How a New Librarian of Congress Could Vastly Improve U.S. Copyright – The Atlantic

How a New Librarian of Congress Could Vastly Improve U.S. Copyright – The Atlantic.

LibraryofCongress-1This fascinating article on our nation’s chief librarian and his unique powers appeared recently on the online edition of The Atlantic (June 19, 2015), in connection with his announced retirement.

Do you know the name of the current librarian of the Library of Congress? And are you aware of his combined responsibilities?

Read on to find out! Here’s the beginning of the article – the rest of it is worth your time.

How many of you have visited our nation’s vast library, other than online ( I use its resources virtually every day – the online catalog! But I have yet to visit the physical place.)?

Many things are said about the Librarian of Congress.

Some claim that he has not been seen in years, that his encyclopedic intellect is now stored in thousands of Laserdiscs kept in an Amazon-owned hangar in Virginia.

Others insist that in one of his many descents into the library’s special-collection catacombs, he found the Philosopher’s Stone, which of course guarantees the owner eternal life.

And still others murmur that his power is so great that he can dictate U.S. law—can declare, triennially, what shall constitute a copyright violation in the United States of America and what shall not.

The first of these two rumors are, of course, silly and wrong. The third is not. Such is the awesome ability of the nation’s foremost Librarian.

The Librarian of Congress has a somewhat strange position. He or she both runs the world’s largest library—which has a staff in the thousands and a collection in the millions—and oversees the Copyright Office, the government office that manages the register of all copyrighted materials.

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