Legislative Alert

Letter Supporting Legislation That Strengthens U.S. Copyright Office

The Honorable Roy Blunt, Chairman
The Honorable Amy Klobuchar, Ranking Member
Senate Rules and Administration
301 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Blunt and Klobuchar:

The AFL-CIO urges you to support the bipartisan Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017 (S. 1010), which the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration will consider in a hearing scheduled for this week. Working people in the arts and entertainment industry will greatly benefit from the improvements this bill will make to a well-functioning, impartial U.S. Copyright Office (USCO).

This bipartisan legislation was introduced by Senators Grassley, Feinstein, Hatch, and Leahy. On April 26, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar measure on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis, 378-48. S. 1010 will make the Register of Copyrights a principal officer under the United States Constitution, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The bill will strengthen the independence of the USCO, and it will give the American people the opportunity to weigh in on the selection process through their elected representatives.

The Copyright Office plays a crucial, if often overlooked, role in our nation's thriving creative economy. The core U.S. copyright industries contribute more than $1.2 trillion dollars to the GDP and employ more than 5.5 million workers, including many of our members. Their income is dependent on the strong administration and enforcement of our copyright laws, and we believe S. 1010 will facilitate these objectives.

William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department