Dear ASCAP Community,

Protection of our work under copyright law is vital to our success as music creators. As you may be aware, the Library of Congress is actively seeking a new leader for the U.S. Copyright Office.

Right now, we urge you to take the opportunity to weigh in on this search on behalf of music creators. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has launched an online survey open to the public through January 31st, requesting input on the knowledge, skills and abilities that should be sought out in the next U.S. Register of Copyrights.

I hope you all will join me in submitting comments before the January 31st deadline. The survey can be found online here:

Below are some points to consider as you craft your responses. You can use these points, add your own thoughts, or put these into your own words.

Suggested Responses to the Librarian of Congress’ Register of Copyrights Survey

1.)  What are the knowledge, skills, and abilities you believe are the most important for the Register of Copyrights? 

The next Register of Copyrights must:

- Recognize the unique challenges music creators face in the modern marketplace and be a strong advocate for protecting the value of copyrights.

- Ensure that the Copyright Office functions well in today’s digital age.

- Support modernization of the music licensing system to better reflect the way people listen to music today.

2.)  What should be the top three priorities for the Register of Copyrights?

Priority #1:  Strengthen the copyright system within the U.S. so that it meets the needs of creators in today’s digital age.

Priority #2:  Modernize the Copyright Office without resulting in higher fees to creators.

Priority #3:  Work with Congress to update our country’s music licensing system to better protect the rights of creators.

3.)  Are there other factors that should be considered?

- We are fortunate to have a broad and extensive creative class that fuels our economy and positions our nation as the leader in the fields of art, music and literature.

- For the most part, this class of creators does not represent big media companies as some may suggest, but individuals who earn a living through their creative work and depend on a strong copyright system to protect their livelihood. This is particularly the case in the music industry.

- The new Register must be someone who understands this creative process and displays empathy and care for the ability of our creative community to flourish.

Of course, you should feel free to add any personal experiences or other relevant suggestions.

This is an opportunity for all ASCAP members to make their voices heard on an issue of great importance to our future livelihoods. Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your ongoing commitment to protecting the value of creative copyrights.



Paul Williams

ASCAP President and Chairman