As the business day closed last Friday, published reports announced the removal of Maria Pallante from her duties as the US Register of Copyrights, a role she had held since 2011. Subsequent reporting offers insights on what prompted the surprise move, and what it portends for the future of copyright policy in the United States.
Just a year ago, Pallante had called on Congress to move the Copyright Office from under the control of the Librarian of Congress. Her removal, however, came shortly after the arrival of the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden. As Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, the story has impact well beyond the Beltway.
“Copyright today is no longer about the entertainment industry. With the rise of social media, it touches people in a way that, historically, it never did,” Albanese explains.
Given the heightened interest, many – and from all sides of the issue – have called for Congress to “reform” copyright.
“Sources tell me not to expect that. In fact, copyright is yet another area where Congress is fairly gridlocked,” Albanese says. “You may see nibbles around the edges, but not wholesale reform, and that feels right to me.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.