Library of Congress to Establish Public Advisory Committee on Copyright Office Modernization

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

The U.S. Library of Congress, in a February 3 Federal Register Notice, responded to a December 2019 request by members of Congress to establish an advisory committee focused on copyright modernization efforts. The Notice announced the creation of the Copyright Public Modernization Committee and urged interested stakeholders to apply as volunteer members.

The goal of the public committee will be to “enhance communication and provide a public forum for the technology-related aspects of the U.S. Copyright Office’s modernization initiative.” The Library is accepting applications from “qualified members of the public” through March 15, 2021. Relevant expertise includes “skill in communicating on complex technical issues; the ability to work collaboratively; and knowledge of technology relevant to Copyright Office services.”

The December 2019 letter was sent by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). It explained that, in 1999, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) created the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) “to help the leadership of that agency receive expert, in-depth feedback on its operations from leading minds and a variety of stakeholders.” The senators said that a comparable advisory body for the Copyright Office “would be beneficial to all involved” in light of the intense interest in modernizing the Office.

According to the Federal Register Notice, the new committee will focus specifically on Copyright Office information technology modernization and will be managed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). “The goal of the committee will be to expand and enhance communication with external stakeholders on IT modernization of Copyright Office systems and to provide an ongoing public forum for sharing information and answering questions related to this initiative.”

Statements of interest from applicants to the Committee should not be more than 1,000 words and should be sent to No more than one representative per organization will be accepted. These statements should address some of the following topics:

  1. Any relevant experience working and communicating on technological issues with:

(a) Individual creators and copyright owners;
(b) Large corporate creators and companies that own or manage copyrights;
(c) Small-to-medium size enterprises that own or manage copyrights;
(d) Creators, copyright owners, or copyright users from the following sectors: photography, motion picture, musical works, sound recordings, graphic arts, publishing, software, and information technology;
(e) users of Copyright Office services, including but not limited to individuals or entities that register their works with the Office, record copyright-related documents with the Office, or benefit from or pay into the licensing systems administered by the Copyright Office;
(f) user interest groups, including researchers, universities, archives, and libraries; and
(g) representatives of the public and public interest groups (including organizations involved in issues related to open government, public government data and APIs, and government use of technology).

  1. Any relevant past experience developing and maintaining relationships with a variety of individuals; communicating effectively about topics involving inter- dependencies, competing priorities, and diverse audiences/user groups; or reaching a consensus among diverse stakeholders with conflicting interests.
  2. Any relevant experience in the following sectors: government innovation and/or technology, copyright law and Copyright Office services, rights management, and the development and use of IT systems in library, cultural heritage, museum, creative industry or other settings.

Applicants can also include any experience with “user-centered strategies and design methods, including any experience applying iterative design principles to solving complex problems” and should indicate whether they are being endorsed by other stakeholders or associations.

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