Significant Copyright Legislation Advances

Library Copyright Alliance

Library Copyright Alliance LogoMembers of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) — the American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, and ACRL — have been deeply engaged in recent noteworthy legislation affecting copyright.

On September 25, 2018, after more than a decade of advocacy by the library community and our allies, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559). President Trump is expected to sign the Marrakesh Treaty in October, and a new copyright exception — the first ever in an international treaty — will allow libraries, as authorized entities, to make copies of entire articles and books for people with print disabilities and share that accessible content across borders. Read more from Kathi Kromer of the ALA Washington Office about the “Miracle in Marrakesh.”

On September 26, 2018, the U.S. Senate held a hearing on the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (S. 1010). This bill would change current law, whereby the Librarian of Congress selects the Register of Copyrights, and make the position subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. The library community has long opposed this, with LCA issuing a strong statement opposing the bill when it was first introduced in March 2017.  Prior to the hearing, LCA legal counsel Jonathan Band (a longtime library ally) submitted written testimony, a supplemental statement, and a report prepared by ALA explaining the library community’s opposition to the bill. He then testified on September 26 before the United State Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Read more from Alan Inoye of the ALA Washington Office on why librarians need to take action now and write to their Senators to “Keep Copyright Office in Library of Congress.”