This one looks like a ‘devil in the details’ matter.
In principle, dealing with the orphan works problem would be a good idea. Currently, nobody wins. Whoever owns the copyright isn’t gettting paid; because nobody knows who to offer money to; and the public cannot safely use these works because of the potential cost if an owner were to pop up. An arrangement were works either have someone you can at least ask(they don’t have to say yes), or are safe to use if no such owner is available would be a good thing.
The question, though, is how the real-world implementation of ‘determining the author of a work’ will work; what will suffice as a ‘good faith’ search for an owner, and so on.
It’s not hard to see why the artists might be concerned: the history of ‘Performance Rights Organizations’(ASCAP, BMI, SESAC; others outside the US) is not exactly glorious; those are notorious for aggressively shaking down the public and various venues; but being…less efficient…at disbursing their collections to the artists they allegedly represent. In some cases, if you are a little to ‘indie’, you may end up getting nothing.
If an orphan-works ‘solution’ ends up along similar lines(Hey artists, if you aren’t in Getty Images, I can just place an ad in the Podunk Daily News and declare your work orphaned if you don’t respond within a week!) then it’s hard to argue that the artists haven’t been screwed over. I don’t know enough about the legislative players to know how close to this exciting dystopia we are; but it’s hardly wildly implausible. The music PROs are a known trainwreck; and given the somewhat…sluggish…state of the USPTO, LoC, etc. I can easily imagine a “Hey, let’s do this with the awesomesauce of private enterprise and make a small cartel of data brokers the authoritative source!” ‘solution’ being proposed.
So, that’s the thing: A well-implemented orphan-works provision is something that I’d wholly support, and I’d view anyone who doesn’t support it as either confused, or actively looking to keep the public domain impoverished to ensure a continued supply of commisions for new work(not irrational behavior if your stock in trade is stock photos or the like; but wholly self-interested and not in accord with the purpose of copyright).
However, a badly-implemented orphan works provision could well be a total screwjob; and speculating that the one we actually get might well be badly implemented is hardly tinfoil hat stuff. We’d need more and better data about the proposals on the table.