The University of Michigan has, through its Orphan Works Project, published thousands of orphan works online. This has caused some controversy because of the copyrights. Other libraries, including the University of California Cornell, Duke and John Hopkins, have already announced they are going to follow Michigan’s lead in publishing their orphan works.
The libraries are all part of the HathiTrust consortium. They publish the books in a shared repository online. One publisher has already reacted and called the publishing of orphan works “illegal”, according to the weblog Wired Campus.
The University of Michigan has tried to track down the copyright owners of the books, to no avail. The full texts of the orphan works will only be available on campus.