Sunday, May 13, 2018

Misunderstood Orphans

Perhaps the pirating world misunderstands "Fair Use", and what constitutes a work that can be freely exploited.  

Or, perhaps EBay is still allowing massive collections of pirated ebooks to be sold in auctions too quick to catch, as "in the public domain".

Orphan works:

"An orphan work is a copyright protected work for which rightsholders are positively indeterminate or uncontactable. Sometimes the names of the originators or rightsholders are known, yet it is impossible to contact them because additional details cannot be found."

Orphan works are a problem for persons who intend to act in good faith. 

Sometimes, as in the Hathi Trust case, a good faith search for a living author is about as sketchy as Amazon as or Spotify music streaming services' searches for living songwriters (such as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith),

There is good news for writers of songs, who have been legally baffled by the NOI system

And then, there is the question of orphan authors.  What are they? Orphan authors are defined by Library Thing as authors without works. 

In other words, orphan authors are authors whose names have been so badly misspelled by whoever added their name to a reading list that they cannot be combined with the proper spelling of their name.

The trick, perhaps, is for authors to make sure they can be located and contacted. That would apply doubly so to authors who were once able to be contacted through a publishing house that is now defunct.

Here is a public Facebook group, newly started, that might be helpful for the purpose.  I hope it is not reinventing the proverbial wheel.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry