Three trade associations, The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM), and the Professional /Scholarly Division (PSP) of the Association of American Publishers released a further step towards establishing clear rules for users of copyright works who cannot locate the owners of such works (so-called "orphan works") to obtain permission to include such content in new works, course-packs, and compilations. The "safe harbor" statement released is an evolution in policy and practice from statements and positions announced previously. Stakeholders are currently debating whether orphan works should be dealt with as a matter of a copyright exception, a reduction in copyright penalties once a "parent" is located, or a blanket collective license. The view of ALPSP, STM, and PSP is that private market solutions are almost always to be preferred, since they are the most likely to provide tangible results, and that solution is put forward in the new "safe harbor" document. Users who conduct such a search where the owner of such a work is later identified, will be subject only to a normal license fee and will not be subject to any statutory, punitive or special fees or damages.
(www.alpsp.org, www.stm-assoc.org, www.pspcentral.org)