British photographic history

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I am new here so please excuse me if this has been covered. I have found it incredibly frustrating trying to make sense of the Orphan Works system. It seems to actually work against making historic images available for use. As a photographer myself I am a strong supporter of copyright so that is not my complaint. I am interested in buying Kodachrome ( mainly) slides from the 1950s onwards both from actual auctions and online. very often it is impossible to trace the copyright owner. Hoping to publish these images on my website for others to view I discovered that the OW system is expensive and cumbersome. Searching their records it seems that the only organisations using ut are public sector museums and libraries - so it seems like an expensive, bureaucratic paper chase to me. 

Just wondering if this subject has come up before and what view there are.

All the ones on my website come with written copyright transfer from the heir of respective photographers but this is too often nt possible when collections get sold off. 

But a lot must end up in landfill be be lost for good. 


Ian Murray

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From anecdotal evidence, the orphaned work processes are onerous and expensive and pragmatism is taking over, I haven't seen any numbers from the scheme so not sure if these confirm this. Happy to talk off line, 

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