On May 24th, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works (i.e. works whose copyright owner cannot be identified or located). According to the proposal, its main objective is “to create a legal framework to ensure the lawful, crossborder online access to orphan works contained in online digital libraries or archives operatedby a variety of institutions that are specified in the proposal when such orphan works are used in the pursuance of the public interest mission of such institutions.” These rules are, for example, necessary in order to support large-scale digitisation projects such as Europeana.

Source
European Commission, ec.europa.eu