"Orphan Works as Grist for the Data Mill"

Matthew Sag has self-archived "Orphan Works as Grist for the Data Mill" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

The phenomenon of library digitization in general, and the digitization of so-called "orphan works" in particular, raises many important copyright law questions. However, as this article explains, correctly understood, there is no orphan works problem for certain kinds of library digitization. . . .

The nonexpressive use of copyrighted works has tremendous potential social value: it makes search engines possible, it provides an important data source for research in computational linguistics, automated translation and natural language processing. And increasingly, the macro-analysis of text is being used in fields such as the study of literature itself. So long as digitization is confined to data processing applications that do not result in infringing expressive or consumptive uses of individual works, there is no orphan works problem because the exclusive rights of the copyright owner are limited to the expressive elements of their works and the expressive uses of their works.

| Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography 2010 | Digital Scholarship |