The US hasn’t had a new Register of Copyrights since 1994, when Marybeth Peters stepped into the job of top US copyright official. So when Peters stepped down at the end of 2010 and a search geared up for her replacement, interest was high. The new head of the Copyright Office would enter the job during a chaotic moment for copyright, facing challenges like P2P file-sharing, rising public interest in fair use, mass copyright lawsuits around the country, and a new set of bills in Congress that attempt to make choke off streaming and P2P piracy. No longer was copyright a sleepy domain for lawyers and a few publishers; it was now at the center of crucial Supreme Court battles over things like term extensions and services like Grokster. On June 1, the Librarian of Congress—who oversees the Copyright Office—selected Maria Pallante as the new Register of Copyrights. Pallante, who had spent five months as the Acting Register after Peters stepped down, has a long history working on behalf of writers (Authors Guild, National Writers Union), museums (Guggenheim Museums), and the government. She’s the kind of person happy to show up at Public Knowledge “fair use” events and extol the… Read full this story
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