Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Let’s Make The Copyright Office Less Political, Not More; Electronic Frontier foundation (EFF), March 27, 2017

Kerry Sheehan, Electronic Frontier foundation (EFF); 

Let’s Make The Copyright Office Less Political, Not More

"In sum, we’ll have a Register, and a Copyright Office, that is accountable only to the President and the special interests that helped get them approved in the first place.  That will inevitably accelerate the politicization of the Office.
Under the current system, the official in charge of selecting the Register is a member of the one community that can usually be trusted to think about all of the interests copyright law affects: librarians.  As we’ve said before, libraries have an institutional obligation to serve the public, and to support access to knowledge and culture. Given copyright’s constitutional mandate to promote progress, we think the Office’s mission is best served when it is subject to the oversight and guidance of the library community.
It’s bad enough that Congress and the public can no longer look to the Register as a neutral arbiter of copyright policy.  We shouldn’t make the problem worse by effectively making the Copyright Office into an independent regulator and policymaker. Instead, the Register should remain an advisor to Congress and an administrator of the registration system."

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