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Orphan Works Update: The IPO Licensing Scheme

By Chris J Holland, on 7 November 2014

Now that both the IPO’s licensing scheme and the EU Orphan Works Directive are available, it will be interesting to see how user-friendly they really are. If you have any UCL projects in mind where we could test the licensing procedure with a limited number of orphan works, please do let me know.

We will be eager to see examples of successful use of the new licences but currently there are no applications to view on the IPO Register of Orphan Works. There is a lot of background information on the IPO website. The Orphan Works Licensing Scheme Overview for Applicants includes details of charges and full Terms and Conditions of the Licence. A big unknown is what the IPO will accept as a “diligent search” for the copyright owner in specific cases, although there is plenty of information on sources for a diligent search on the IPO website.

The admin charges start at £20 for one item but rises only to £80 for 30 items, that being the maximum which can be included in a single application. For non-commercial uses the licence fee itself is 10p per item. For this purpose the IPO uses a definition of non commercial which excludes charging to recover costs (see paragraphs 35 to 37 of the “Overview” linked above).

Licences last for seven years with the potential for renewal. Licences cannot be longer term because of the possibility of a copyright owner emerging after the grant of licence. In that eventuality the licence would run its term but would not be renewable. The IPO is in effect indemnifying us, the licensee, against action by the copyright owner, as long as we have given them accurate information.

 

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