Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Too far, and not far enough"

Mark Dery on the orphan works bill:

"As written, the OWA won’t solve anything. With its impossibly vague talk of 'reasonable compensation' and 'diligent' searches, its fundamentalist faith in the private sector (commercial registries) and technological quick-fixes (image-search technologies), the OWA is, as Lessig argued on his blog, a bill that both 'goes too far, and not far enough.' Too far because the weasel phrase 'reasonably diligent search' will provide legal cover for unwitting—as well as willful—infringers of copyrighted works that have washed up on the web without identifying information, yet are not listed in commercial registries. Not far enough because the line the OWA draws in the sand between a good-faith effort to determine the copyright status of a putatively orphaned work and intentional infringement is, in Lessig’s wonderfully pungent phrase, 'just mush.'"