Andy Uhrich, currently a grad student in the NYU MIAP program, alerts us to this.
The SAA press release begins:
The Society of American Archivists (SAA) has issued “Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices,” a 16-page report that provides what professional archivists consider the best methods to use when attempting to identify and locate copyright holders. The statement, which primarily focuses on unpublished materials because they are usually found in archives, is available on the association’s website as a PDF at
“Orphan works” is a term used to describe the situation in which the owner of a copyrighted work cannot be identified and located by someone who wishes to make use of the work in a manner that requires permission of the copyright owner.