Diligent search of the copyright owners is the pre-requisite for any legitimate use of orphan works by cultural heritage institutions. Under the current legislation, diligent search is a complex and time consuming exercise, that discourages many European institutions from embarking in digitization of recent cultural heritage.
The EnDOW project established in 2015 addresses the problem of diligent search in an innovative way and aims at designing a user-friendly, semi-automated system to assist users in orphan works diligent searches. The Beta version of the EnDOW Diligent Search Platform is now available for testing. Users are guided step by step through a series of structured questions to carry out diligent searches on written works (books or newspapers), audiovisual works and phonograms. At the end of the process, if no copyright holder has been located, the cultural institution that hosts the work can register the work in the EUIPO Orphan Works Database and benefit from the exception introduced by the Orphan Works Directive 2012.
The platform has been designed to allow collaboration of multiple users in the diligent search process. In its Beta version, the platform allows diligent searches in two jurisdictions only, namely UK and Netherlands. After a period of six months of testing, the platform will be progressively available for diligent searches in up to 20 EU Member States and in five national languages. The aim is to make the Orphan Works Directive working to the full of its potential, and to enhance digitization of recent cultural heritage at pan-European level.
>> The Beta version of the EnDOW Diligent Search Platform can be tested here