Conference presentations « Digitisation of Cultural Heritage and Orphan Works » now available

Around 90 representatives from cultural heritage institutions all over Europe, researchers, copyright experts and EUCOM policy officers participated in the conference « Digitisation of Cultural Heritage and Orphan Works » to discuss the impact of Directive 2012/28/EU and discover new tools to make the Directive work in practice.
In his speech, Marco Giorello, Deputy Head of the Copyright Unit at the Commission,  pointed out that the « Diligent Search is the engine of the Orphan Works Directive », and that its overall aim is to provide results as useful as possible. He recognizes that the way the Directive was implemented in some countries was not always « very practically ». This is the case when member states include sources which are not relevant for the Diligent Search or when stakeholders deliver information only against payment. Giorello promised to look into these obstacles and help to make the Directive function. Nicola Mazzanti, president of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE), underlined that the Directive is not the « overnight solution » to all problems regarding digitisation and access, but « a tool that tries to solve a specific problem in a very complicated field ». Cultural heritage institutions must adapt to use this tool. He also stated that the transactional costs to carry out a Diligent Search are too high, especially in the audiovisual heritage sector, where beneficiaries must search for several authors. Natacha Lenaerts from the Economy Federal Public Service introduced the transposition of the Orphan Works Directive into Belgian law which officially happened on 29th of November, one day prior to the conference.
According to the Directive, each work declared orphan must be registered in the European Orphan Works Database that is managed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Gyta Berasneviciute-Singh, copyright specialist at EUIPO, explained the registration process and the different functionalities of Database.
Frédéric Lemmers, Head of digitisation at the Royal Library of Belgium, spoke about the challenges of the Orphan Works Directive for his institution. While he recognizes the advantages of the Directive, performing a Diligent Search is still too time consuming, in particular when it comes to newspapers where two-thirds of the articles are published anonymously or unsigned.
The morning session closed with a introduction into the FORWARD project by Davy Hanegreefs,  project coordinator at the CINEMATEK Brussels. The FORWARD system has been designed to support users in the assessment of the right status of audiovisual works, in perfoming the Diligent Search and deciding if a particular work is orphan or not. At the afternoon workshop, Gabriella Scipione, project manager at CINECA (Bologna), the technical partner responsible for building the FORWARD system, presented the tool, its functionalities and services in more detail to an interested audience.
The conference was jointly organised by FORWARD, CINEMATEK and the Royal Library of Belgium.


Conference programme
Participants list
Radio interview with Nicola Mazzanti, 01/12/2016 (in French)
Photo gallery
After movie – video documentation