The article examines the problem of orphan works in general. Orphan works are copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or impossible to identify and/or locate after a diligent search has been conducted. The article introduces the nature of the problem and how it emerged. There are various reasons for the creation of the problem of orphan works and the authors undertake a qualitative approach to a thorough investigation that reveals that orphan works have become a significant challenge. [---]