Last fall, this blog reported on a panel about the problem of Orphan Works. The Panel, “Lost & Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works”, was hosted by the New York City Bar Association in October 2009. A Congressional Bill addressing the issue had died out in 2009, due to the financial crisis, and the panelists discussed how lawmakers should fix the situation. In May 2010, the European Commission issued an assessment of the orphan works issue and costs of rights clearance, concluding that there is a need for a more efficient way to clear rights. The international problem still persists.
This winter, the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art is taking a bold approach to the issue by hosting an exhibition of works with unknown origins, turning the problem into a clever exhibition theme.
The exhibit caught the attention of a reader of the Art Law Blog, and hopefully the exhibit will bring further attention to the orphan works issue itself.