This has me tremendously disturbed.Â Combined with the "Orphan Works Act" of 2008 (http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/ - I totally disagree with this act because it's a giveaway to big business), this backlog is inexcusable.Â More and more authors, musicians, and artists are going to be ripped and will have NO recourse through the courts.Â The government is now giving away intellectual property.Â© 2009? Wishful Thinking, Perhaps, as Backlog Mounts Copyright Office Bogged Down by New System
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The envelopes fill white plastic tubs, stacked on hundreds of shelves in the basement of the Library of Congress. They're spreading to a ground-floor space that once housed the gift shop and are clogging offices on the fourth floor. And each day, the mail trucks bring about a thousand more.
A serious logjam in the U.S. Copyright Office has created a growing mountain of paper applications, more than the staff can process. Like the marching buckets of water in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," the envelopes just keep coming, threatening to flood the operation.
The problem has tripled the processing time for a copyright from six to 18 months, and delays are expected to get worse in coming months. The library's inspector general has warned that the backlog threatens the integrity of the U.S. copyright system.
The irony is that the slowdown stems from a new $52 million electronic process that is supposed to speed the way writers and others register their literary, musical or visual work.
The delays do not appear to be hampering the business of the major publishing houses or those willing to spend $685 for a "special handling fee" that expedites registration. But the slowdown is frustrating hundreds of thousands of little-known people with big dreams. They paid $45 for the right to claim legal ownership of poems, fabric designs, plays, jingles, even computer manuals.