"When navigating digital access to archive films, copyright lawyers typically fetishize the law, while archivists tend to fear it. Claudy Op den Kamp invites a more nuanced response. Copyright is important, no doubt, but making meaning and doing history is also about tangible things, about places, policies, and — most importantly — people. This is an elegant and engaging book, a Catherine wheel of film history scholarship, throwing light and sparks in many directions." - Ronan Deazley, Professor of Copyright Law, Queen’s University Belfast
"This stylish book will be indispensable for everyone who cares about the future of the past. Grounded in deep scholarship and experience, it’s a case study in how copyright law shapes (or warps) cultural practice. While celebrating film preservation and the pleasures of working with found footage, Claudy Op den Kamp also reveals how pervasive anxieties over copyright compliance can hobble both memory institutions and filmmakers — and offers a bracing vision of the way forward." - Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law Emeritus, American University, Washington College of Law
"The Greatest Films Never Seen is a well-written exploration of the way film history is constructed in the contemporary film archive. Claudy Op den Kamp takes the reader on a rare journey into the collection policies of the film archive, by way of copyright issues and the intellectual property system. She offers readers instructive and straightforward information about copyright, orphan films and archival policies, as well as providing a thoughtful and necessary meditation on history making in the film archive." - Janna Jones, Professor of Creative Media & Film, Northern Arizona University
Orphan works, or artworks for which no copyright holder is traceable, pose a growing problem for museums, archives, and other heritage institutions. As they come under more and more pressure to digitize and share their archives, they are often hampered by the uncertain rights status of items in their collections. The Greatest Films Never Seen: The Film Archive and the Copyright Smokescreen uses the prism of copyright to reconsider human agency and the politics of the archive, and asks what the practical implications are for educational institutions, the creative industries, and the general public.