Judiciary Committee Leaders Set Stage for Copyright Debate

Yesterday, the top two leaders of the House Judiciary Committee put out a marker to set the stage for copyright reform considerations in the next Congress.  In particular, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) focused their first policy proposal on the structure and operation of the U.S. Copyright Office.

In addition to suggesting technology upgrades, the chairman and ranking member recommended that the Register of Copyrights, currently appointed by the Librarian of Congress, instead be approved through the advice and consent process of Congress and be given a 10-year term limit. They also suggested adding positions to aid the Register, including Chief Economist, Chief Technologist, and a Deputy Register, as well as new standing and ad-hoc advisory committees.

In their joint statement, the Judiciary Committee leaders indicated more proposals will be forthcoming. They said, “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.”

More information about this first Copyright Office proposal is here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: December 9, 2016

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