Frontiers of Freedom released by the following statement by its President, George Landrith regarding Copyright Office Modernization:
Intellectual Property Rights are an increasingly important part of the U.S. economy and account for an ever larger portion of our economic growth and output. For example, copyright industries account for more than $1 trillion of the nation’s GDP which is about one dollar out of every 14 in the economy, and they provide 5.5 million American jobs. Those numbers are only likely to increase in the future.
But the Copyright Office is housed in the Library of Congress and competes with other Library priorities, often to its detriment. One consequence is outdated IT systems which adds unnecessary complexity to the market at the expense of rights-holders and consumers. With tremendous growth in copyright industries expected and its increasingly important role in our modern economy, it is critical that we modernize the Copyright Office, thereby ensuring that an important part of our economy and a clear engine for future economic growth will remain strong.
Recently, Congress began discussions that suggest they may begin working on how to modernize the Copyright Office. This is welcomed news. We need a Copyright Office with greater autonomy and technological sophistication to better serve the creative marketplace.
As a conservative, I’m glad to see Congress focus on this important issue because it is one of their clearly enumerated powers under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution saying that Congress shall have the power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to the respective Writings and Discoveries.”
While the details need to be worked out, modernization of the Copyright Office should be a high priority for Congress.