The Lame Duck Congress Threatens BOTH Library Funding and the Copyright Office!
There are two critical bills in the Lame Duck Congress that will have an impact on libraries and your daily life – and we need to take action on both today.
Don’t Stall the Museum and Library Services Act
Even before he was Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan called for the complete de-funding of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Now, in the last few days of his last Lame Duck session, he’s taking one parting shot by blocking the reauthorization the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA). This is the fundamental and basic bill that establishes all federal support for libraries, museums, and archives. The Senate unanimously passed the reauthorization last week. We cannot understand why the Speaker, along with Majority Leader McCarthy, are blocking it from coming to the House floor.
Don’t Let Them Politicize the Office of Copyright
Even as they are stalling MLSA the House passed H.R. 1965, a bill that would politicize the office that controls copyrights by making the Register of Copyright a Presidential appointee. The Copyright Office within the Library of Congress is responsible for providing information about copyright law to the government and, of course, they are responsible for the registration and recording of copyrightable works. It’s a key part of how our entire economy works and supports the arts, culture, and innovation. There is no good reason to move this critical function away from professional at the Library to a politically appointed office. The bill is in the Senate, and it should be defeated.
Cynics are going to say that is “just how things happen in a Lame Duck session”. But we can’t let business-as-usual happen on either of these bills. We have a very short window to restart the Museum and Library Services Act in the House, and to also stop the bad ideas within the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, in the Senate. Please help fix these problems by sending an email about copyright to your Senator and an email about MLSA to your Representative.
There is more information about both bills on our respective petition pages. Please share both pages or forward this email to your friends and colleagues after signing. Help stabilize and secure the future of libraries, museums, and archives across our country, and help preserve the integrity of how copyright is handled in the United States.