21 May 2007
Brussels (Belgium) - The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) has launched its Statement on Orphan Works.
Brussels (Belgium) - The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) has launched its Statement on Orphan Works. In announcing the document, Mr Olav Stokkmo, Secretary General of IFRRO, indicated the organisation's commitment to assist in facilitating the widest possible legal access to authors' and publishers' copyright works, even where, in the case of orphan works, the rightsholders cannot be readily traced.

Over the past 12 months, IFRRO's support in facilitating the use of orphan works has involved Mr Stokkmo and IFRRO's Honorary President, Mrs Tarja Koskinen-Olsson, in the European Commission's Digital Library Project.

At the publication of IFRRO's Statement, Mr Stokkmo welcomed the recent achievements of the Digital Library Copyright Sub-Group as a good balance between all the main stakeholders and said:

"In detailing the principles for the use of orphan works, IFRRO's Statement endorses the solutions proposed by the Digital Library and emphasises the necessary balance between the rights of authors, publishers and creators and the needs of end users.

IFRRO's worldwide members are prepared to help rightsholders and are well-placed to support access to orphan works, for example by performing 'diligent' searches for rightsholders - an activity where they currently apply their expertise on a daily basis in relation to photocopied works."

IFRRO's key role in the Digital Library Project continues with Ms. Koskinen-Olsson leading the team developing criteria to guide thorough ('diligent') searches for rightsholders of orphan works. Mr. Stokkmo's working party is identifying parameters for the establishment of orphan works databases to assist efficient rights clearance. Also supporting the EC Project with their substantial experience of copyright issues are Anne Bergman-Tahon and Myriam Diocaretz of the Federation of European Publishers and European Writers' Congress respectively, organisations which are also in membership of IFRRO.

IFRRO members worldwide are also contributing to a survey being conducted by the Canadian Copyright Board to assemble information on the various methods used internationally to handle orphan works.

IFRRO s Orphan Works Statement is available via the IFRRO homepage at www.ifrro.org

For further information please contact:

Joy Foster
IFRRO Communications and Information Officer
T: +32 2 551 08 97


Icograda is an Associate member of IFRRO.