As millions of musicians across the country know, copyright law, regulation and enforcement (or lack thereof) is a vitally important topic, impacting musicians’ ability to protect their artistic property and make a viable financial living through their recorded music. The Register of Copyright plays a vital role in this process, helping to determine whether millions of artists in the United States of America can protect their right to control their own property.
Currently, the Register of Copyrights is overseen by the Librarian of Congress, an arrangement made in 1870 when the vision of the Library of Congress expanded during the Lincoln administration under the leadership of Ainsworth Spofford. However, the demands and expectations of the library – providing access to work content to as many people as possible – does not adequately align with the needs of creators, who are increasingly unable to protect their property in a digital world.
House Resolution 1695 would amend the process of selecting a Register of Copyright, making the position a presidential appointment that would become confirmed by Congress. This would be an important step towards updating the Office of the Register of Copyright by beginning the needed process of separating these two incredibly important positions with very different functions and responsibilities. H.R. 1695 passed the Judiciary Committee by an overwhelming 27-1 vote.
Call your representative and tell them to support H.R. 1695! For a complete action toolkit, including a phone script, supplemental reading and tools to find your representative, please contact the Political Action Department at (212) 245-4802, ext. 176. NOTE: It is possible that H.R. 1695 comes to the House floor (and maybe even the Senate) prior to May 1. For the latest information, please see http://bit.ly/2pb1BIf