For all the film lovers it is time for a great challenge: let’s get together as volunteers to help unlock orphan films and make them available to the public!
This is the aim of the project “EnDOW Community: Unlocking Orphan Films”, promoted by theCentre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) of Bournemouth University and theBritish Film Institute (BFI) with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The purpose of this project is to engage the public to perform diligent search on untapped film archive material owned by the BFI, so that such material can be lawfully digitized and made available to the public.
A virtual launch event will be held on Wednesday 18th November from 4 pm (full programme and registration here).
The EnDOW project
EnDOW is a project launched in 2015 to help cultural institutions digitise “orphan works”. These are works protected by copyright, but whose rights holders are unknown or cannot be located. A huge wealth of cultural artifacts (writings, films, sound recordings etc.) that can only be lawfully digitised and made available to the public after a “diligent search” of the copyright owners has been performed. A burdensome process, for which many cultural institutions lack resources and expertise.
To help cultural institutions, EnDOW has developed the Diligent Search Tool (http://diligentsearch.eu): a public and freely accessible resource that facilitates the task and allows users with no specialized knowledge of copyright to participate in the diligent search process. By engaging users, cultural institutions can reduce the costs of diligent search by up to 200%.
EnDOW Community and the BFI
The aim of EnDOW Community is to engage an online community of volunteers to perform diligent searches on audio-visual works held by the BFI and other UK Regional film archives. Film lovers of any age and background can take part in this project. Thanks to this army of volunteers, at the end of the project a new collection of audio-visual works will be included in the UK Orphan Works Register and it will become available on the website and YouTube channel of the holding institution.
Lastly, the knowledge acquired by clearing the rights of films owned by BFI and other UK Regional film archives will give the chance to extend the use of the Diligent Search Tool to other cultural artefacts, in a potentially infinite process of freedom of artefacts belonging to different cultural heritage sectors.