February 1, 2017
AAP Submits its Views on the Reform of the Copyright Office and the Register of Copyrights
Today, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) submitted its comments in response to the House Judiciary Committee’s Proposal to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office. AAP and its members enthusiastically welcome this First Policy Proposal (“Proposal”) from Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers arising out of the House Judiciary Committee’s thorough review of U.S. copyright law. We commend the Committee for its careful work in arriving at this point and we note further that the timing of the Committee's work could also present an important appointment opportunity for the new President. AAP believes that modernizing the technology infrastructure of the Copyright Office and both the appointments process and portfolio of the Register of Copyrights are an outstanding legislative starting point for the Committee in modernizing the overall copyright framework of the United States. AAP is also pleased to note the significant overlap between the Proposal and the Draft Principles for Copyright Office Structural Improvements and Modernization Legislation, circulated by the leadership of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in July 2016. You can read our full submission here.
AAP also participated in the Library of Congress survey seeking information on the expertise and qualifications of the Register of Copyrights. We believe the next Register should focus on developing and implementing policies for a sustainable online environment for both rightsholders and users; modernizing the Copyright Office by promptly initiating implementation of the Copyright Office’s IT modernization plan; and, developing and implementing more effective means for public education on copyright law, particularly on its economic and social impact on creators and users of copyrighted works. We also urged the Librarian to consult with and coordinate closely with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees which, in addition to having substantive legislative jurisdiction over copyright law, are currently considering proposals to update the statutory terms for the appointment and service of the next Register of Copyrights. You can read our full submission here.