I have been remiss in not noting that the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy has announced that their next CopyTalk webinar will take place on Thursday, April 6 from 2-3pm Eastern. Kyle K. Courtney, Copyright Advisor at Harvard University (and a superstar in the world of librarians interested in copyright), will talk about Harvard’s Copyright First Responders program. More information about the webinar, including a URL, can be found on ALA’s District Dispatch blog. It will be archived, and I’ll post a link to the recording sometime in the future.
In other copyright news, House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte has introduced a deeply perplexing piece of legislation in Congress, H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017. This bill would make the Register of Copyrights a Presidential appointee instead of an appointee of the Librarian of Congress. As the Library Copyright Alliance notes in its official statement in opposition to this bill, this change would politicize the position and likely result “in a Register more actively engaged in policy development than in competent management and modernization.” It is truly puzzling that the legislative branch would voluntarily cede its power to select and oversee a key advisor to Congress on an issue of national importance to the executive branch, which would make the Register less accountable to the American people. So far 30 congresspersons have signed on to the bill, which has been referred to the Judiciary Committee, as co-sponsors. If your representative is one of them, I encourage you to write to them to urge them to reconsider! Although I’m glad to say that my own representative is not on this list, I’m going to write to him anyway, and will post the letter here next week.