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.
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: naypinya via Flickr / Creative Commons)