May 21, 2022

New Report From ALA: “Lessons From History: The Copyright Office Belongs in the Library of Congress”

The following report was written by Alisa Holahan, ALA’s 2017 Google Policy Fellow and posted online today.

The report is organized into the following sections:

  • Consolidation of Copyright at the Library of Congress
  • Past Rejected Proposals to Move the Copyright Office
  • Renewed Efforts to Move the Copyright Office
  • Conclusion

From the Report’s Conclusion:

2017-08-10_09-46-15The Copyright Office can benefit enormously from the support of a modern, efficient, and mission responsive IT system at the Library of Congress, particularly when the Office is empowered to collaborate with the Library’s IT department. Congress’s rejection of multiple prior proposals to move the Copyright Office indicates that it recognized the important benefits of the Office’s location within the Library of Congress and the significant costs of severing that socially and economically valuable relationship.

This remains the case today. Little would be gained by moving the Office, and a great deal would be lost, particularly in terms cost savings and coordinating the modernization process. The progress toward critically needed modernization that has been made so far could be erased, and future such efforts would likely be stalled, slower, less efficient, and more expensive. Further, maintaining the traditional connection between the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office is important both because it honors a cherished relationship of more than a century and because it recognizes the special role copyright plays in promoting the creation and dissemination of knowledge for all: the Library’s own most fundamental mission

Direct to Full Text Report (8 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.