Making progress on orphaned works

John Wilkin wrote a long and interesting post on the University of Michigan’s efforts to identify works out of copyright from the pool of works published in the US between 1923 and 1963. In this post, he talks about the research and investigation process as being amenable to “group sourcing” (his term) and as being work suitable for libraries. I agree with him on both counts. It’s interesting to see the data coming out of this project (60% of books are out of copyright, less than the 85% cited elsewhere). I wonder if the difference between 60% and 85% isn’t the difference between what was collected by academic libraries versus overall production. We’ll know more with more data.

Michigan contributed their knowledge and experiences to our Copyright Investigation Summary Report, and I’m happy to see them again leading the way.