As part of the clinic’s continuing work on the orphan works problem, we are excited to announce that Michael Donaldson of Donaldson + Callif, LLP, long-time friend of the clinic, former President of theInternational Documentary Association (IDA), and pro bono outside counsel for Film Independent(FIND), recently testified to the Committee of the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet regarding the issue.
Clinic members Patrick Boyle and Patrick McCormick helped Mr. Donaldson prepare his testimony, bringing to bear their experience testifying at the Orphan Works Roundtable Discussions held earlier this month at the U.S. Copyright Office. This proved to be very valuable as the committee members asked several questions that raised issues discussed at the Roundtables.
Donaldson’s testimony included poignant stories from his clients who have been plagued by the orphan works problem. He used these stories to explain how the orphan works situation negatively affects filmmaker clients and why a solution is desperately needed. He also explained the proposed solution that IDA and FIND support, which would protect rightsholders while permitting uses of orphan works for creators and users who have conducted a good faith diligent search for the owner.
We congratulate Donaldson on an excellent job and we are confident that his testimony will be part of the process for finding a workable solution to the orphan works problem.