Bias at the Copyright Office?

ReadersFirst wishes to spread the word about tomorrow's ALA Office of the President's Copyright Education Subcommittee's CopyTalk:

“Regulatory capture occurs when a government agency ‘is consistently or repeatedly directed away from the public interest and toward the interests of the regulated industry, by the intent and action of the industry itself.’1 This risk of ‘persistent policy bias” is ‘widely accepted, not only by public interest lawyers, but by academic critics, legislators, judges, and even by some agency members.’2 For example, in a recent series of essays, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Mike Lee, and Sheldon Whitehouse all agree that regulatory capture is a serious and pervasive problem.3

This report examines regulatory capture—both its sources and its consequences—at the U.S. Copyright Office. Capture at the Office is widely recognized among many copyright practitioners and stakeholders. As Professor Jessica Litman noted in 2006, ‘the Copyright Office has tended to view copyright owners as its real constituency, and has spent the past ten years moving firmly into the content industry’s pocket’—a statement that still holds true today.4” 

Here's the word from Alan S. Inouye:

At the next CopyTalk – which is this Thursday, November 3rd – Staff attorney Meredith Rose from Public Knowledge will discuss their report, “Captured: Systemic Bias at the U.S. Copyright Office.” Meredith will talk about the position and role of the Copyright Office, the influence of industry groups on Copyright Office policy positions, and what libraries and other groups can do to make sure their needs are reflected in Office policy going forward. 

Meredith’s work focuses telecommunications regulatory matters as well as copyright. Prior to working at PK, Meredith was a University of Chicago Public Service fellow with the Center for Economic Progress, and worked on consumer policy issues at the Federal Communications Commission, the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, and Knowledge Ecology International. Meredith received her J.D. and A.B. from the University of Chicago. When not in the office, she’s an avid video gamer and desert hiker.

With the Register of Copyrights resigning from the Copyright Office just last week, this CopyTalk is well timed!

Day/Time: Thursday, November 3rd at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific for our hour long free webinar.

Go to and sign in as a guest. You’re in.