The Register of Copyrights Bill (H.R. 1695 Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017) had its second roll call in the Senate, moving it closer to reality.
Currently, the Director (Register of Copyrights) Karen Temple Cleggett (acting) reports to the Librarian of Congress (Dr. Carla Hayden ), who has the authority to hire or fire anyone in the position. This bipartisan bill would remove the Register of Copyrights from the supervision of the Librarian. Instead, the job would be appointed by the president, serving for 10 years once confirmed by the senate.
Many professional creative groups support the bill. All are applauding the Library of Congress’s attempt to move into the 21st century by keeping up with the intellectual capitalism age – but I have a terrible feeling about politicizing intellectual property.
I don’t believe this is an attack on the first black woman Librarian of Congress or the first black woman Register of Copyrights. Allegedly, this bill has been in the works since 2013. My concern is, will everyone be allowed to create freely, or will our work become “work for hire” to large corporations, preventing our heirs from earning royalties on our creative products. Will this move eventually force creative entrepreneurs to lose ownership of their creations. Currently, this is not what’s up for the vote, but if “corporatists” are in power. Who’s to say it won’t change an individual’s ability to protect their creations.
HR 1695 passed the house on April 26, 2017. It is currently under review in the Senate.