In one of my RSS feeds this afternoon was a TechDirt post about a recently dugg article from Legal Times [PDF]. I'd like to further expose the issue, so go Digg it!
Of course, PK's been working hard on orphan works including hosting a number of independent filmmakers in Washington, DC, to talk to their members of Congress about the issue.
A big part of the political debate has to do with the lack of some sort of publicly searchable visual registry. Photographers, graphic artists, furniture, and pattern design makers have hard time being found with the current copyright registry–because it's basically descriptive text. Yep, it's that lame–imagine searching for an image by describing it with text.
So, politically, that's one thing we think an orphan works solution needs–a visual registry. We think it would solve a lot of the visual artists' problems and go a long way to unorphan works in the future.