Librarian of Congress appoints two new Copyright Royalty Judges

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Issue Date: 
May 8 2013 - 1:00pm

From Issue:

The U.S. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed two new judges for the Copyright Royalty Board.

David R. Strickler, one of the new judges, will serve as CRB economics expert. He'll complete the term vacated by Stanley C. Wisniewski, which ends in January 2016. He's an experienced lawyer and trained in theoretical economics and the application of economics to legal issues.

The other new judge, Jesse Feder, will be the copyright specialist, and will complete William Roberts' term, ending this coming January. He was recently director of International Trade and Intellectual Property for the Business Software Alliance, and also served as acting associate register in the U.S. Copyright Office and as legal adviser in the Office of the General Counsel for the Library of Congress.

CRB judges are those who determine the statutory royalty rates webcasters pay for the use of copyright sound recordings (actually, they "recommend" a rate to the Librarian, who pretty much "rubber-stamps" it). Copyright royalty judges are appointed by the Librarian of Congress in consultation with Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante (The Copyright Office being part of the Library of Congress).

You may remember the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) challenged the constitutionality of the CRB, saying its appointments violated the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. A U.S. Appeals Court sided with IBS, and determined that the CRB appointments were in fact principal officers, and should have been appointed by the President. But to fix it, the Court simply struck those portions of the law that limit the power of the Librarian of Congress to remove the Copyright Royalty Judges without cause (read more from legal expert David Oxenford here).

Read this week's full statement from the Librarian of Congress on the new appointments here.

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