Many of our Content Providers are involved in the launch of the new Out-Of-Commerce Works Portal, by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Out-of-commerce works are works, such as books, films, or visual works that are still protected by copyright but are no longer or have never been commercially available.
European libraries, archives, museums and other cultural heritage institutions currently contain millions of out-of-commerce works in their collections. They still hold great value for research or education purposes or are simply entertaining. For many years, Europe has supported initiatives for better online access to Europe’s rich cultural heritage, by using modern digital techniques. However, cultural heritage institutions’ mass digitisation projects have often not been possible due to legal difficulties in obtaining all the necessary prior authorisations of the individual rights holders (rights clearance). In order to help cultural heritage institutions fulfil their mission to benefit European culture, the EU Directive 2019/790  introduces a legal framework to support cultural heritage institutions in the digitisation and cross-border dissemination of out-of-commerce works.
Information about out-of-commerce works has to be recorded in a public single online portal, the creation and management of which has been entrusted to the EUIPO. The portal is the main publicity measure of this new regime. The main purpose of the portal is to provide access to information about the ongoing and future uses of out-of-commerce works, as well as to make it easier for the rights holders of these works to exercise their rights. The regime will complement the measures already in place for the use of orphan works at European level (see notably the Orphan Works Database).
It is expected that the new out-of-commerce regime will unlock great opportunities for the digitisation and dissemination to the public, across Europe, of out-of-commerce works held permanently in the collections of cultural heritage institutions, so that forgotten stories once again can become our shared history.
Find more information here: https://euipo.europa.eu/out-of-commerce/#/