For Copyright Holders - We Want to Hear From You!

Project status update, July 2012: The process of identifying orphan works from the specified period (that is, works published in the US between 1923-1963) continues. There are no plans to provide access to these works.

If you are a bona fide copyright holder – or the authorized representative for a copyright holder – for a title on the Orphan Candidate list, contact us to let us know about your copyright in the book.

Kindly fill out this PDF, and send it to us to help us respond as quickly as possible. Please save and send this form to Alternatively, you can fax it to 734.763.5080, or mail it to Library Information Technology, University Library, 818 Hatcher South, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. (Note that the PDF must be opened within a browser or in Adobe Acrobat to be edited. If you cannot get an editable version, please fill it out on paper and then email or mail the form via the above instructions.)

We will include the copyright information in our record for the book and ask for your instruction on how and whether we may provide access to the digital version.

Many copyright holders, especially scholars, are eager to make their out-of-print books available for reading in the HathiTrust. We offer that as an option for any copyright holder who wishes to do so.

Copyright holders may identify themselves at any time.  Even if you contact us after the 90-day period, we will honor your wishes.

Orphan Candidates and Orphan Works

The Orphan Works Project is a framework for libraries to determine whether books in their collections are orphan works, that is, books that are subject to copyright but whose copyright holders cannot be identified or contacted.

The University of Michigan is currently reviewing books published between 1923 and 1963 assessed in the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) with funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services with reviewers at Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Minnesota.

The Orphan Works Project executes a due diligence process to identify copyright holders for books that are out of print and unavailable for purchase new. The process is documented on this site.

Orphan Candidate List

After this due diligence process, we list possible orphan works publicly for 90-days as ‘Orphan Candidates’. The Orphan Candidate list is a public open inventory to help and encourage possible copyright holders to identify themselves so that we can identify them in the record.

After the 90-day period, access to digital versions of orphan works remaining un-associated with a copyright holder will be made available to authenticated users at participating partner libraries.

Access is provided for the purpose of reading for the same people with the right to check out these works from the Library's print collection for scholarly and educational purposes. Readers are reminded that the books are subject to copyright and that the library is providing access for the purpose of reading the titles as an exercise of fair use under 17 USC 107. Further use may or may not be permitted by law; readers must make their own assessment of the legal implications of any subsequent use.

The titles will be available in HathiTrust, fully searchable, viewable, and accessible to U-M researchers wherever there is a connection to the Internet. Every prospective orphan work's bibliographic information will be listed in the HathiTrust Digital Library and on the MLibrary website for 90 days, after which, if no copyright holder emerges, it will be made accessible to U-M users.

Page maintained by Melissa Smith Levine
Last modified: 03/17/2013