Goodlatte Introduces Bill on Register of Copyright Appointment

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By Mike Wilczek

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte and John Conyers, Jr., the panel’s ranking member, today introduced a bill to make the register of copyrights a presidential appointment confirmed by the Senate.

The bill would would also limit the register, who heads the Copyright Office, to a ten-year term which is renewable by another presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. Currently, the Librarian of Congress appoints the register of copyrights, who is also the director of the Copyright Office.

The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, was the product of bipartisan and bicameral discussions, according to a press release from the House Judiciary Committee. Besides Conyers, the bill has 29 cosponsors, including eight Democrats.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to the selection process for a new Register of Copyrights,” Goodlatte (R-Va.), Conyers (D-Mich.), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a joint statement.

The bill doesn’t include provisions to shift the office outside the Library of Congress. Rep. Thomas A. Marino (R-Pa.) re-introduced Feb. 6 the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act (H.R. 890) that aims to split the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress.

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