April 24, 2017
Dear Member of Congress,
On behalf of the American Conservative Union (ACU), I urge you to vote “YES” when HR 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, is considered on the House floor.
As we said previously in comments to the House Judiciary Committee “[w]e support Congress … mak[ing] the Register of Copyrights a Presidentially nominated, Senate confirmed position”, which HR 1695 would do.
We believe that the essential role of government is to protect life, liberty and property. That is why a fundamental bulwark of ACU’s core values is property rights—a notion understood by the Founders at the dawn of the Republic. Indeed, as ACU and sixty-nine other bipartisan think tanks, advocacy groups and scholars noted in a recent letter to the 115th Congress:
The Founding Fathers recognized the importance of IP in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
This clause, articulated by the Founders, is rooted in the notion that the best way to encourage creation and dissemination of new inventions and creative works to the benefit of both the public good and individual liberty is to recognize one’s right to his or her intellectual property.
The Founder’s wisdom is manifest in today’s creative economy, which contributes more than $1.2 trillion to GDP and supports 5.5 million jobs. Yet in a quirk of history, Congress has no role in the selection of the Register of Copyrights, even though the Register is Congress’ statutorily designated expert advisor on copyright policy and the head of the Copyright Office.
What is no accident is that Congress can fix this problem by passing HR 1695 on World IP Day. This would increase accountability to Congress as well as transparency by giving all Americans a voice in the selection of the Register through their elected representatives. We can think of no better way to recognize the contributions of copyright to the economy than by finally ascribing to the position of Register an importance commensurate with the sector it oversees.
Please support HR 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act.
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