Rules For The Revolution: The Podcast

Answering your questions about podcasting, new media and the law.

Episode 22: Orphan Works

Welcome to the 4th of July episode of Rules for the Revolution! Click on this link to listen to Episode 022 or subscribe and listen through iTunes.

Host: Colette Vogele
Guest: Alex Curtis, Director of Policy and New Media at Public Knowledge

Alex CurtisAlex is Public Knowledge’s Director of Policy and New Media. Before his position with PK, he interned for Senate Senator Mike DeWine — making DeWine the second U.S. Senator on the Internet by one day. He was asked to return in subsequent years and in addition to creating websites for both Senators DeWine and George Voinovich, he also worked on legislative issues. While in law school, Alex clerked for the Antitrust Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, working on issues such as Broadband, Digital Online Music, and Open Access.

Topic: In this episode, Colette interviews Alex Curtis, of Public Knowledge, a Washington-based advocacy group, about Orphan Works. Orphan Works is a problem in copyright law that Congress is trying to solve through newly proposed legislation. Alex provides us with some background on the problem, an overview of the different sides to the issue, and Public Knowledge’s position on the pending legislation. The discussion covers views that are both critical and in favor of the new legislation.

Links for this Episode

  • Public Knowledge’s Orphan Works information (includes links to legislation)
  • US Copyright Office Re: OWs (includes links to legislation)
  • EFF’s Line Noise audio interview re: Orphan Works (see also Orphan Works Update: Is the Legislation Fair to Copyright Holders? and Release the Orphan Works!)
  • Illustrator’s Partnership’s views on Orphan Works
  • Little Orphan Arworks (Lessig’s OpEd in NYT May 20, 2008) {see also Lessig on OW in Feb. 2007}
  • New Orphaned Works Legislation would limit copyright liability (Arstechnica article, Apr. 25, 2008)
  • Plagiarism Today blog on Orphan Works
  • As always, you can reference the The Podcasting Legal Guide: Rules for the Revolution for more information on legal questions related to podcasting in the U.S. For Canadian listeners, please check out the Canadian Podcasting Legal Guide.

    Credits: Ben Costa, Producer. Music for this episode is licensed from Magnatune. (Artist: Burnshee Thornside; Album: The Art Of Not Blending In; Song: Can I Be A Star.) Special thanks to Creative Commons and Alex Roberts for the logo design, and to Bill Streeter for getting this site designed and rolling for us.

    Feedback: We would very much like to hear from you and get your feedback on this new podcast series. Things you like, don’t like, or questions you have that you’d like answered in a future episode are welcome. Please send us your feedback and questions by emailing us at colette [at] rulesfortherevolution [dot] com.


    Creative Commons License

    The original content of this podcast is licensed under a
    Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to “Colette Vogele, Rules for the Revolution: The Podcast”. For information on commercial use, please contact colette [at] vogelelaw [dot] com.


    2 Comments so far

    1. [...] Recently, the topic of Orphan works has heated up.  It has shown up all over the place, including in two sources that I follow that focus on legal rights in the digital world, Public Knowledge (which I’ve only recently started following), and Rules For The Revolution (which Ihave followed since its inception).  Orphan works are creative works where the copyright holder, usually the creator or the creator’s company, cannot be identified or located, but the work is not necessarily in the public domain. [...]

    2. Dave Gray February 1st, 2009 7:59 am

      Hello Colette. I just stopped by to offer you some encouragement. I think that the podcast you are doing is great. Podcasting and the law and new media and the law is pretty confusing to the new podcaster and it is a topic that needs to be covered. Who better than a lawyer to do that!

      I remember 4 and a half years ago when I started podcasting we were all still trying to work this stuff out and even then we got it wrong. Good advice and most welcome.

      Have you thought about am audio player for the website, be great to be able to drive by and take a listen! (I came via iTunes though;))

      Keep it up, I think your doing a great job.