Re:Create Recap – April 27, 2017

Re:Create Coalition Calls On Senate To Oppose H.R. 1695. The Re:Create Coalition issued a statement following the House’s approval of H.R. 1695, a bill that would make the Register of Copyrights – the head of the U.S. Copyright Office – a presidential appointee: “We are disappointed that the House failed to stop this flawed bill from passage. We can’t allow the content industry to disrupt the Register of Copyrights selection process and tilt the balance of the Copyright Office in its favor. The Copyright Office’s mission to serve the public is too important and must be protected.” The Coalition urged the Senate to oppose the legislation.

Pro-Consumer, Pro-Innovator Groups Urge Senate To Reject Bill To Make Copyrights Register A Presidential Appointee. Several other groups issued statements urging the Senate to oppose the Register of Copyrights Bill, H.R. 1695, after it passed the House. American Library Association President-Elect James Neal said, “Despite the arguments of its proponents, it isn’t related to modernization of the Copyright Office, which it will impede. It isn’t about protecting or advancing the long-term interests of all Copyright Office stakeholders, just its most powerful ones.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation expressed disappointment “that so many in Congress chose to put the interests of powerful media and entertainment industries above those of the public as a whole…”

Hollywood Seeks To Make Register Of Copyrights Its Own In-House Lobbyist. Ahead of this week’s vote on the Register of Copyrights bill (H.R. 1695), Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kerry Maeve Sheehan penned an op-ed for The Hill urging opposition to the legislation. Sheehan answers the question of why the entertainment industry is rushing this bill: “Unfortunately, it is likely because the new appointment process will increase the ability of the incumbent copyright lobby to influence the Copyright Office, to the detriment of consumers, creators and innovators.”

Turn The Beat Around: New Podcast On How Copyright Empowers Social Justice. Lateef Mtima, Professor of Law at the Howard University School of Law and Founder and Director of The Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, points to the Constitution to remind listeners that copyright’s “most important function is to provide people with knowledge, to educate themselves…to share ideas and information.” From the Black Lives Matter movement, to the high profile “Blurred Lines” case that has pitted Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams against Marvin Gaye’s estate, and even led to varying opinions across the full spectrum of the copyright community, Mtima brings to light copyright discussions that are playing out in communities and the courts in real time for the fifth episode of our Copy This podcast.