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115th Congress   }                                       {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                       {      115-91

======================================================================



 
    REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS SELECTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

 April 20, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1695]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 1695) to amend title 17, United States Code, to 
provide additional responsibilities for the Register of 
Copyrights, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     5
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     5
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     6
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     6
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     6
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8
Dissenting Views.................................................    10

                             The Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Register of Copyrights Selection and 
Accountability Act of 2017''.

SECTION 2. REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS.

  (a) Amendments.--Section 701 of title 17, United States Code, is 
amended--
          (1) in subsection (a)--
                  (A) by striking ``(a) All administrative'' and 
                inserting the following:
  ``(a) Register and Director.--
          ``(1) In general.--All administrative'';
                  (B) by striking ``director'' and inserting 
                ``Director'';
                  (C) by inserting after the first sentence the 
                following: ``The Register of Copyrights shall be a 
                citizen of the United States with a professional 
                background and experience in copyright law and shall be 
                appointed by the President from the individuals 
                recommended under paragraph (6), by and with the advice 
                and consent of the Senate.''; and
                  (D) in the last sentence, by striking ``shall be 
                appointed'' and all that follows through ``and shall 
                act'' and inserting ``shall act'';
          (2) in subsection (b), by redesignating paragraphs (1) 
        through (5) as subparagraphs (A) through (E), respectively, and 
        adjusting the margins accordingly;
          (3) by redesignating subsection (b) as paragraph (2), and 
        adjusting the margins accordingly;
          (4) in paragraph (2), as so redesignated, by inserting 
        ``Duties.--'' before ``In addition'';
          (5) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
          ``(3) Oath.--The Register of Copyrights shall, before taking 
        office, take an oath to discharge faithfully the duties of the 
        Copyright Office described in paragraph (2).
          ``(4) Removal.--
                  ``(A) In general.--The Register of Copyrights may be 
                removed from office by the President.
                  ``(B) Notification.--The President shall provide 
                notification to both Houses of Congress of a removal 
                under subparagraph (A).
          ``(5) Term of office.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the 
                Register of Copyrights--
                          ``(i) shall be appointed for a term of 10 
                        years; and
                          ``(ii) may serve until a successor is 
                        appointed, confirmed, and taken the oath of 
                        office.
                  ``(B) Limitation.--The Register of Copyrights may not 
                continue to serve after the date on which Congress 
                adjourns sine die after the date on which the 10-year 
                period described in subparagraph (A)(i) ends.
                  ``(C) Reappointment.--An individual appointed to the 
                position of Register of Copyrights, by and with the 
                advice and consent of the Senate, may be reappointed to 
                that position in accordance with the requirements of 
                this section.
          ``(6) Panel for register of copyrights recommendations.--
        There is established a panel to recommend a list of at least 3 
        individuals to the President for appointment as the Register of 
        Copyrights. The panel shall be composed of the following:
                  ``(A) The Speaker of the House of Representatives.
                  ``(B) The President pro tempore of the Senate.
                  ``(C) The majority and minority leaders of the House 
                of Representatives and the Senate.
                  ``(D) The Librarian of Congress.'';
          (6) by redesignating subsections (c) through (f) as 
        subsections (b) through (e), respectively;
          (7) in subsection (b), as so redesignated, by inserting 
        ``Seal.--'' before ``The Register'';
          (8) in subsection (c), as so redesignated, by inserting 
        ``Annual Report.--'' before ``The Register'';
          (9) in subsection (d), as so redesignated, by inserting 
        ``Applicability of Title 5.--'' before ``Except as provided''; 
        and
          (10) in subsection (e), as so redesignated, by inserting 
