On 4 October the Council adopted a directive establishing a legal framework aimed at improving access to and digitisation of orphan works across the EU.
Orphan works are works (such as books, newspapers, magazines, audio recordings, films, etc.) that are protected by copyright but whose owners cannot be identified or found. The new rules will facilitate the digitisation of and lawful cross-border online access to orphan works contained in the collections of libraries, educational establishments, museums, archives, audiovisual heritage institutions and public service broadcasting organisations.
Member states will have a maximum of two years to incorporate the new rules into their national legislations.
The text of the Directive can be downloaded from: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/12/pe00/pe00036.en12.pdf