ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Advocacy Alert: Participate in Librarian of Congress’ Survey on Attributes of the Next Register of Copyrights

By December 28, 2016 January 3rd, 2017 Small Claims Report, Strictly Business Blog

As you know, on October 21, 2016, the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, removed from the U.S. Copyright Office the Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante—an outstanding public servant who was dedicated to the proper and fair operation of the copyright law and who had a keen understanding of the challenges faced by individual creators in protecting their creative works from infringement.

Library of Congress Survey – Please Participate

More recently, as she prepares to name Ms. Pallante’s successor, Dr. Hayden asked the public to provide, via an online survey, input on the necessary qualifications for Ms. Pallante’s successor. According to the Librarian, the information received from the public will help inform her decision on the “knowledge, skills, and abilities for fulfilling the Register’s position.” The information received via the survey will be posted online and will identify the submitter. Members of the public have until January 31, 2017 to fill out the survey. Here is the link to the survey.

Given the Librarian’s decision to rely on an online survey to “inform” her decision with respect to the qualifications of the next Register, it is absolutely essential that each member of ASMP responds to the survey and encourages other individual creators to do so as well. We can expect that critics of a robust copyright system and a strong Copyright Office will respond to the survey in droves.  We have no alternative but to make our voices heard as well to counter those who would favor alterations that would weaken our protections and harm our ability to earn a living doing creative work. If our community does not do so, the likelihood that the next Register will be a strong supporter of copyright and the interests of creators might well be diminished.

To that end, below you will find a proposed response to the survey that will help make this easy for you and accomplish . Feel free to alter this response as you see fit. If you have any questions feel free to contact ASMP’s Executive Director, Tom Kennedy  at

Survey Summary and Links

Following is the Librarian’s announcement with respect to the online survey:

December 16, 2016
Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights

The public will have the opportunity to provide input to the Library of Congress on expertise needed by the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced today.

Beginning today, December 16, an online survey is open to the public. The survey will be posted through January 31, 2017. Input will be reviewed and inform development of knowledge, skills, and abilities for fulfilling the Register position.

Information provided through the survey will be posted online and submitters’ names will appear. Note that input will be subject to review, and input may not be posted that is off- topic or contains vulgar, offensive, racist, threatening or harassing content; personal information; or gratuitous links to sites that could be considered spam. The Library’s complete comment policy can be viewed here

To provide input through the survey, click here

ASMP Member Survey Response Option

1. What are the knowledge, skills, and abilities you believe are the most important for the Register of Copyrights?

The next Register of Copyrights must:

– be dedicated to both a robust copyright system and Copyright Office;

– recognize the important role that creators of copyrighted works play in promoting our nation’s financial well-being;

– have significant experience in, and a strong commitment to, the copyright law;

– have a substantial background in representing the interests of creators of copyright works;

-possess a deep appreciation for the special challenges facing individual creators and small businesses in protecting their creative works;

– a keen understanding of, and a strong commitment to, preserving the longstanding and statutorily-based functions of the Copyright Office, especially its advising the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on domestic and international copyright issues; and have the solid support of the copyright community.

2. What should be the top three priorities for the Register of Copyrights?

Priority #1:    Continue the traditional and critical role of the Register as a forceful advocate for both a vibrant copyright system and a strong Copyright Office that works closely with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in promoting a strong and effective copyright law.

Priority #2:    A commitment to moving quickly to modernize the Copyright Office with a special focus on updating and making the registration and recordation processes more affordable and simpler.

Priority #3:    Working with Congress to achieve enactment of legislation creating a small claims process that finally provides individual creators with a viable means of protecting their creative efforts.


Thomas R. Kennedy, Executive Director

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