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We Need Your Voice on the next Register of Copyrights

Posted by Advocacy Liaison on December 30, 2016

Copyright Office logoThe Graphic Artists Guild needs the help of all visual artists, and all creators and copyright holders.

Here’s the deal: as you probably know, this October, the Librarian of Congress removed Maria Pallante, the Register of Copyrights, from her position. This move was unprecedented, and is a blow to the creative community. Throughout her tenure as Register of Copyrights, Pallante demonstrated her willingness to listen to the concerns of creatives, and her interest in revisiting copyright law and modernizing the Copyright Office so that it can better serve rights holders and users.

Now the Librarian of Congress has taken a second unprecedented move. Instead of conferring with members of Congress and stakeholders, she’s decided to post a Survey Monkey poll, asking the general public to weigh in on the “knowledge, skills, and abilities” the new Register should possess, and what the top three priorities should be.

This means that those who want to weaken copyright protection for creators will be able to weigh in, and influence the selection process. 

So we’re asking all visual artists, and all who rely on a strong copyright system, to respond to the Library of Congress’ survey. Let the Library know that we need a Register who understands the value of copyright, recognizes the need for the Office to be modernized, and has the support of the creative community.

Below are survey responses you can cut-and-paste into the Library’s survey, or which you can use to base your own responses. (Thank you to ASMP, NPPA, and the Copyright Alliance for the original survey responses.)

Please share this message with your fellow creatives on social media, on your blogs, via email, etc. The Library is soliciting responses until January 31st. Let’s make sure our voice isn’t drowned out! #mycopyrightmatters #yourcopyrightmatters


Please cut-and-paste from the responses below, or use these as the basis for your own responses, and respond to the Library’s survey by January 31, 2017.


Model responses for LIbrary of Congress Survey on Register of Copyrights

1. What are the knowledge, skills, and abilities you believe are the most important for the Register of Copyrights?

The next Register of Copyrights must:
• be dedicated to both a robust copyright system and Copyright Office;
• recognize the important role that creators of copyrighted works play in promoting our nation’s financial well-being;
• have significant experience in, and a strong commitment to, the copyright law
•  have a substantial background in representing the interests of creators of copyright works;
•  possess a deep appreciation for the special challenges facing individual creators and small businesses in protecting their creative works.;
•  a keen understanding of, and a strong commitment to, preserving the longstanding and statutorily-based functions of the Copyright Office, especially its advising the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on domestic and international copyright issues; and
•  have the solid support of the copyright community.

2. What should be the top three priorities for the Register of Copyrights?

Priority #1: Continue the traditional and critical role of the Register as a forceful advocate for both a vibrant copyright system and a strong Copyright Office that works closely with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in promoting a strong and effective copyright law.

Priority #2:   A commitment to moving quickly to modernize the Copyright Office with a special focus on updating and making more affordable and simpler the registration and recordation processes.

Priority #3:  Working with Congress to achieve enactment of legislation creating a small claims process that finally provides individual creators with a viable means of protecting their creative efforts.

 3. Are there other factors that should be considered?

As a creative, I believe, to the extent possible, that the views of those whose works are protected by copyright law should be given greater weight in this survey than those who are not. It is also crucial that the views of the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, be given great deference in the selection of the next Register.

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