Bridget Dooling and I have an article in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. It’s the Rule of Law column and, not surprisingly, it’s on orphan works. Here’s a bit:
Fiddling with copyright terms and registration, however, would require not only the abrogation of several international intellectual property treaties, but also the political will in Congress to stand up to movie and publishing lobbies. Luckily, a much simpler solution is possible, and an orphan works component can be snapped into the existing copyright system. Congress can create an affirmative defense–along the lines of fair use–for those who copy a work after trying unsuccessfully to locate the copyright owner.