Copyright

As part of the copyright review, the House Judiciary Committee held 20 hearings which included testimony from 100 witnesses. Following these hearings, Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers invited all prior witnesses of the Committee’s copyright review hearings and other interested stakeholders to meet with Committee staff and provide additional input on copyright policy issues. In addition, the House Judiciary Committee conducted a listening tour with stops in Nashville, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles where they heard from a wide range of creators, innovators, technology professionals, and users of copyrighted works. In December 2016, Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers released the first policy proposal to come out of the Committee’s review of U.S. Copyright law. On March 23, 2017, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) introduced the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act. Additional policy proposals will be released.


Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers released a joint statement in support of their Copyright Review proposal.

"For years now, we have deliberately listened – through hearings, listening sessions, and site visits – to the views and concerns of stakeholders from all sides of the copyright debate. Now, it is time to move forward into the next stage. We intend to periodically release policy proposals on select, individual issue areas within the larger copyright system that are in need of reform where there is a potential for consensus. These policy proposals are not meant to be the final word on reform in these individual issue areas, but rather a starting point for further discussion by all stakeholders, with the goal of producing legislative text within each issue area..."

-Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers

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Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act



Since 2013, the House Judiciary Committee has been working on ways to improve the Copyright Office including making the Register a Presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed position in order to improve transparency, accountability, and efficiency at the Copyright Office.

On March 23, 2017, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) introduced the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, which is the product of months of bicameral, bipartisan discussions led by Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Senate Judiciary Committee Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act makes important changes to the selection process for the head of the U.S. Copyright Office, known as the Register of Copyrights. H.R. 1695 makes all future Registers of Copyrights within the Library of Congress subject to a Presidential nomination with the advice and consent of the Senate for a 10 year term. The bill will also create a Congressional panel to develop a nominee slate containing at least three names for the President to choose from. This bill retains a role for the Librarian in the selection process.

The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act was introduced with twenty-nine bipartisan cosponsors.

On March 29, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (H.R. 1695) by a vote of 27-1.

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