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Rep. Chu Praises House Vote to Improve the Copyright Office

April 26, 2017
Press Release

Today, the House voted to pass H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017. The bill would change the selection process for the head of the Copyright Office to be a Presidential nominee confirmed by the Senate. Currently, the Register of Copyrights is appointed by the Librarian of Congress, since the Copyright Office is housed within the Library of Congress. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), co-founder and co-chair of the Creative Rights Caucus, who has been an advocate for this change, released the following statement:

“I am so pleased that the House has taken this much needed bipartisan step towards improving the Copyright Office. The underlying bill is a result of more than three years of hearings, listening tours, and dozens of conversations with a wide range of stakeholders. As the House Judiciary Committee finished its thorough review of the Copyright Act, there was broad consensus that the Copyright Office should be modernized and restructured.

“I commend Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers for their bipartisan leadership in the bill’s passage today. Copyright industries contribute over one trillion dollars to our economy, but creators are hampered by an out of date Copyright Office. Making the Register of Copyrights a Presidentially appointed position confirmed by the Senate will ensure that the office is more responsive to all stakeholders. This will also increase the Copyright Office’s accountability to Congress and the public.

“And I am pleased that my amendment was included. This simple amendment makes clear that this bill is not intended to change the requirement that makes copyrighted material available to the Library of Congress. For the sake of our future and our economic growth, I am glad that we could  take this bipartisan step to improve the functionality of the Copyright Office.”

H.R. 1695 passed by a vote of 378-161. On April 21, Rep. Chu published an op-ed in The Hill in support of H.R. 1695. Along with Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), Rep. Chu introduced H.R. 890, the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy (CODE) Act. This bill proposes structural improvements to the Copyright Office, which includes the changes in H.R. 1695 such as requiring the Register position to be appointed by the President and consented by the Senate.