Don Henley: Pallante Stood Up for the Creative Community, and Got Fired

Don Henley: Pallante Stood Up for the Creative Community, and Got Fired
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Don Henley: Pallante Stood Up for the Creative Community, and Got Fired
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Image by Alice Bartlett (CC by 2.0)

Who is truly responsible for the US Copyright Office controversy? Carla Hayden? Google? Was it just an argument? Was it all coincidence? Not so for Don Henley.

Several weeks ago, Maria Pallante suddenly changed office. She was the U.S. Register of Copyrights. She then became a senior adviser for digital strategy for the Library of Congress. The recently appointed Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, made the switch. Pallante found out in the worst possible way: she got to work and found herself locked out of the Library of Congress computer systems. Three days after the shift, Pallante then quit.

Artist Rights Watch blamed Google for Pallante’s dismissal. The website wrote,

“Google Fires Head of U.S. Copyright Office”

The Trichodist agreed, as well, citing Google’s history of sending former employees to work as pro-Google lobbyists. Even the Wall Street Journal strongly believes Google played an important role in Pallante’s removal.

“Most Americans think of Google as a search engine doing unalloyed social good, but the company also wants to make money and wield political influence along the way. So you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to notice that an abrupt change of leadership at the U.S. Copyright Office is good news for Google, which aims to pay less for profiting from the property of others.”

In a new piece by the Los Angeles Times, Don Henley, a founder member of The Eagles, gave his opinion. He described Pallante as a “champion of copyright” who “stood up for the creative community.” He believes this is what ultimately got her fired. Like most artists, however, Henley didn’t dismiss Google’s potential role in Pallante’s dismissal.

“The librarian wants free content, and the copyright office is there to protect creators of content. They are diametrically opposed ideologies. [Hayden] has a long track record of being an activist librarian who is anti-copyright and a librarian who worked at places funded by Google.”

Songwriter and music publisher Dean Kay agrees.

“This is a major affront to copyright. Google seems to be taking over the world — and politics … Their major position is to allow themselves to use copyright material without remuneration. If the Copyright Office head is toeing the Google line, creators are going to get hurt.”

Since she resigned, Pallante has remained quiet, ignoring press requests for interviews.

4 Responses

  1. Google-Knows-What-Is-Better-For-You

    Google will be President of the USA, and of the rest of the world. Mark my words, and consider yourself warned.

  2. MusicLover

    How is it that these people know the exact cause of Pallante’s dismissal? Do they have any real evidence of Hayden’s views about copyright and music, or is it just assumed that all librarians are against copyright? The Copyright Office was very poorly run under Pallante. Her solution was to remove it from the Library of Congress. Have Henley and others swallowed the RIAA’s Kool-Aid? The RIAA has been spreading trash about Hayden for months. At the same time they’re working to undermine the core of preservation of our creations in the U.S. by abolishing deposit of works at the Library of Congress.

  3. Insider

    None of these people know even the first thing about the cause of Pallante’s dismissal.

    Note that every opinion cited here is that of a total and complete Washington outsider. Don Henley? He knows less about Washington politics than my dog!

    But yes, we do have some view into Hayden’s views about copyright (although not specifically music, so much). But more to the point, we have TONS of evidence about Maria Pallante’s failings as the Register of Copyright, her openly-stated views that she didn’t want to have to report to the Librarian any longer and her biased views on Copyright, in general. Also, we have pretty well-informed speculation (from true D.C. insiders, natch) that Hayden didn’t particularly appreciate Pallante’s attitude and approach, when they met.

    Yes, the Copyright Office WAS very poorly run under Pallante. Her proposed solution to those criticisms was to blame it on her boss and say that the only way to fix it was to move the Copyright Office out of the Library of Congress.

    Of course, Henley and others – and DMN, naturally – have completely drank all the RIAA’s Kool-Aid (which will NOT taste good for artists, BTW).

    • Real Insider

      You must be one of the many lobbyists for Google and support the enormous takings that Google has done with copyrighted works. Google Play will definitely benefit from the departure of the Honorable Maria Pallante. President Obama has courted Google over his eight years in office….Google representatives visited the White House more than any other company….so ” Insider,” what is your interest.
      The budget given the Copyright Office to modernize is a serious ” Joke.”