For Immediate Release
Today the House of Representatives adopted the "Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017" (H.R. 1695) to make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. American Library Association President-Elect James Neal released the following statement in response:
"The American Library Association (ALA) opposes H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017. As this bill moves to the Senate, ALA urges all senators to take special note of what the bill isn’t. Despite the arguments of its proponents, it isn’t related to modernization of the Copyright Office, which it will impede. It isn’t about protecting or advancing the long-term interests of all Copyright Office stakeholders, just its most powerful ones. And, by oddly outsourcing appointment of the Legislative Branch’s own copyright advisor to the Executive Branch, it isn’t the way for Congress to get the nonpoliticized counsel about fairly balanced copyright law on which the economy and public interest depend.
"The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed the Librarian of Congress just nine months ago because she is an expert in modernizing complex information systems in libraries and a proven manager of them: exactly what the Copyright Office needs. ALA urges the Senate to let Dr. Hayden build her own team, including the Register of Copyrights, to accomplish that mission without further delay. H.R. 1695 isn’t the way to get there. We urge the Senate to reject it."