US Copyright Office Charged With Industry Bias 08/09/2016 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The United States Copyright Office systematically hires officials from the copyright industries it serves and oversees, while excluding experts with other views, a public interest group has charged. “The Copyright Office is one of the starkest examples of a captured agency operating within the government today,” Meredith Rose, policy advocate at Public Knowledge said in the announcement of the report release. “With limited accountability a pattern of favoritism toward industry and rightsholder groups, it is unsurprising that they have staked out tenuous positions and advocate for expansive copyright monopolies. It is clear from its positions–both implicit and stated–that the Copyright Office often acts more as an advocate for profit-maximizing entertainment industries, rather than as an impartial organ of government.” The 50-page report from Public Knowledge is here. The report demonstrates the “revolving door” problem of officials moving back and forth between the Copyright Office and the rights holder industries. Indeed, a look at the recent press releases on the Copyright Office website transparently shows the backgrounds of numerous recent hires, and virtually every official in recent years who serves in a leadership, legal or policy position came from the industry side. The Copyright Office could not be reached for comment. The report also catalogues a “mission creep” occurring at the office, in which it is becoming increasingly involved in a wide range of unlikely interests beyond traditional copyright, such as farm equipment, emissions standards or aerospace safety rules. The report claims to investigate how the Copyright Office: “Regularly contorts basic questions of copyright law in ways that further the monopoly interests of major rightsholders; Advocates for expanded copyright with fewer limitations, exceptions, and consumer protections; Strives to insert itself into more and farther-flung policy debates, claiming “expertise” and issuing decisions on topics far beyond its mandate; Makes decisions based on predetermined outcomes, prioritizing its own views over input from non-self-interested stakeholders; and Is frequently overturned or ignored by courts, Congress, and other agencies.” Image Credits: US Copyright Office Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "US Copyright Office Charged With Industry Bias" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.