Actually I suspect that the real problem will be international. Using an 'orphan' image whose owner then turns up and is not a UK national may mean that using the image (especially if its use on a world wide basis) is simply a breach of copyright in another country. I can't see a way around this and the result may be that UK users of 'orphan' works simply find themselves in trouble outside the UK. Overseas photographers take note, your images may be unsafe within the UK!
Orphans are everywhere. One country is indeed going it alone......
All those images posted without identifying "©my picture, my property, not yours" will be considered fair game once the law passes. Its great to show and share but for some the web is just one big, fat bucket of commercial resource that can be raided with minimal risk of penalty. It is called infringement, but that's about to change. Orphan works will legitimize this activity and the monies go to our government.
As a UK tax payer, facing a lifelong burden of bank bailout induced national debt, I should be grateful for every orphan that is found, licensed, used for whatever purpose and the money unclaimed. Unclaimed cash will go towards paying off the mountain of money the government gave to failed banks. But I just can't do it. Commercial exploitation of another photographers' creative endeavors is fine when the person holding the camera is rewarded, but orphan works rewards the uninvolved, the disconnected and undeserving and I just cannot endorse it. What our government is proposing is morally wrong.
1. Mark every image you ever post anywhere ©my picture, my property, not yours and embed your contact details in the metadata. Do it and do it now.
2. Write to your MP. Keep up the pressure. If you have had a reply, the chances are the reasoning is full of holes, lies and technically impossible ideas. Write back and point out the failings of their arguments.
An election is coming. There is a very undemocratic process called "Washup" were a few MPs get together and quickly rubber stamp legislation. If you want to legitimize orphan works, then sit back and do nothing. The MPs think there is no problem......if you disagree take action.
There is plenty of material here Why orphan works legislation is so wrong