Two sides to the orphan issue?
I make model boats as a hobby.
At the moment I am running a project intended to 'save' as many of the old 1930s-1960s model boat kit plans. These kits were typically created by small 'garage' companies post WW2, and went out of business as the owner died. The inheritors of the estate were typically uninterested in continuing the business - any equipment would have been sold and no archives maintained. So all data on the kits and plans would have been withdrawn from sale and lost.
Fragments of these kits exist in attics around the country - now usually dumped in a house clearance after a death. I am producing a web repository for such information where it can be cleaned up, cataloged and made freely available to other modellers. Copyright issues are obviously considered - for instance, where a larger modeling company bought up all assets they are assumed to have the IP and asked for permission to publish. But in many cases the relatives of the original creator (those I can manage to find) knew nothing about any IP that they may have inherited, and, of course, had no documentation from their grandparents of 70 years ago of any kind.
I still contact and inform them when I can, following the proposed EU Orphan procedure. They would be hard for a professional company to find - even harder for an amateur. When found, you might have the interesting issue of who, amongst all the surviving relatives, actually owns any of this IP - if it is ignored I suppose it is split equally between ALL the inheritees? Which would make saving it an impossible task if I had to find all branches of the family. Instead, if I treat it as an orphan, I can process it without being criminalised.
I receive no money from this - it is all done to try to record and preserve data which is in danger of being completely lost. The data is made freely available to everyone as part of the common heritage of humanity. This is the issue which the 'orphan' clause in the Copyright legislation is trying to address.
There may well be things wrong with the current proposals, and opportunities for big companies to ignore the rights of small copyright holders. But I think that the item should have mentioned the real issue that caused the proposal in the first place - not so much the existence of unattributed information in libraries, but the impossibility of collecting and saving unattributed historical information from the world if ALL data must be owned by somebody, and permission obtained before it is processed.