About Kerstin Herlt

Posts by Kerstin Herlt:

OHIM becomes EUIPO

On 23 March 2016, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) has changed its name to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).  From 23 March the web address will be www.euipo.europa.eu.

EnDOW report: Requirements for diligent search are highly burdensome

The EnDOW project has published a report on the efforts of performing  diligent searches for Orphan Works.  Based on the examples of Italy, Netherlands and the UK, the study shows that diligent searches carried out in compliance with the Orphan Works Directive requires the consultation of more than 350 sources in Italy, 200 in the UK and almost 90 in the Netherlands.  Moreover, only 56% of the sources in these countries can be freely accessed online. Based on these findings, the report recommends a soft-law intervention, which distinguishes between compulsory and optional sources, depending on their relevance and accessibility. It also suggests to consider a search « diligent » and carried out in good faith even if only freely accessible online sources are consulted.

Read the full report here.


More than 800 orphan films registered in OHIM


Source: Office for the Harmonisation in the Internal Market

The number of orphan works in the  Orphan Works Database managed by OHIM (Office for the Harmonsation of the Internal Market) increases slowly but steadily: Actually, the OHIM Database counts 1,430 orphan works, compared to 1352 works in September 2015. 829 film titles have been registered, EYE Filmmuseum Netherlands alone has uploaded more 750 orphan films.

However, the number of EU countries registering orphan works is still low:


   Countries with orphan works registered in OHIM =  11

   Countries with no orphan works registered in OHIM =  20

Watch the presentation to learn more about the OHIM Database and how to register orphan works.

Mapping the implementation of the Orphan Works Directive

One of FORWARD’s project goals is to support Film Heritage Institutions in implementing the Orphan Works Directive (OWD), therfore we monitor if and how the Directive has been transposed in the EU.  The monitoring is based on the results of a survey  carried out in January 2015 among ACE members, since then we regulary update information on the implementation process as far as the countries represented FORWARD are concerned: http://tinyurl.com/pgehvmc

While all partners’ countries have implemented the OWD, not all of them have agreed on the databases and sources to be queried. This is the case for Belgium and Spain, while Poland has published this list of sources only recently. This information is however crucial for the configuration of the FORWARD workflow, which must take into account the national legislations on orphan works, including the list of sources.

By end of October 2015 a report from the Commission on the application of the OWD should have been submitted to the European Parliament and the Council, as per Article 10 of the Directive.  This hasn’t happended yet. However, a review would help to get a clearer picture if beneficiaries are using the coopyright exception or not. If they don’t use it, the Commission should be interested to understand why. Reviews are announced to happen each year, so there is hope for 2016.


Developing the FORWARD architecture

During the last few months, FORWARD’s technical partner CINECA has been busy working on the Rights Information Structure (RII).  The FORWARD architecture features two sub-systems:

  •  the workflow and
  •  the catalogue

The workflow sub-system represents the main tool, which provides all the functionalities needed in order to perform diligent searches for all the works foreseen by the project. It implements the algorithms and decision trees for both assessing the copyright status and determining the rights holders, and all necessary mechanisms involved such as querying external sources, managing manual intervention, etc. In addition, it provides a graphical user interface that allows the beneficiary user to interact with the system, not only to assist users during the workflow, but also for account management. Its main goal is to populate the RII database with all the results of the diligent searches keeping track of all relevant information that provide documentary evidence of the assessments.

The catalogue sub-system represents a component to support the diligent search: it actually provides input data that has to be collected at work and party level from each Film Heritage Institution (FHI) in the project. It also provides functionalities such as data management, searching, indexing. Data have to be imported in the catalogue using a common format defined among FHIs and mapped into the new repository. Once the processing of all the works is completed, the same format must be used to export back the catalogues.

The RII design is still under development.

RII system overview:


EYE Film Museum uploads 720 records to the EU Orphan Works Database

Since the Orphan Works Directive has been transposed in the Netherlands, the exception in the Dutch Copyright Act allows orphan works to be digitised and made public under certain conditions.

EYE is one of the 11 film archives in Europe involved in the FORWARD project. Forward aims to create a EU-wide system for establish the rights status of audiovisual works, as well as a registry for orphan films. The system will support film archives to carry out the complex search for rights owners,  which needs to be perfomed by each beneficiary institution like EYE before a work can be labelled « orphan ». FORWARD coordinates with OHIM, the EU database for all types of orphan works, including films. In order to test the upload of larger datasets, EYE provided 720 records to OHIM.

Read the news article on the OHIM website

FORWARD at Eva / Minerva Conference, Jerusalem, 8-9 November 2015

The EVA / Minerva conference the digitisation of cultural heritage is organised since 2004 in Jerusalem. The two-day conference gathers International experts from cultural heritage domain to share ideas with professionals responsible for the digitisation of cultural heritage in Israel.
FORWARD takes part in the Audiovisual Archives panel « Joys and sorrows of granting online access to audiovisual content ».
You can accesss the full programme here.

FORWARD at Eva / Minerva Conference, Jerusalem, 8-9 November 2015

Mapping the Internet – From Privacy to Freedom of Expression, Hannover, 22-23 September 2015

The future of data protection and network security, the balancing of human rights like freedom of expression vs. the right on privacy, internet governance and intellectual property are the key topics of this two-days event, which is organised by the MAPPING project. During the IPR session, Gabriella Scipione (CINECA, IT) will present ARROW and FORWARD as two systems to assess and register orphan works in the book and the audiovisual sector. MAPPING is investigating innovative policies, business models and legal frameworks related to the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Participation is by inviation only.
Venue: HCC Hannover Congress Centrum, Hannover, Germany
Download the agenda (pdf version)

FOCAL International Copyright Conference, London, 24 September 2015

The Copyright Conference « Know your rights when using footage and content » gathers expert  in the fields of International copyright law, third party rights, music and sports rights. The orphan works issue from a European perspective and the FORWARD project will be presented by FORWARD partner FOCAL International.

Venue: Holiday Inn – London Camden Lock – 30, Jamestown Road, London NW1 7BY
Read the Conference Programme

U.S. Copyright Office Report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization

Beginning of June, the U.S. Copyright Office has published a report on « Orphan Works and Mass Digitization ».
Having reviewed the problem of orphan works under U.S. copyright law by taking into consideration also foreign solutions, the Copyright Office proposes to implement a legislative framework to limit the liability for good faith users.

The proposed legal framework avoids some shortcomings of the Orphan Works Directive (OWD) in Europe. The scope is broader and not limited to online and non-commercial uses.  More important is the productive re-use of orphan works by artists, musicians, and documentary filmmakers to create new works.

Similar to the OWD, a faithful diligent search needs to be conducted prior to any use, which must be « reasonable and appropriate to the circumstances ». The monetary relief for commercial users should be limited to a reasonable compensation, which is defined as « the amount that a willing buyer and a willing seller would have agreed upon immediately before the use began ».

The proposed legislation should be a « safe harbor » for non-commercial institutions using orphan works: If an eligible institution (non-profit educational institutions, museums, libraries, archives, or public broadcasters) immediately ceases to use the work, the court cannot order them to pay compensation.

In case of mass-digitization,  the Copyright Office proposes to explore in a pilot programme Extended Collective Licensing (ECL)  for three types of works:  1) literary works; 2) pictorial or graphic works and 3) photographs.

Read the full report