        ``Compensation.--'' before ``The Register''.
  (b) Applicability.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply 
with respect to any vacancy for the Register of Copyrights after 
January 1, 2017. If a Register of Copyrights is appointed during the 
period beginning on January 1, 2017 and ending on the day before the 
date of the enactment of this Act, that Register shall meet the 
requirements of the amendments made by this Act or shall be replaced in 
accordance with such amendments.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act 
makes the Register of Copyrights position at the U.S. Copyright 
Office subject to a Presidential nomination and Senate-
confirmation process while simultaneously creating a 10-year 
term on the position. The legislation ensures that all future 
Registers are chosen through this public process and also 
resolves constitutional concerns regarding the authority of 
regulations promulgated by the U.S. Copyright Office.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Over the past several years, this Committee has conducted a 
comprehensive review of our nation's copyright system and laws. 
During this review, the Committee heard from a wide range of 
perspectives regarding our copyright laws, ranging from 
industry-specific concerns to much broader ones, including the 
need to reform the Copyright Office itself. Since November 
2014, the status and selection process for the Register of 
Copyrights position has been among these concerns.
    As a legislative branch official, Members of Congress, as 
well as many stakeholders, believe the Register of Copyrights 
should be more accountable to Congress. In addition, concerns 
have been expressed, and lawsuits commenced, challenging the 
authority of the Register of Copyrights to issue rules because 
the position is not presidentially-appointed.
    The current vacancy for the position of Register of 
Copyrights provides a unique opportunity for Congress to 
address these and other concerns and to statutorily lay out an 
appropriate selection process for the next Register.
    H.R. 1695 would apply a selection process for the Register 
of Copyrights that is similar to the process for selecting 
other legislative branch officials, including the Comptroller 
of the Government Accountability Office. Specifically, the 
legislation will clarify the process by which a new Register of 
Copyrights is chosen and the duration the Register serves. 
Currently, the position is chosen using the same process used 
to hire more junior employees within the Library of Congress 
and the Register can serve for an unlimited duration. Under the 
proposed legislation, the President will select a nominee from 
a list of names identified by a Congressional leadership panel 
that includes the Librarian of Congress. The individual then 
chosen, once confirmed by the Senate, would serve a ten-year 
term. This nomination process and term of office would provide 
greater stability for the Register position and the U.S. 
Copyright Office as a whole. It will also ensure that the U.S. 
Copyright Office is more accountable to Congress. During the 
markup, negative comments were made about the prior Register of 
Copyrights that do not reflect the longstanding professional 
and honorable relationship this Committee enjoyed with the 
former Register.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 
1695, but did hold a related hearing on the future of the U.S. 
Copyright Office on February 26, 2015, and received testimony 
from the former Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, on 
April 29, 2015, about the structure of the U.S. Copyright 
Office.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 29, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill H.R. 1695 favorably reported, with an 
amendment, by a roll call vote of 27-1, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises the 
following roll call vote occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 1695.
    1. Motion to report the bill favorably. Approved 27-1.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................      X
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................
Mr. Smith (TX).................................
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................      X
Mr. King (IA)..................................
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................      X
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................      X
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................      X
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................      X
Mr. Chaffetz (UT)..............................
Mr. Marino (PA)................................
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................      X
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................      X
Mr. Farenthold (TX)............................      X
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................      X
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................      X
Mr. Buck (CO)..................................      X
Mr. Ratcliffe (TX).............................      X
Ms. Roby (AL)..................................
Mr. Gaetz (FL).................................
Mr. Johnson (LA)...............................      X
Mr. Biggs (AZ).................................      X
 
Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........      X
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................      X
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................              X
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................      X
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................      X
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................      X
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................      X
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................      X
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................
Mr. Swalwell (CA)..............................      X
Mr. Lieu (CA)..................................      X
Mr. Raskin (MD)................................      X
Ms. Jayapal (WA)...............................      X
Mr. Schneider (IL).............................      X
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................     27       1
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 1695, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 30, 2017.
Hon. Bob Goodlatte,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1695, the Register 
of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Stephen 
Rabent.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.
cc:
        Honorable John Conyers Jr.
        Ranking Member



 H.R. 1695--Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 
                                  2017


 As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on March 
                               29, 2017.




    Under current law, the Director of the Copyright Office is 
appointed by the Librarian of Congress. H.R. 1695 would make 
that position subject to appointment by the President with the 
advice and consent of the Senate. The Director would serve a 10 
year term, subject to removal by the President. Under the bill, 
the President would make the appointment from a list of 
individuals recommended by a panel composed of members of 
Congress and the Librarian of Congress. Based on information 
from the Library of Congress, CBO estimates that implementing 
the bill would have no significant effect on the federal 
budget.
    Enacting H.R. 1695 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 1695 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 1695 contains no intergovernmental or private sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Stephen Rabent. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 1695 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 1695 specifically directs 
to be completed no specific rule makings within the meaning of 
5 U.S.C. Sec. 551.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
1695 converts the Register of Copyrights position to a 
Presidentially nominated and Senate-confirmed position, subject 
to a ten-year term limit.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 1695 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    Sec. 1. Short Title. Section 1 sets forth the short title 
of the bill as the ``Register of Copyrights Selection and 
Accountability Act of 2017.''
    Sec 2. Register of Copyrights
    Section 2(a) amends 17 U.S.C. Sec. 701(a) by creating 
minimum standards for those who hold the Register of Copyrights 
position by requiring the officeholder to be a U.S. citizen who 
has professional background and experience in copyright law. 
The Committee views these two qualifications as the most 
critical for the position, although there are other criteria 
that may be desirable in potential candidates depending upon 
the challenges and needs facing the U.S. Copyright Office at 
the time of the vacancy. Once future Registers of Copyright are 
confirmed, they would now be subject to an oath of office per 
section 701(a)(3) before taking office. Section 701(a) is 
further expanded by adding in the existing functions and duties 
in the current section 701(b).
    Section 2(a) creates a new selection process for choosing 
future Registers in section 701(a)(6), which follows existing 
precedent for Legislative Branch agencies, such as the 
Government Accountability Office (GAO). The process requires 
the President to choose the nominee from candidates identified 
by a selection panel comprised of the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the 
majority and minority leaders of the House of Representatives 
and the Senate, and the Librarian of Congress (in whose agency 
the U.S. Copyright Office is located). The panel must recommend 
at least three candidates who meet the new qualifications for 
Registers of Copyright.
    The proposed section 701(a)(4) allows the President to 
remove the Register from office subject to a notification 
requirement to the House of Representatives and Senate. Unless 
the Register is removed by the President, the Register will 
serve a ten-year term per section 701(a)(5), but may serve 
until a successor is sworn in so long as that date is not later 
than when Congress next adjourns sine die after the ten-year 
term expires, in which case the Register must step down on the 
date on which Congress adjourns sine die. The Register may be 
reappointed to another ten-year term, but must do so subject to 
the same requirements as a potential new candidate.
    Section 2(b) sets out an effective date for any Register of 
Copyrights chosen for a vacancy that exists after January 1, 
2017. The position has been filled on an acting basis prior to 
this date so the requirements created by this legislation apply 
to any new Register. If a Register is chosen by the Librarian 
of Congress using the current hiring process in place prior to 
the enactment of this legislation, such Register could only 
remain in office if he or she meets the new qualifications for 
the position, were recommended by the congressional panel to 
the President, chosen from the slate of three or more 
candidates by the President as the nominee, confirmed by the 
Senate, and then sworn in to office. If he or she did not meet 
these criteria, he or she could only serve until someone who 
does meet these criteria is sworn into office.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 17, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER 7--COPYRIGHT OFFICE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 701. The Copyright Office: General responsibilities and 
                    organization

