Librarian of Congress Might Have Her Powers Slashed and Given to the President

14th Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, 2016, via Wikimedia

On April 26, 2017, the House of Representatives voted 378 to 48 in favor of the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (H.R. 1695)…The bill’s name implies that it focuses on the mundane details of copyright law, and to some extent, it does. But it also limits the position of Librarian of Congress. In particular, if it is passed by the Senate, the act will prevent Hayden from appointing the next Register of Copyrights.

Instead, the power to choose the next Register of Copyrights will fall to the executive branch. More specifically, it will rest in the hands of current President Donald Trump.”

— — —

You can read the full article and details of the bill over at Book Riot. I’ll be honest that the way the law is currently written saddens me. US copyright laws undoubtedly need to be overhauled – they haven’t kept up with the changes of the digital era, and independent creators have fallen through the cracks – but I don’t think this act accomplishes those changes. It does, however, give more power to the office of the president.

But I’m also not a specialist in copyright law. What do you all think? Does this new bill send us down a good path, or should we encourage Congress to find another solution? Regardless, I’ll be keeping an eye on how the bill develops.


19 thoughts on “Librarian of Congress Might Have Her Powers Slashed and Given to the President

  1. And more generally, anything that gives power to the Head of State in any country needs to be examined to see how closely it narrows the path to dictatorship. Control of copyright law is an interesting one. What if the state held copyright over anything that was produced as part of a government contract. Anything.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Kristen. I need to look into this, although undoubtedly things will need to be changed/tweaked/updated and most likely fought for on some level. The one fact that I’m certain on at this point is that no president should ever have control over our freedom of speech, whether it be spoken or written. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There are so many proposed changes lately (including the recently released budget for fiscal year 2018!) that it is hard to keep up with everything. If nothing else, it is good to have the change to talk to other people about these issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If this had been Facebook I would have put an ‘angry face’ instead of the ‘like’. Though not an American I’m shocked by some of the things your new president has been doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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