From the Hill

Congress Looks at the Copyright Office

Hayden W. Gregory

©2015. Published in Landslide, Vol. 7, No. 5, May/June 2015, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Recent hearings in the House Judiciary Committee have produced calls for changes in the structure and operations of the Copyright Office of the United States. Most of the changes being proposed would move the Office in the direction of greater autonomy and independence from the Library of Congress. Some would go so far as to remove the Office, physically and legally, from the Library, or from the legislative branch entirely if in fact it currently resides there—an issue on which authorities and policy makers disagree. Options under discussion include reestablishing the Office as an independent government agency, completely separate from the Library of Congress. Discussion has also included dusting off and revisiting a mid-1990s Senate proposal for reorganizing U.S. governmental activities in patent, trademark, and copyright matters in a single government corporation.

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