  [(a) All administrative] (a)  Register and Director._
          (1) In general._All administrative functions and 
        duties under this title, except as otherwise specified, 
        are the responsibility of the Register of Copyrights as 
        [director] Director of the Copyright Office of the 
        Library of Congress. The Register of Copyrights shall 
        be a citizen of the United States with a professional 
        background and experience in copyright law and shall be 
        appointed by the President from the individuals 
        recommended under paragraph (6), by and with the advice 
        and consent of the Senate. The Register of Copyrights, 
        together with the subordinate officers and employees of 
        the Copyright Office, [shall be appointed by the 
        Librarian of Congress, and shall act] shall act under 
        the Librarian's general direction and supervision.
          [(b)] (2) Duties._In addition to the functions and 
        duties set out elsewhere in this chapter, the Register 
        of Copyrights shall perform the following functions:
                  [(1)] (A) Advise Congress on national and 
                international issues relating to copyright, 
                other matters arising under this title, and 
                related matters.
                  [(2)] (B) Provide information and assistance 
                to Federal departments and agencies and the 
                Judiciary on national and international issues 
                relating to copyright, other matters arising 
                under this title, and related matters.
                  [(3)] (C) Participate in meetings of 
                international intergovernmental organizations 
                and meetings with foreign government officials 
                relating to copyright, other matters arising 
                under this title, and related matters, 
                including as a member of United States 
                delegations as authorized by the appropriate 
                Executive branch authority.
                  [(4)] (D) Conduct studies and programs 
                regarding copyright, other matters arising 
                under this title, and related matters, the 
                administration of the Copyright Office, or any 
                function vested in the Copyright Office by law, 
                including educational programs conducted 
                cooperatively with foreign intellectual 
                property offices and international 
                intergovernmental organizations.
                  [(5)] (E) Perform such other functions as 
                Congress may direct, or as may be appropriate 
                in furtherance of the functions and duties 
                specifically set forth in this title.
          (3) Oath.--The Register of Copyrights shall, before 
        taking office, take an oath to discharge faithfully the 
        duties of the Copyright Office described in paragraph 
        (2).
          (4) Removal.--
                  (A) In general.--The Register of Copyrights 
                may be removed from office by the President.
                  (B) Notification.--The President shall 
                provide notification to both Houses of Congress 
                of a removal under subparagraph (A).
          (5) Term of office.--
                  (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), 
                the Register of Copyrights--
                          (i) shall be appointed for a term of 
                        10 years; and
                          (ii) may serve until a successor is 
                        appointed, confirmed, and taken the 
                        oath of office.
                  (B) Limitation.--The Register of Copyrights 
                may not continue to serve after the date on 
                which Congress adjourns sine die after the date 
                on which the 10-year period described in 
                subparagraph (A)(i) ends.
                  (C) Reappointment.--An individual appointed 
                to the position of Register of Copyrights, by 
                and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 
                may be reappointed to that position in 
                accordance with the requirements of this 
                section.
          (6) Panel for register of copyrights 
        recommendations.--There is established a panel to 
        recommend a list of at least 3 individuals to the 
        President for appointment as the Register of 
        Copyrights. The panel shall be composed of the 
        following:
                  (A) The Speaker of the House of 
                Representatives.
                  (B) The President pro tempore of the Senate.
                  (C) The majority and minority leaders of the 
                House of Representatives and the Senate.
                  (D) The Librarian of Congress.
  [(c)] (b) Seal._The Register of Copyrights shall adopt a seal 
to be used on and after January 1, 1978, to authenticate all 
certified documents issued by the Copyright Office.
  [(d)] (c) Annual Report._The Register of Copyrights shall 
make an annual report to the Librarian of Congress of the work 
and accomplishments of the Copyright Office during the previous 
fiscal year. The annual report of the Register of Copyrights 
shall be published separately and as a part of the annual 
report of the Librarian of Congress.
  [(e)] (d) Applicability of Title 5._Except as provided by 
section 706(b) and the regulations issued thereunder, all 
actions taken by the Register of Copyrights under this title 
are subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure 
Act of June 11, 1946, as amended (c. 324, 60 Stat. 237, title 
5, United States Code, Chapter 5, Subchapter II and Chapter 7).
  [(f)] (e) Compensation._The Register of Copyrights shall be 
compensated at the rate of pay in effect for level III of the 
Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5. The Librarian 
of Congress shall establish not more than four positions for 
Associate Registers of Copyrights, in accordance with the 
recommendations of the Register of Copyrights. The Librarian 
shall make appointments to such positions after consultation 
with the Register of Copyrights. Each Associate Register of 
Copyrights shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the maximum 
annual rate of basic pay payable for GS-18 of the General 
Schedule under section 5332 of title 5.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            Dissenting Views

