George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

March 18th Conference: A Copyright Office for the 21st Century

CPIP Senior Scholar and Director of Copyright Research & Policy Sandra Aistars will be speaking at a conference on Friday, March 18th, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. The conference is entitled “A Copyright Office for the 21st Century.” Experts from industry, academia, and government will come together to discuss various options for modernizing the U.S. Copyright Office so that it can best serve all of its stakeholders–including the American public–in the digital age. The conference is co-hosted by the Duke Law School Center for Innovation Policy and the New York University Law School’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy. (CPIP is not hosting this event; more information available at these links.)

Professor Aistars discusses many options for modernizing the U.S. Copyright Office in her recent law review article in the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts:

Congress could pursue a variety of paths to improve upon the current state of affairs. Even if it does nothing else, before Congress engages in a legislative rewrite of the Copyright Act it should examine how the Copyright Office currently operates and is funded, and should ensure that it has all the necessary infrastructure and critical resources to serve the needs of the public in both administering the copyright law and facilitating the innumerable transactions the public wishes to undertake involving copyrighted works.

If Congress wishes to leave a lasting and meaningful legacy on the development of copyright law, it could also consider options that remove practical, structural and constitutional impediments to more efficient lawmaking and regulation in copyright. For instance, Congress could expand the authority and autonomy of the Copyright Office to afford greater rulemaking authority, and allow it to take on additional adjudicatory functions while leaving it in its current form as a department of the Library of Congress. Alternatively, Congress could act more boldly to create a new agency that is able to engage both authors and the public to nimbly address technically and substantively challenging copyright issues.

Other speakers include: Stuart Benjamin, Duke Law School; Troy Dow, Disney; Dave Green, Microsoft; Joseph Liu, Boston College Law School; Bill Raduchel, independent director and investor; Arti Rai, Duke Law School; Pam Samuelson, Berkeley Law School; Matt Schruers, Computer & Communications Industry Association and Georgetown Law School; and Chris Sprigman, New York University School of Law.

We hope to see you there!

What: A Copyright Office for the 21st Century
When: Friday, March 18, 2016, 8:15 AM – 1:00 PM
Where: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room HVC-200, Washington, D.C.
How: To register, please email Anne Hassett or click here


  • 8:15 Welcome
  • 8:30 – 9:15 What should a modern Copyright Office be doing compared to what it does now?
  • 9:15 – 10:15 Registration and recordation functions
  • 10:30 – 11:30 Regulatory and adjudicatory functions
  • 11:30 – 12:30 The structure of a modern Copyright Office
  • 12:30 – 1:00 Congressional views

The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, the main entrance to the U.S. Capitol, is located beneath the East Front plaza of the U.S. Capitol at First Street and East Capitol Street.

For more information, please contact Stephen Merrill ( or Anne Hassett (