Orphan Works regulation in Cuba: the European model as a solution? The EU model as a solution?

Delphine Defossez, Janny Carrasco Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Policy-makers have struggled to deal with the orphan works problem, especially as publishers, libraries, and other information intermediaries have attempted to make copyright works more accessible online. The issues surrounding orphan works and the need for legislation appeared when bona fide national libraries provided some orphan works online. Indeed, orphan works constitute a real problem for several reasons: first, copyright protection is automatic from the moment that a work is created; secondly, technological advances make it easier to disseminate content, including online; finally, the extension of copyright term may make it challenging to identify the rightsholder.

Different jurisdictions have treated orphan works differently. In 2012, the European Union (EU) adopted the Directive on ‘certain permitted uses of orphan works by cultural heritage institutions’, which intends to fill the gap between the sharing of cultural works and copyright issues. In Cuba, the current legislation dating back to 1970 does not provide any regulation of orphan works, and this is not even a topic of discussion within policy circles. It appears that rights in orphan works belong to the State, with no mechanisms in place in case the author claims back his or her work. This article investigates the effectiveness of regulations against mass digitization and sheds a different light on this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-624
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice
Issue number8
Early online date14 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


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