This blog is a guest blog for the Copyright Alliance.
On December 8, SIIA submitted a statement for the record on the Committee on House Administration’s Hearing on Improving Customer Service for the Copyright Community. SIIA’s members rely heavily on copyright law to protect the creation and dissemination of their products and services. An effective, well-administered copyright law is essential to the success and productivity of these companies and the U.S. economy as a whole.
As an SIIA white paper mentions, there are numerous serious concerns with the Copyright Office which include the Office’s IT infrastructure and security and staffing and budget. SIIA members have seen service outages, extensive wait times for record transfers, inefficient deposit formats, and delays in the registration of their rights. Needless to say, these problems have been a hindrance to our member companies for years.
While we do not doubt that the Library is doing its best to fix them, nothing we heard at that hearing assuages our concerns. The Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, suggested that the continuation of the existing relationship between the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office would serve only to continue a policy that history has shown to be a failure. We agree. The Library must be a repository and disseminator of copyrighted works and the Copyright Office must facilitate an efficient and transparent copyright marketplace. In an increasingly digital world, these missions simply do not align and the effects of this conflict will only worsen.
SIIA will continue to work with Congress on this issue as we are concerned with the Library’s ability to productively and efficiently house the Copyright Office.