Diligent Search

Literary, audiovisual and phonograms can be determined to be ‘orphan’ under the Orphan Works Directive. Heritage institutions can use orphan works for non-commercial purposes without permission of the rights holder. But only after the work is determined to be orphaned using a diligent search, and registered at the EUIPO.

Such a diligent search must be carried out in good faith by consulting appropriate sources for the category of works concerned. The Directive specifies that “The sources that are appropriate for each category of works or phonogram in question shall be determined by each Member State”.

These Diligent flowcharts were developed under the ENDOW project and provide an overview of how these diligent searches work. A more expansive tool using these flowcharts can be found on diligentsearch.eu.

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