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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


Copyright in Europe: Adapting EU Rules to the New Digital Age, Brussels, 26 October

The International Syposium will provide  an opportunity for stakeholders within the public and private sector to discuss the future copyright reforms as well as to explore the measures to provide a balance between creators and consumers, understand the new proposal reforms on Copyright, its legal aspects, as well as its benefits and flaws in order to move towards a EU digital single market, with access to content guaranteed across all Member States.

The afternoon session is dedicated to rethinking copyright rules: Text and Data Mining, Digitisation and Access to Out-of-Commerce Works,  Freedom of Panorama.
You can access the full programme, speaker’s list and the registration form  here.

New rights statement for orphan works in Europeana

In cooperation with DPLA (Digital Library of America), Europeana has created internationally standardized rights labels: Works that have been identfied orphan compliant to the Directive 2012/28/EU  will be labelled « In Copyright – EU Orphan Work ». Until November 2016, Europeana is replacing 4 of the existing rights statements with these new rights statements.

For more informations see the Europeana factsheet

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.

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:


Europeana dedicates July as Public Domain Month

15/07/2014 Europeana advocates for open access and dedicates the hole month of July as the Public Domain Month. Europeana’s fundamental principles is that works that are in the public domain before they are digitised, should remain in the public domain (i.e. free from copyright) once they are digitised.  So far, 7,607,443 objects available via Europeana are declared to be in the public domain. Cultural heritage insitutions are encouraged to respect the Europeana Public Domain Charter and to  apply the Public Domain Mark.  Europeana will share facts about IPR via its new Twitter account, @EuropeanaIPR.

Read more on the Europeana pro blog