Paul has already written about orphaned works. Yesterday this got posted to the Dig_Ref list:

The Copyright Office will hold public roundtable discussions regarding orphan works in Washington, D.C., on July 26-27, and in Berkeley, California, on August 2. The Office has identified several general topic areas for discussion during the roundtables, and has organized a preliminary agenda according to these issue areas. Persons wishing to participate in the roundtables must submit a request to participate to the Copyright Office by 5:00 p.m., E.D.T. on July 15, 2005. REQUESTS TO PARTICIPATE MUST CONTAIN CERTAIN INFORMATION, AND MUST BE SUBMITTED ACCORDING TO INSTRUCTIONS SPECIFIED BY THE OFFICE. Further information on the topic areas and the preliminary agenda and on how to submit a request to participate is contained in a Notice to be published in the Federal Register on July 7, 2005, but is also now available on the Office’s orphan works webpage as well, at

I have so far been unable to get to resolve; I keep getting a 408 error. The optimist in me hopes that means the Copyright Office is getting zillions of hits submitting requests to participate; the cynic suspects a not-so-subtle ploy to prevent people from doing so.

Update, that afternoon: I finally got the URL to resolve.

The Office has solicited written comments from all interested parties.

These comments have been posted, including ones from Creative Commons, MIT OpenCourseWare, JSTOR, Google, & the RIAA. These are just the ones I noticed & found interesting; it’s a pretty long list. Replies have also been posted, including ones from the Association of American Publishers, Society of American Archivists, Project Gutenberg, & interestingly, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The deadline for initial comments and replies has passed.

If you happen to be interested, there’s also a document that explains how to submit a request to participate in the roundtables:

The roundtable discussions will be open to the public. However, persons wishing to participate in the discussions must submit a written request to the Copyright Office. The request to participate must include the following information: (1) the name of the person desiring to participate; (2) the organization(s) represented by that person, if any; (3) contact information (address, telephone, telefax, and email); and (4) a one-page summary of the specific issues the participant (or his or her organization) wishes to address. The one-page summary must also identify in which of the four general roundtable topic areas the person would most like to participate in order of preference…