Copyright: Orphan works



Orphan works are creative works or performances (such as photographs, films or pieces of music) that are subject to copyright, but whose copyright owners are either unknown or cannot be found. These works are often contained in the collections of publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments and museums, as well as archives, film or audio heritage institutions and public-service broadcasting organisations.

This guide explains the UK orphan works licensing scheme, including the two types of orphan works licenses for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

It also tells you how to carry out a diligent search for the right holders and apply for a licence to use orphan works in the UK.