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final adoption of the Orphan Works Directive by the Council

Orphan Works are works which are protected by copyright but whose creators cannot be identified or found. The new Directive on Orphan Works will provide Europe's libraries, archives, film heritage institutions, public broadcasters and other organisations acting in the public interest with the appropriate legal framework to provide on-line cross-border access to orphan works contained in their collections. The Directive is a central element of the Commission's strategy to create an enabling framework for the use of intellectual property announced in its intellectual property strategy adopted in May 2011 (see IP/11/630 and MEMO/12/743).

The Council's approval marks the final step in the legislative procedure. Further to the trilogue agreement last June (see MEMO/12/421), the Parliament had approved the directive by a very large majority at its September plenary session.

The Directive will formally enter into force in the coming weeks further to its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States will have two years to transpose it into national law.

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