Register of Copyrights should be subject to same nomination and consent process as other senior government officials

Original Article

Legislation that would elevate the position of Register of Copyrights has been introduced in the House of Representatives with the support of the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House judiciary committees along with 29 other cosponsors.

The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act would require that the Register must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate rather than chosen by the Librarian of Congress.

The Register is responsible for administering laws that protect both the owners and the users of valuable copyrights. As copyright law and policy have become increasingly complex and and contentious, there is no longer any justification for a complete absence of direct Congressional oversight in the selection of this important public official. Senate confirmation will improve accountability and transparency and allow the Copyright Office to function more effectively. This is an important first step in modernizing our copyright system.

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project
Hance Haney served as Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C. Haney spent ten years as an aide to former Senator Bob Packwood (OR), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications. He earned a B.A. in history from Willamette University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.