As noted in the previous post, last Friday I was in BrizVegas for the ACIPA Copyright Conference.

Naturally, I learned much. But here are two things I really didn’t know, that I should note.

First, this year, the Attorney-General’s Department is planning to do a review of the ‘orphan works’ issue. Orphan works are ‘copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to identify or locate’. A work may become ‘orphaned’ for various reasons, including because the owner is dead, or the company which owned copyright has ceased to exist. There is plenty of evidence that orphan works do represent a real problem for cultural institutions and libraries, at least, and probably others. And, of course, we have just had the US Copyright Office hand down a report, noting this is a problem and proposing amendments to the US Copyright Act.

So, from a ‘don’t forget to do your homework’ perspective, it is worth starting to think about your submissions now. I think a key in the US was the accumulation of evidence that there was a real issue. Real life examples, if they exist!

The other thing I learned at ACIPA was that everyone’s favourite ‘copyright liability for linking’ case, Cooper (discussed in the last post) is on appeal to the Full Federal Court. I had kind of assumed it wasn’t, but I woz wrong. Final orders were only made in December.

Now, I’ve managed to get my hot little hands on a copy of the Notice of Appeal (nothing wrong with that, it’s a public document). It ain’t that interesting. The E-Talk notice raises, well, everything under the sun, the Cooper notice is remarkably brief. Either way, it might be heard later this year.