Saturday, November 12, 2016

Murder (or not) at the Library of Congress?; Washington Post, 10/31/16

David Post, Washington Post; Murder (or not) at the Library of Congress? :
"We’ll likely never know the details of Pallante’s departure from her job. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the logical explanation is probably the actual one. I have no difficulty believing that Hayden and Pallante are both principled, independent, capable people who disagreed on a structural matter so fundamental to the future of the library and the Copyright Office that it was simply not possible for them both to continue in the jobs to which they had been appointed. The Copyright Act gives the librarian supervisory authority over the register of copyrights: “The Register of Copyrights, together with the subordinate officers and employees of the Copyright Office, shall be appointed by the Librarian of Congress, and shall act under the Librarian’s general direction and supervision.” (17 U.S.C. § 701.) Hayden operated within her authority when she reassigned Pallante to another position within the Library of Congress. The register graciously and understandably declined the new appointment.
Those of us who care about the future of the copyright system and the important cultural values it is intended to further — and we are a big tent full of strong-minded people — should get to work finding the next register of copyrights. It’s past time to move beyond the suspicion and rancor that have come to dominate debates over copyright policy. We have a new librarian of Congress, and we will soon have a new register of copyrights. As a community of big and small creators and technologists, we should help the librarian and the register work together to build a more technologically advanced and operationally focused Copyright Office."

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