Better tools to identify works in the public domain are being developed.
Orphan works authors are unknown, or the actual date they became public domain is unknown.
Libraries are beginning to take a chance by displaying work with a special notice that advises the public that its appearance on the website is not guaranteed that it can be used for any purpose. In this way pubic domain and orphan works can slowly begin to see the light of day.
Fair use plays a critical role in the analog world where duplicating technology is cumbersome and authors make money by controlling copies. It balances authors' rights to reasonable compensation with the public's rights to the ideas contained in copyrighted works.
Copyright law provides educators with a separate set of rights in addition to fair use, to display and perform others' works in the classroom. These rights are in Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act and apply to any work, regardless of the medium.
The TEACH Act expands educators' rights to perform and display works and to make the copies integral to such performances and displays for digital distance education, making the rights closer to those we have in face-to-face teaching.