    If Congress enacts this bill we will make a grievous error. 
It's important to understand the factual and historical context 
in which this bill is nestled.
    Article 1 of the Constitution gives the power to enact laws 
establishing copyrights in the United States, but it was not 
until 1870 that copyright functions were centralized in the 
Library of Congress, claims having previously been recorded by 
U.S. District Court clerks. In 1897, a separate department in 
the Library was created and then Librarian of Congress, Mr. 
Ainsworth Spofford appointed Mr. Thorvald Solberg as the 
Register of Copyrights to run the office. Ever since, the 
Librarian of Congress, who is appointed by the President and 
confirmed by the Senate, has appointed the Register of 
Copyrights to oversee this division in the Library. Until this 
bill.
    Dr. James Billington, the last Librarian of Congress, was 
appointed by President Ronald Reagan and served as Librarian of 
Congress for 42 years. His public service is honored by us all 
and he accomplished many important things at the Library. 
However, modernization of the Copyright Office was not among 
his achievements. After Dr. Billington's retirement in 2015, 
President Obama appointed and the Senate Confirmed Dr. Carla 
Hayden. When Dr. Hayden was appointed, Congress enacted 
legislation which, for the first time, instituted a ``term 
limit'' of ten years on the service of the Librarian. Dr. Carla 
Hayden has made modernization of the Library, including the 
Copyright Office, a priority.
    The last Register of Copyrights testified before the 
Judiciary Committee as well as the House Administration 
Committee that the Copyright Office should be an independent 
office and the Register appointed by the President, essentially 
an independent agency. The last Register also engaged in public 
advocacy of this point.\1\ However, while advocating for this 
change and other policy matters, the simple administration of 
the office was deficient in the area of modernization.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\THE NEXT GENERATION COPYRIGHT OFFICE: WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT 
MATTERS (a longer version of the Eleventh Annual Christopher A. Meyer 
Memorial Lecture delivered by Maria Pallante on November 20, 2013 at 
George Washington University Law School). https://www.copyright.gov/
about/office-register/meyer-lecture.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The February 2017 Library of Congress Inspector General 
report\2\ I entered into the record found that the Copyright 
Office wasted six years and nearly $12 million dollars 
implementing its Electronic Licensing System.\3\ This was a 
simple accounting system for distributing royalties collected 
by the Office and managing royalty investment accounts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Library of Congress, Office of the Inspector General's FY 16 
Review of Systems Development Life Cycle.
    \3\Id. at ii.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Most tellingly, they found that ``Copyright executives at 
the time did not disclose in the Library's performance 
management system and annual Congressional Budget 
Justifications the magnitude of issues and cost''\4\ In other 
words, this information was hidden from Congress and Library, 
and false information provided instead.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Id. at iii.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2010 the Copyright Office started the project of 
digitizing pre-1978 registration records. Seven years later it 
has managed to digitize just the card catalog and even that is 
lacking metadata to make it searchable. None of the actual 
records are available in digital form.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\https://www.copyright.gov/digitization/status.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It took the Office nearly 20 years to create a system so 
that online service providers could electronically submit their 
notice and takedown agents, prior to last December, online 
service providers had to submit their registrations via paper, 
which then had to be manually entered in by Office 
employees.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\The Copyright Office's ``interim'' agent designation regulations 
went into effect on November 3, 1998. The paper-based system was not 
replaced until December 1st 2016. https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-
directory/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, while preparing the FY18 appropriations request, 
the Library noticed that a $25 million dollar line-item in the 
Copyright Office's request didn't add-up. When questioned about 
this, the prior Register stated that this number was no big 
deal, it was just a placeholder. They would just make 
adjustments after the money was appropriated. In other words, 
the Copyright Office gave the Librarian fake budget numbers 
with the knowledge that she would testify in front of the 
Appropriations Committee, under oath, to the need of these 
funds.
    Dr. Hayden reassigned the Register and, disagreeing with 
the reassignment, the Register resigned. It appears that some 
on the Judiciary Committee have concerns about whether the 
Librarian was justified in her reassignment of the previous 
Register. This Committee has not had a hearing on this topic, 
and I doubt ever will. So I felt that it was important to put 
into the record just a sample of the problems the Librarian 
confronted when she made her decision. These are not just my 
opinions, but are documented by the report of the Inspector 
General which was entered into the record.
    I would also like to correct my colleague who stated for 
the record their concerns that the Librarian did not notify the 
Committee before reassigning the previous Register. Both the 
House Administration Committee and the House Judiciary 
Committee received phone calls from the Librarian stating her 
intent to reassign the previous Register, before it was carried 
out.

This bill removes the Register appointment authority from Dr. Carla 
        Hayden and transfers it to President Donald Trump.

