Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Copyright Office Belongs in a Library; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 7/23/15

Parker Higgins, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); The Copyright Office Belongs in a Library:
"The ALA is correct. The way to solve the problems of the Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress is not to separate the two. Rather, it's to dedicate resources better and push for more thoughtful leadership. On both counts, a smart choice for Librarian of Congress will help.
There are also historical reasons to leave it in place, dating back to the 1870 law that centralized key copyright functions in the Library. Most notably, the deposit requirement—that authors and artists submit copies of works they are registering for copyright—has provided enormous public value by building up the collection. Of course, the Copyright Office performs other functions. But operations like maintaining a catalog of registrations, providing technical assistance to legislators and executive branch agencies, and providing information services to the public are all better understood as being, on some level, library services.
So both ideologically and pragmatically speaking, any hasty moves to yank the Copyright Office out of the Library should be non-starters. The Copyright Office has an important role to play in protecting the public interest. It’s most likely to play that role if it answers to a Librarian."

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