Response to the Library of Congress Survey Requesting Input on Expertise Needed by the Register of Copyrights
“What are the knowledge, skills, and abilities you believe are the most important for the Register of Copyrights?
While undoubtedly this is a restatement of the obvious, the Register should, first and foremost, have a background that demonstrates his or her understanding of the importance of modern and effective copyright protection and its critical role in the economic and cultural health of this nation…”
“The Register should seek to ensure that all creators are able to choose the manner in which their creations are used. An effective and functional copyright environment is not a panacea; it does not on its own create global parity in the marketplace of ideas. But it does give individual creators a fighting chance, and an opportunity to compete. The ability to generate revenue from one’s creativity — to earn a living as a creator by determining how and when to license the use of one’s creative works — is fundamental to a society’s ability to foster cultural production. The moral and economic aspects of this equation are inseparable.
It is also important for the Register to fully grasp that systems of copyright replaced private patronage as the mechanism for enabling creators to be self-sustaining. When creativity is fueled by market forces, the cultural power and potential of individuals is unleashed and society benefits. While copyright may be inadequate on its own to create optimal market conditions, it remains by far the most effective tool for fostering creativity and democratizing culture…”