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house Bill H.R. 1695

Should the Register of Copyrights be Nominated by the President?

Argument in favor

This bill would strengthen the authority of the Copyright Office and require candidates to be Register of Copyrights to be vetted by Congress, nominated by the president, and confirmed by the Senate.

Jonathan's Opinion
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04/26/2017
Anyone saying "against" because of Trump or because of politicization should read the bill summary.
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David's Opinion
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04/26/2017
I think Congressional involvement would be a good thing.
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Cameron's Opinion
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04/26/2017
Voted 'yea', but does this mean that Melania would be
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Argument opposed

This change could delay modernization efforts at the Copyright Office and lead to conflict between the Register of Copyrights and the Librarian of Congress, who could no longer remove the Register.

viceabbess's Opinion
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04/26/2017
I am a voter in Ohio's 12th congressional district and I urge you to oppose this bill. President Trump already has so many conflicts of interest; he should not be able to influence copyrights unchecked.
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Paula's Opinion
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04/26/2017
There is no reasonable justification for the politicization of the position, none whatsoever.
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Wylaina's Opinion
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04/26/2017
The Librarian of Congress knows more about copyright and can hire the right person. The President should concentrate on other matters.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Rules and Administration
  • The house Passed April 26th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 378 Yea / 48 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMarch 23rd, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 1695?

This bill would change the selection process for the head of the U.S. Copyright Office by creating a selection panel composed of members of Congress and the Librarian of Congress. The panel would submit a list of at least three qualified candidates to the president for his or her consideration. Then the president would nominate an individual from the list, who would then need to be confirmed by the Senate.

The Register would be limited to a 10-year term that’d be renewable if they’re nominated and confirmed again, and could only be removed for cause.

Impact

The Copyright Office and the Register of Copyrights; the Library of Congress; Congress; and the president.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1695

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced this bill as part of the effort to modernize the Copyright Office:

“Over the last few years we have been working together in a bipartisan fashion to review our copyright laws.  This initiative is designed to determine whether the laws are still working in the digital age to reward creativity and innovation.  While we are fully committed to continuing the work of our copyright review and our efforts to modernize the Copyright Office, there is an immediate need when it comes to the selection process for the next Register of Copyrights… In the past, the authority of the Copyright Office to conduct rule makings has been challenged in the courts because the Register is not currently Presidentially-appointed. This bipartisan legislation would put to rest, once and for all, that question, and ensures that the Register is accountable to Congress.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has expressed concern that enacting this bill could lead to conflict between the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office by taking away the ability of the Librarian of Congress to remove the Register of Copyrights. Lofgren fears that this legislation “delays Copyright Office modernization, harms the public, harms content creators, increases tension between the Library and Copyright Office, and harms Copyright Office employees.”

This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee on a 27-1 vote, with Rep. Lofgren as the lone dissenter. The bill has the bipartisan support of 33 cosponsors, including 22 Republicans and 11 Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: naypinya via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend title 17, United States Code, to provide additional responsibilities for the Register of Copyrights, and for other purposes.

    Anyone saying "against" because of Trump or because of politicization should read the bill summary.
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    I am a voter in Ohio's 12th congressional district and I urge you to oppose this bill. President Trump already has so many conflicts of interest; he should not be able to influence copyrights unchecked.
    Like (219)
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    There is no reasonable justification for the politicization of the position, none whatsoever.
    Like (181)
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    The Librarian of Congress knows more about copyright and can hire the right person. The President should concentrate on other matters.
    Like (149)
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    The fact that this bill is coming up while THIS president is in the White House, with so many conflicts of interest and an empire built on copyrights, makes me very concerned. No more power should be given to this (or any) leader of the executive branch of our government.
    Like (94)
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    Vote NO on HR1695. The Library of Congress belongs to Congress, not the Executive Branch.
    Like (41)
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    Do not politicize this position.
    Like (38)
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    No politician, esp THIS president, should have any control over appointing the head of Copyright Dept. The Congressional Librarian has done a fine job thus far and there is NO reason to change it.
    Like (37)
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    Boy I wonder how much the President could benefit from appointing the person in charge of copyrights. PASS, just another way for him to enrich himself. Let the process stay as is.
    Like (29)
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    There are better and more important ways to improve copyright law. Giving this president any authority in this office is in itself a conflict of interest.
    Like (22)
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    No! This is the Librarian of Congress job. No president should have the right to determine what is and is not copy written. That's terrifying for so many reasons.
    Like (16)
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    I believe Jared Kushner has enough on his plate. So let's let someone other than The(ir) President pick this individual.
    Like (16)
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    Nothing good could come of this. He has no more expertise in that area than he does in governing. Any action he took would only be self serving.
    Like (15)
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    Too all the yay-Sayers, all this ensures is that the register of copyrights becomes another puppet of the Trump Agenda, whatever the hell that even is at this point.
    Like (13)
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    Question: How can Presidential Appointees be unbiased? Most appointees are selected because of their friendship and or relationship with the person appointing them. If this is to become truly unbiased then this person should be a civil servant. That way the qualifications can be thoroughly vetted.
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    This position should not be politicized period. But especially not now with all the Trump and Kushner conflicts of interest.
    Like (11)
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    It should be a civil service position so they can be completely unbiased, NOT a political appointee.
    Like (9)
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    This is a ridiculous bill. Private property in this country is a privilege. Politicizing the copy right process will in no way protect that privilege.
    Like (9)
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    This is not part of the president's scope of responsibility at all. Let the Library of Congress do it's job.
    Like (7)
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    I cannot trust this President to nominate anyone that would not benefit himself, his friends and his family.
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