>Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 18:50:07 -0400
>From: DAVID POST <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com>
>Subject: Moving Copyright Office?
>[Note: This was forwarded to me -- I pass it along without editorial
>Subject: Due Process out the window?
>If you care about copyright and libraries, you may want to
>take note of this startling development: Sen. Orrin Hatch is
>proposing that the Copyright Office be moved from the
>Library of Congress and be located in the Executive Branch
>under a new, super-agency to be known as the "Commission on
>Intellectual Property." And that the whole deal be signed,
>sealed, and delivered within a matter of weeks with
>essentially no public debate.
>The idea may or may not have merit, but we will never know:
>apparently this is a sudden emergency attempt to elevate
>Bruce Lehman's power before this fall's election. Hatch has
>not even introduced the bill, but has already scheduling
>hearings for July 23. His office refuses to give a draft of
>the bill to the Copyright Office. How can there be a hearing
>with no bill actually introduced? Hatch proposes that the
>hearings be held on "Omnibus Intellectual Property Issues."
>The bill will come days after the hearing, and voting will
>be shortly thereafter. The whole thing could be over before
>the public even know about it.
>Why this is suddenly so urgent is not clear. Perhaps it has
>to do with an election year, and the fear that there may be
>a change of power in the Congress that would diminish
>Hatch's role. Or perhaps diminish Bruce Lehman's role as
>Czar of Patents, and now perhaps of copyrights as well.
>A move like this will undoubtedly cost millions of dollars.
>Whether it is worth doing or not remains to be seen, but it
>is a major change that deserves full and thoughtful
>consideration. If you think taking the Copyright Office
>out from the Library of Congress and creating a new super-
>agency deserve more scrutiny and debate than Sen. Hatch
>wants to give them, you might consider saying so.
>You can simply note that any proposal to move the Copyright
>Office out of the Library of Congress deserves a full and
>fair airing to see if anything is broken before anything is
>Sen. Hatch's office voice phone: (202) 224-5251. Office fax
>number: (202) 224-6331. Address: Sen. Orrin G. Hatch / 135
>Russell Senate Office Building / Washington D.C. 20510-4402.
>Or to his local office: 8402 Federal Building / Salt Lake
>City UT 84138.