    No coherent rationale has been advanced on how this will 
improve the administration of the Copyright office. The 
Chairman of the Committee asserted that this would give greater 
transparency to the Committee in the operation of the Copyright 
office. He later clarified that it was the advice and consent 
of the Senate to Presidential appointments that he was 
referring to.
    This is a preposterous statement. Once a Presidential 
appointee is confirmed, there is no greater attention to the 
desires of the Congress or transparency than for any other non-
Presidential appointee. The frequent conflicts between 
Republicans in Congress and the appointees of President Obama, 
ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency to the 
Internal Revenue Service are testimony of the truth of that.
    The Chairman also cites numerous hearings on the issue of 
copyright as justification for this bill, but having attended 
every one of those hearings as a Member of the Intellectual 
Property Subcommittee, I can attest that there was no hearing 
on this bill nor on its impact on the modernization efforts now 
being undertaken by Dr. Hayden.
    An impressive list of supporters of the bill was submitted 
to the record. I am aware from the many copyright hearings that 
serious frustrations exist among many copyright holders. Those 
issues deserve resolution. However, this bill will make matters 
worse not better.
    If this bill becomes law the Library of Congress and the 
Copyright Office will no longer be able to function as a single 
organization. This will be a disservice to not only the 
American public but also to those they are purporting to help, 
content creators. The public and content creators do not 
benefit from making the Register appointed by the President, 
and they do not benefit from making the Copyright Office a 
separate Executive Branch agency, which is the real goal of 
this legislation, as backed-up by the statements of many of my 
Committee colleagues.
    What would benefit both the public and content creators is 
a Copyright Office that uses modern technology to provide 
electronic registration and deposits of copyrighted works, 
tools for determining who to pay when you use their work, and 
greater transparency in both ownership and public domain status 
of works.
    However, this bill will drastically set back both the 
modernizing of infrastructure and the implementation of new 
Copyright services. The Library believes that under its current 
modernization plan that it can save almost two years on the 
Copyright Office's plan, and significant amounts of money. A 
private consulting group is currently reviewing this plan, but 
the Library believes it will be able to start implementation by 
September of this year.
    Until my statements at this markup, it is my understanding, 
that the vast majority of my colleagues on the Committee had no 
knowledge of the Library's aggressive progress. Nor were they 
briefed on how delaying the appointment of a new Register could 
impact this plan.
    Given the speed at which Congress acts, and the backlog of 
495 Presidential appointees who haven't even been nominated 
yet, I doubt that if this bill becomes law, a new Register will 
be appointed in time to benefit from the efficiency gains made 
by the Library's hard work and careful planning.
    The public and content creators aren't the only ones who 
will suffer from this shortsighted bill. The Copyright Office 
staff themselves will be thrown into a ``Sophie's choice'' 
every time there is a conflict between the Librarian and the 
Register. Without the ability to remove the Register, the 
relationship between the Librarian and the Register is 
fundamentally altered. It will create uncertainty and ambiguity 
in the chain of command, and unnecessary hurdles to the 
modernization effort.
    The only possible result of this change is more conflict 
between the Library and the Copyright Office, not less. It is 
unfair to put the hardworking employees of the Copyright Office 
into this lose-lose situation because of the incompetence of 
previous leadership. Especially when the new Librarian was 
taking responsibility to remedy the deficiencies created by her 
predecessor's inaction.
    I cannot support legislation that delays Copyright Office 
modernization, harms the public, harms content creators, 
increases tension between the Library and Copyright Office, and 
harms Copyright Office employees.
    This bill is a vote of no confidence in a Librarian who is 
aggressively pulling the Library and Copyright Office into the 
21st century and, by all evidence, justifiably reassigned an 
ineffective and negligent Register. While I have examined the 
problems with this bill on the basis of public policy, I cannot 
help but notice that since 1897, while a series of male 
Librarians of Congress appointed the Register, it was not until 
the first female Librarian was appointed that a bill was 
introduced to remove the power of the Librarian to appoint the 
Register (as well as new law to limit the term in office of the 
Librarian). The problems, now being addressed by our new 
Librarian, festered without remedy--and without legislation 
marked up by the Judiciary Committee--until that unbroken chain 
of male Librarians was succeeded by one of the most qualified 
Librarians ever to serve the Library of Congress, Dr. Carla 
Hayden.

                                                       Ms. Lofgren.

                                  [all]