaluate the Orphan Works Directive to promote the digitisation and dissemination of orphan works. The deadline to fill out the survey is 25 September.