Columbia law professor Jane Ginsburg on the proposed orphan works legislation.
"The bills define a 'qualifying search' as a 'diligent effort to locate the owner of the infringed copyright.' ... To assist in searching, section 3 of the bills provides that the Copyright Office is to keep a database of pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, and the effective date of the act, with respect to those works, is delayed by four years (1/1/09 for other works; 1/1/13 for pictorial, graphic and sculptural works). One may infer that these provisions ... are designed to reassure photographers and other visual artists that their works will not be vulnerable to enforced 'orphanage.''
Judging from the response so far, I'd say they're not reassured.