Congress may make the US Register of Copyrights a presidential appointment

Enlarge / House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) (L) and ranking member Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) at a hearing in September. Both supported H.R. 1695, a bill which will come up for a vote today. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The US House of Representatives will vote today on a bill that will make the US Register of Copyrights a presidential appointment, confirmed by the US Senate.

The bill, H.R. 1695, is being celebrated by big copyright owners and dreaded by public interest groups. It's the result of a power struggle that could dictate how much industry will influence who runs the US Copyright Office.

Currently, the Copyright Office is run by the Register of Copyrights, a position that's appointed by the Librarian of Congress. If H.R. 1695 passes, the Register of Copyrights will be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

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