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The Guild Supports S.1010, “The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act”

Posted by Advocacy Liaison on May 05, 2017

The Graphic Artists Guild applauds the introduction of “The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act” into the Senate as S.1010 on May 2nd. In a show of bipartisan support, the bill was introduced by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member Diane Feinstein (D-CA), former chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and former Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The Guild supported the House version of the bill, H.R.1695, which passed the House on April 16 by 378-48.

S.1010 seeks to make the the Register of Copyrights a Presidential appointee for a 10-year term, with certain requirements: 

• The appointee must be selected from a list of candidates selected by the Speaker of the House, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the majority and minority leaders of the House and the Senate, and the Librarian of Congress.

• The appointee must be a U.S. citizen with professional experience in copyright law.

• The appointee must be capable of identifying and supervising a chief information officer responsible for managing modern information technology systems. 

Under current copyright law, the Register is appointed by the Librarian of Congress. The sudden removal of the previous Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, last October cast a spotlight on the need for greater autonomy of the Copyright Office. Along with a coalition of visual artist associations, the Guild has advocated for that, including making the Register of Copyrights a Presidential appointee. Doing so is also a vital step towards proceeding with modernization of the Copyright Office, which is vital to the concerns of graphic artists.

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