It's pretty clear that Congress is intent on passing some sort of Orphan Works legislation at some point. This year seems more likely than last year.
There are so many issues with this, but a big one I see right away is that it might actually cost many artists more to defend their right in court (to earn fees from assigning licenses of their own works that they neglected to register until they knew someone wanted to use it) than they would normally get from licensing the work in question.
Another big question is how the legislation will treat use "for profit" compared to, for instance, someone posting an image on their own website without compensation.
I also imagine this will really throw a wrench into clearances since many people will assume that if a picture hasn't been registered for some time, they are then free to post images of anyone in the pictures - even without a release from the subject(s) of a picture. It may open up a pandora's box of privacy concerns.
Thanks for the heads up. Looks like I need to do some late night studying about this.