Information Sans Frontières


We advocate on a European level about copyright and IPR issues affecting research, teaching and learning.

A response from Information Sans Frontières to the final compromise text of the Orphan Works Directive (22.06.2012)

Information Sans Frontières has assessed the potential impact of the Orphan Works Directive (based on the final compromise text) on its constituency of members, namely the public archives, film and sound institutes, galleries, libraries, museums and similar cultural institutions of Europe….

Download the response

ISF position statement on the current development of the Orphan Works directive

We are deeply disappointed in the outcome of the vote in the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on 1 March. Support for ‘commercial use’ was suddenly withdrawn, and the other amendments agreed in Committee are haphazard. After the vote, the Parliament’s text leaves the question of orphan works essentially unsettled. It will do little to facilitate the digitisation of large numbers of orphans, particularly in view of its inclusion in scope of all embedded works: the large-scale digitisation mentioned in its first recital will remain an unachievable ambition.

Read more:
Download the ISF Orphan Works Position Statement
Also available in a short version:
Download the short version of the Position Statement

ISF Memo on Orphan Works directive

The European Commission has adopted a Proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works with a view to establishing common rules on the digitisation and online display of so-called orphan works.

Information Sans Frontières is an alliance representing the institutions in the Member States addressed by the proposed Directive. We urge that the Directive should embrace unpublished as well as published works, and creative works in all media. We are unanimously of the view that the Directive is in danger of failing to achieve its policy objectives, in particular large-scale digitisation projects. The Commission’s proposal has several inherent contradictions with respect to the purpose of the Directive.

  • It is too prescriptive of the methods to be used by the target institutions, insisting on procedures that in some cases will be impracticable
  • It is insufficiently hospitable to solutions based on licensing, which are mentioned in the Recitals but which have no legislative support in the following Articles in order to allow them to function across borders
  • It seeks to modify the exceptions contained in Directive 2001/29/EC by adding further restrictions on the freedom of action of the target institutions


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