SAG-AFTRA supports the bipartisan legislation H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, recently introduced in the House by Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and John Conyers (D – Mich.). This legislation is part of the House Judiciary Committee’s first copyright policy proposal to modernize and reform the United States Copyright Office (USCO).
As the nation’s largest labor union representing more than 160,000 media artists, we strongly believe that our members stand to benefit from a well-functioning, impartial Copyright Office. By finally making the Register of Copyrights a principal officer under the Constitution, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, USCO will be able to fully exercise the various authorities granted in the U.S. Copyright Act. Furthermore, it will give the American people the opportunity to weigh in on the Register selection process every ten years through their elected officials. This government department is too often overlooked, especially considering its role in our nation’s thriving creative economy. The core U.S. copyright industries contribute more than $1.2 trillion dollars to the GDP and employ more than 5.5 million workers.