The New Yorker: Copywrong

Patry says that the BBC has a million hours of broadcasts in its archives that cannot be used, because no one knows who holds the rights. Before the Internet, the social cost of this obstacle was minimal. Only a few people had the time and the inclination to travel to where they could see or listen to archived broadcasts. But today, when everything can be made available to the entire world at minimal expense, it seems absurd to hold enormous amounts of content hostage to the threat of legal action from the odd descendant.

via Copywrong — The New Yorker.