Industry Praises House Passage Of The Register Of Copyrights Selection And Accountability Act

Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) board members at the U.S. Copyright Office earlier this year. Pictured (L-R): Ben Glover, Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA); John Shorney, acting-U.S. Register of Copyrights Karen Claggett; NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison; CMPA Board Member, Geoff Lorenz; and Roger Brown.

The U.S. House of Representatives today (April 26) overwhelmingly passed H.R. 1695 by a vote of 378-48 to adopted new rules in selecting the U.S. Register of Copyrights. Also known as “The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act,” the decision makes the Register of Copyrights a presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed position with a 10-year term limit.

The process includes choosing three nominees for the President to select from, one of whom would be appointed as U.S. Register of Copyrights to serve a 10-year term. The bill removes the appointment for the Librarian of Congress. The next step is approval by the U.S. Senate.

NSAI Board members Roger Brown and Ben Glover with Sr. Director of Operations Jennifer Turnbow at the U.S. Copyright Office earlier this year. Acting U.S. Register of Copyrights Karen Claggett and staff look on.

“This action was necessary and ultimately good for songwriters and other creators,” said NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison. “The new process will help ensure a properly qualified Register and includes a nominating process similar to one recommended by NSAI. This bill makes the Register more accountable to our elected officials and requires Senate confirmation.”

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite commented on the legislation, “At a time when creators constantly must defend their rights, it is critical that the Register of Copyrights is chosen carefully and vetted properly. Making this a presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed position not only adds the oversight needed to ensure this critical role is filled by someone up to the challenge, it also elevates the position to where it always should have been – amongst the ranks of the top officials within the administration. Additionally, the 10-year term will assist in maintaining continuity in the role across administrations. Copyright touches every industry and every person, and this bill is a good step towards ensuring the person advising Congress and helping determine policy for songwriters, artists and all creators is the best person for the job.”

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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