ARROW, the acronym for Accessible Registries of Rights Information and Orphan Works towards Europeana, is a project of a consortium of European national libraries, publishers and collective management organisations, also representing writers. It ran from September 2008 to February 2011, delivering a rights information infrastructure meant to facilitate rights information management in any digitisation project involving text-based works, thus addressing the challenges of orphan works, out-of-commerce books, clearance of protected material and interoperability between public and private collections. The system was first set up in France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
Following the ARROW project, the European Commission recognised the work performed by the ARROW project consortium by co-financing a new phase for ARROW: the ARROW Plus project. Started in February 2011, it ended successfully in December 2013, having enhanced the system built in the previous phase and integrated 12 more countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal.
The Arrow Association has been established to run the system after the end of the project phases and to ensure its sustainability and manage the use cases.
ARROW is a tool to assist ‘diligent search’ for the rights status and rightsholders of text-based works in an automated, streamlined and standardised way, thus reducing time and costs of the search process. ARROW provides users with a user-friendly system to access multiple sources of rights information.