Not everyone agrees with the “sudden” (forced) dismissal of Maria Pallante at the US Copyright Office.
Why exactly did Maria Pallante quit the U.S. Copyright Office? Artist Rights Watch believes Google asked Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden to suddenly shift her job responsibilities. The Wall Street Journal believes Google is slowly taking over copyright to further benefit financially.
And even founding Eagles member, Don Henley, believes,
“The librarian wants free content, and the copyright office is there to protect creators of content. [Carla 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.”
Now, two former heads of the US Copyright Office are sharply criticizing Maria Pallante’s firing. In a letter written to the chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, Ralph Oman and Marybeth Peters state,
“We write to express our concern about the unseemly dismissal of the Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante. We write as former Registers of Copyrights, having served in that post collectively for the twenty-five years immediately preceding Ms. Pallante’s tenure. Our concern is focused on the implications of Ms. Pallante’s dismissal for the future of the American copyright system.”
Oman and Peters both accuse Carla Hayden of deliberately and abruptly removing Pallante from her position. Furthermore, Hayden didn’t consult Congress. Oman and Peters consider the action disrespectful and worthy of serious concern. As other mediums have stated previously, Oman and Peters write that in its 119-year history, “no other Librarian has treated a Register with such disrespect.” Oman and Peters state that copyright, and copyright laws, “helped create our unique American culture.” Thus, Hayden’s actions warrant sufficient investigation. In addition, they add a stark contrast between two inevitable copyright futures.
“Since that time, the role of the Register and the importance of copyright have grown, and the competing missions and differing priorities of the Library and the Copyright Office have increasingly emerged as a source of tension. Neither Ms. Pallante’s endorsement in principle of greater autonomy for the Copyright Office nor Dr. Hayden’s decision to remove her created these tensions. Rather, they are inevitable given the divergent roles of the two organizations. Stripped to its basics, the choice is stark: Does Congress want modernization and independent copyright advice straight and true from the expert agency, or does it want copyright administration and advice filtered through the lens – and shaped by the perspective – of the head of the national library?”
The letter finishes, urging the Judiciary Committees for quick action.
“We urge you to give this matter your early consideration — for the benefit of future generations of artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and the American public. The United States needs a Copyright Office that is built to succeed.”
You can read the full letter, and attachments, here, provided by Artist Rights Watch.