Kahle v. Ashcroft submission site
Kahle v. Ashcroft is a lawsuit that challenges changes to U.S. copyright law that have created a large class of "orphan works." Orphan works are books, films, music, and other creative works which are out of print and no longer commercially available, but which are still regulated by copyright. Because the copyright system contains no mechanisms to create and maintain useful records of copyright ownership, people who would like to distribute or use these orphaned works -- digital libraries, or creators who would like to include the work in their own creative expression -- often are unable to clear rights. The copyright system thus denies public access to these orphan works, without creating any countervailing benefit either to authors or the public at large. To learn more about the case, read the Kahle FAQ.
To win the lawsuit, we need your help. We need more examples of people being burdened by these copyright-related barriers to the use of orphan works. You can help us if you have ever wanted to copy, distribute, perform, modify, sample, mash-up, or generally use an orphan work, but were prevented from doing so because:
- The cost of trying to find the copyright holder was too high; or
- You were unable to find the copyright holder; or
- You were able to find the copyright holder and they refused to issue a license; or
- You were able to find the copyright holder and you were issued a license, but you have a good story to tell about how difficult the process was.
Please tell us what the work is, what you wanted to do with it, and how we can contact you. We will follow up with you if we need more information about the nature of your harm. With your help, we can reclaim the public domain.
Lawrence Lessig and the Kahle v. Ashcroft team
Send us your story
Sorry, this form is now closed.