This article aims at explaining the concept of orphan works and examining issues that arises out of this concept. Today, we might not discuss the problem of orphan works, if Bern Convention does not oblige legislators to remove the administrative formalities.
Contrary, this paper would be about protecting the right of people who put effort to create new works but deprived from legal protection since they did not follow the necessary steps that rules of the country where they wanted to protect their works. Defining orphan works is the first issue to be considered since there is no common understanding in international law. In order to define orphan works, its differences from out of print works and anonymous works should be pointed out. Since digital library initiative started, orphan works have been a legal issue in European Union. In order to digitize and display the orphan works online, Orphan Works Directive adopted in EU. But this directive allows only certain use of orphan works by Publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments and museums. On the other hand, a member state of EU, Hungary enacted a law for licensing the orphan works. Therefore, any potential user may ask to get a license of orphan works for personal or commercial purposes. European approach to solve the orphan works problem is quite different than the discussions made in United States that is mainly focus on limiting the remedies when it is used. The discussions in United States mostly gathered around the Google Book Search Settlement in which the presented solutions are far away from a radical solution to the Orphan Works problem in General. In this respect, analysis regarding to orphan works in this article will focus on introducing EU approach to the problem and be based on published academic resources, reports, EU directive and an interview with Hungary Copyright Office. This article will focus on already orphaned works rather than preventing future orphan works.