2013 and Beyond

The Nation Looks to the Next Great Copyright Act

In March 2013, Maria A. Pallante, the thirteenth Register of Copyrights, helped initate a comprehensive congressional review of U.S. copyright law, through her Horace S. Manges Lecture The Next Great Copyright Act. In it, she outlines her vision of a new copyright law, “forward thinking but flexible,” with sufficient clarity, and in all aspects in service of the public interest. Under the leadership of Register Pallante since her appointment in 2011, this ethos has guided the modernization of Copyright Office practice and continuing policy development and assistance to Congress.

In December 2014, the Copyright Office released the first comprehensive revision of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices in more than two decades. The Compendium serves as the Copyright Office’s governing administrative manual for registrations and recordations, and the revision presents more than 1,200 pages of practices and sets the stage for a number of long-term improvements. The Compendium, Third Edition can be found here.

In December 2015, the Copyright Office released its Strategic Plan for 2016-2020. The Strategic Plan, according to Register Pallante, “sets for a roadmap for re-envisioning almost all of the Copyright Office’s services. . . .to meet the changing needs of individual authors, entrepreneurs, the user community, and the general public.” Guided by six strategic goals focused on producing a nimble, results-driven, and future-focused government agency, the Copyright Office will implement the strategic plan to streamline internal operations, update public-facing capabilities, and continue to produce impartial expert assistance to Congress, executive branch agencies, the judiciary, and members of the copyright community at large. The Strategic Plan can be viewed here.

Register Pallante and the Copyright Office have worked diligently to provide Congress with relevant policy studies to inform the direction of copyright law in the 21st Century. The following studies have been delivered to Congress for its consideration:

In addition, the Copyright Office is actively developing new policy studies to provide expert advice to Congress as it considers revision of the copyright law. To view open policy studies and rulemaking as well as past rulemakings and reports, please visit the Law and Policy section of our website.