What happens to a photograph, piece of music, book or software when the person or company that created it can no longer be found? How do you get permission to use that work in your own if there’s no one to get that permission from? Can you copy a piece of software if the company that original developed it went out of business years ago?
Organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, freeculture.org and Public Knowledge have come together to answer some of the questions surrounding these “Orphan Works” and provide the public with an easy to use form to communicate their opinion on this matter to the US Copyright Office, which is seeking public opinion up until March 25th of this year.
So go to orphanworks.org and read up on what you as a citizen should know about this issue and make your opinion heard.