Orphan Works summary


On 29th October 2014, the Government launched the first UK Orphan Works Scheme after several years of consultation with stakeholders, including BAPLA. The Government Scheme enables an individual or organisation to license an Orphan Work for commercial or non-commercial use. You can find out more here

Orphan Works are works, such as photographs, in which a rights owner is unknown or cannot be found. This principle does not necessarily apply to modern works, for example digital photographs found online without any credits or metadata. Part of the process of licensing an Orphan Work means that someone applying must conduct a diligent search and record the details of that search when applying for a licence. The IPO have provided a non-exhaustive list of sources to check with when conducting a diligent search. BAPLA is one of the sources found in 'Orphan Works Diligent Search Guidance: Still Visual Art' as the majority of picture libraries and agencies holding copyrighted works in the UK are BAPLA members. 

In order to assist those looking for the rights owners of still visual works, BAPLA has provided a request form, which is forwarded to our members. You can find the form here.

Please note that not receiving a response from a BAPLA member does not constitute the image as an Orphan Work or that a diligent search is complete.

For further information and if you have questions on Orphan Works, please go to the Orphan Works Scheme overview here