Reps Marino, Chu and Comstock just released text to house bill that would make the Copyright Office (mostly) independent from the Library of Congress. This is a good thing for authors, photographers, filmmakers and songwriters. And it’s all thanks to aggressive overreach by radical copyleft academics and librarians.
Let me explain.
Over the last decade once stodgy library organizations like the American Library Association have become quite hostile to the notion of copyright protections for authors, photographers and recording artists and filmmakers. They’ve also become quite friendly with Silicon Valley corporations like Google.
For example in 2003 the ALA filed an amicus brief in defense of P2P companies Grokster and Morpheus. In 2016 they sided with BIG CABLE and pirates against songwriters in BMG vs Cox. This again had the librarians on the wrong side of authors rights. I count at least another dozen times in between inwhich ALA has been on the wrong side of authors’ rights. And almost every time their amicus briefs were filed alongside amicus briefs from Silicon Valley companies.
Do you think rank and file librarians have any idea what the ALA is really up to? Most librarians who haven’t been in the Washington DC-Google-Copyleft-OSF bubble seem to understand that authors have inviolable rights and should be fairly compensated. I’m sure they understand that books don’t magically appear on the shelves of their libraries. Further I bet most of them understand that without copyright incentives, freedom of expression dependent would be dependent on corporate donations, private donors or government grants. Most sensible librarians get that controversial expression would not be funded. I suggest we all perform this little experiment. Go into your local public library and ask any of the librarians if they think the ALA should be expending members limited resources defending pirate sites or BIG CABLE outlaws like Cox (who were caught red handed faking copyright law compliance). I bet not a single rank and file librarian supports these initiatives or has any idea that the ALA is doing this on their behalf.
(Ed Note: I would say The ALA have always been pretty pro corporate, for instance they filed an Amicus brief FOR Texaco and AGAINST copyright holders in 1993).
In 2016 Librarian Dr Hayden, a Soros-OSF-Baltimore board member, was appointed the Librarian of Congress. What was her first act? She constructively terminated the long serving Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante by giving her the humiliating assignment of overseeing the Library of Congress Gift shop.
I did not make up that last part up. The gift shop. You can read Hayden’s letter to Pallante here.
Hayden appeared to be responding to a steady drumbeat from the usual (Google funded) copyleft suspects. The party line (and I do mean party line) was that Pallante was terrible because she kept giving federal agencies advice on copyright. You know, doing her job. Don’t bother trying to figure that out, like much of the nonsense that comes from the copyleft it makes absolutely no fucking sense. Especially since libraries don’t have a dog in the fight, they already have broad copyright exemptions.
I guess they want a Copyright Office that does nothing? That would certainly be helpful to pirate sites and companies like Google/YouTube that generate hundreds of millions of dollars from the unlicensed use of authors works. You don’t think that the Google funding is having some sort of effect on the policy positions that the ALA takes do you? Librarians of the world unite for the benefit of Silicon Valley corporations?
Anyway thanks stupid radical copyleft librarians. This was such blatant overreach, everyone could see it for what it was. A naked power grab. And congress doesn’t want it happening again. Looks like librarians have given us an independent Copyright Office.