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Report on the application of the “Orphan Works Directive”

The “Orphan Works Directive” aims to promote the digitisation of and lawful intra-EU online access to orphan works (i.e. works such as books, journals, films whose rights holder is unknown or cannot be located) contained in the collections of publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments, museums, as well as in the collections of archives, film and audio heritage institutions and in the archives of public service broadcasting organisations across the EU.

The Directive requires the Commission to report on whether to expand its scope and assess the need for a proposal amending the Directive. To prepare the current Staff Working Document, the Commission relied on information from various sources, in particular the independent study on the application of the Orphan Works Directive, which is published alongside this SWD.

The Staff Working Document has been submitted to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee.

The report concludes that at this stage, there is no need for a review of the Directive or to propose other measures. The Commission departments will continue to monitor the application of the Orphan Works Directive together with other relevant EU instruments for the digitisation and dissemination of cultural heritage.

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