Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Abrupt Changes in the U.S. Copyright Office

Maria Pallante
Pallante before Congress
Friday (Oct. 21), the Registrar of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, was moved into a new position within the Library of Congress (LOC). Reports say that she was surprised by the move. She was also surprised to learn that her access to LOC computer systems changed that morning.  Removing someone's access to systems sends an unsettling signal both to the person and to those around her.  In this case, the unsettled signal is reverberating throughout the copyright community.  Today Pallante resigned her new position and left the LOC, leaving us to ask many question including:
  • Pallante was supportive of both creators and musicians.  Did this cause problems that could only be fixed by her removal?
  • Pallante had embarked on several initiatives to update Copyright Law.  Was this seen as too ambitious?  Did these initiatives cause problems with an industry that then lobbied for her removal?
  • Since we all love conspiracy theories...is this somehow Google's doing?
  • Did the fact that Pallante called for the Copyright Office to be separated from the Library of Congress cause her demise?
Clearly we'll need to wait for these answers (or rumors of answers).  We will also need to wait to see what impact this has on copyright reform.

There are numerous articles on this, including these:

No comments: