Washington, D.C. — Today the House of Representatives will consider the bipartisan Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (H.R. 1695), which makes important changes to the selection process for the head of the U.S. Copyright Office, known as the Register of Copyrights. The legislation — introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) — enjoys the support of a broad coalition representing many vital sectors of the American economy.
Here’s some of what stakeholders are saying. The full list of supporters can be found here.
The Copyright Alliance: “The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act represents an important first step in the efforts to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office. Few government offices are more essential to the economy, jobs and creativity in the United States than the U.S. Copyright Office. This bill, which is the result of over four years of copyright policy hearings held by the House Judiciary Committee, demonstrates the growing importance and the need for a more prominent role for the position of Register of Copyrights.”
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA): “We agree with the respective leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that the Register of Copyrights is an immensely important position both to creators and the economy. Look no further than the fact that the copyright industries contribute more than $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy. The appointment of the head of the United States Copyright Office should therefore be nominated by the President and subject to a thorough Senate confirmation process — just as the head of the Patent and Trademark Office is — to ensure that he or she is ready to serve as the guardian of the world’s most important copyright system. This bill sets the course to do just that, and we fully support it.”
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA): “It’s time to modernize the Copyright Office, which includes putting the Register – a critical steward of the Constitutionally-enshrined principle of copyright – on equal footing with fellow appointees who oversee similarly significant and vital industries.
“Importantly, the legislation will enable the American people and all interested parties to provide input through their elected officials into the selection of the Register.”
Oracle: “Making the head of the Copyright Office a Presidential appointee, subject to advice and consent of the Senate, is an important first step in a series of needed reforms that will empower the Copyright Office to better serve the public interest and meet the Constitutional mandate to ‘promote the progress of science and useful arts.’
“A strong and effective Copyright Office needs independent and highly qualified leadership. As Senators Grassley, Feinstein and Leahy and Congressmen Goodlatte and Conyers have noted, elevating the Register of Copyrights to a Presidential appointment with Senate confirmation will ensure that all stakeholders have an opportunity to provide input into the selection of future Registers of Copyright through their elected officials. This selection process will be both more transparent and more rigorous. Elevating the Register will also place the position on equal footing with other senior government officials responsible for developing and administering the nation’s intellectual property, competition, and trade laws and policies. The change will raise the profile of the Copyright Office within the U.S. government and abroad, reflecting the significant and expanding role that U.S. copyright plays in the American and global economies.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Innovative and creative industries are encouraged by Congress’ commitment to the ongoing process to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office. The office plays a critical role in fostering American creativity and innovation: copyright-intensive industries support 5.6 million jobs in the U.S. alone.”
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB): “As representatives of both significant owners and users of copyrighted material, NAB supports passage of this bill and will continue to work with lawmakers on broader efforts to modernize the copyright office.”
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR): “America’s copyrighted industries are the envy of the world and one of our greatest exports. Making the Register a Presidential appointment confirmed by the Senate is the first step in bringing the Office up-to-speed with the modern booming copyright industry. In America we protect people’s property and respect originality.”
AFL-CIO: “The AFL-CIO strongly believes that working people in the arts and entertainment industry stand to benefit from a well-functioning, impartial Copyright Office. By finally making the Register of Copyrights a principal officer under the Constitution, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, USCO will be able to fully exercise the various authorities granted in the U.S. Copyright Act. Furthermore, it will give the American people the opportunity to weigh in on the Register selection process every ten years through their elected officials.”
Former Register of Copyrights Ralph Oman and Marybeth Peters: “We support this legislation because it accords the Office of the Register the respect it deserves as steward of copyright policy and the creative economy. It also gives Congress a formalized role in selecting its statutorily designated copyright adviser, improves accountability, and increases transparency by allowing citizen input into the selection of the Register through their elected officials.”
Intellectual Property Owners Association: “Intellectual Property Owners Association strongly supports the bill as an important first step toward modernizing the Copyright Office and giving it the autonomy it requires to deliver high quality services to its stakeholders and advice to Congress that is not filtered through another institution that does not share its mandate.”
Learn more about the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act by clicking here.