Andrew AlbaneseThe Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden names the U.S. Poet Laureate and decides the winner of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. She also can appoint the US Register of Copyrights. At least for now.

On March 23, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) introduced the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, which would give the President the power to appoint the Register of Copyrights for a 10 year, renewable term, subject to Senate confirmation. The bill was introduced with 29 bipartisan cosponsors.

In a statement, Goodlatte and Conyers urged “quick action” on the bill. And this week the proposed legislation passed out of committee, reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.

“Copyright is not an issue like healthcare where we see a conservative/liberal divide,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “You frequently find conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats together on copyright—the GOP in support of business, usually, and Democrats because they are supported by Hollywood.

“Broadly speaking with copyright, the divide is between the entertainment industry and publishers on one side, and libraries, the tech industry, and public advocacy groups on the other,” Albanese says.

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.

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