The Digital Watermarking Alliance (DWA), an international group of industry leading companies involved in commercializing digital watermarking solutions, today announced a new white paper that discusses the key role digital watermarking can play in addressing the issue of orphan works.
Today, a large number of "orphan works" -- presumably copyrighted works whose owners cannot be identified or located -- exists. Typically, such works are excerpts or newly digitized versions of books, movies, photos, and music whose ownership information has been stripped away or lost during distribution, re-formatting or editing.
Unfortunately for those individuals and organizations seeking permission to use such works, much of this rich material ends up left untouched due to liability issues surrounding unspecified ownership.
Published by the DWA, the white paper proposes that policymakers consider facilitating the adoption of technologies, such as digital watermarking, to address the challenge of orphan works and copyright owner identification. Digital watermarks are available and widely deployed today and can help speed and facilitate deployment of online digital content by enabling identification of copyrighted content, facilitating rights management policy, and enhancing consumer experiences.
The Digital Watermarking Alliance white paper is available at http://www.digitalwatermarkingalliance.org/