Jonathan Bailey Announces Candidacy for Register of Copyrights

Campaign PosterNew Orleans – Copyright and plagiarism consultant Jonathan Bailey has today announced his intentions to run for the recently-vacated position of Register of Copyrights. In filings with both the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) and the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), Jonathan has officially put his name on the ballot for the 2011 election.

The Register of Copyrights position was recently vacated by the retirement of Marybeth Peters, who left the post at the end of last year. To replace Peters, The Librarian of Congress, which oversees the USCO, appointed Maria Pallante as acting Register.

According to Wikipedia, the Register of Copyrights acts as the director of the USCO and establishes procedures and policies for the registration of copyrights as well as advises Congress on copyright issues.

Though admittedly a dark horse candidate, Bailey believes he is the best person for the job, citing his background in technology and practical copyright enforcement.

“I would be coming at this position as a child of the computer age,” Bailey said, “I have been creating content online for over 15 years and I am more in tune with the needs of everyday writers, artists and photographers than any other candidate. I may not be an attorney, but that is the best thing going for me in this case.”

When asked what he would have done different over the past decade, Bailey was filled with examples of changes he would have liked to see.

“For one, that whole Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) system fiasco never would have happened. We never would have spent years of time and millions of dollars on a sub-par, crash-prone and confusing registration system. I would have paid a couple of Silicon Valley college students a few bucks to create an AJAX-ified online copyright registration system that slurps your RSS feed and sends you a ‘Thank you’ card in the mail. I’d have called it cpyrghtr and it would have been done in a weekend.”

When pressed on changes he would enact moving forward, Jonathan had a much shorter response.

“My first priority as Register of Copyrights would be to have all registration requirements removed. While that might mean the ending of my job, early Federal retirement doesn’t sound like a bad plan in the long run, especially if it helps copyright holders out and prevents the system from favoring wealthier and more knowledgeable content creators. Failing that, I’d like to focus on making registration cheaper and easier. It should take more energy and cost to mail a letter than it does to register a copyright.”

However, Bailey recognizes he faces many obstacles in his campaign to become Register of Copyrights. In addition to a large field of highly-qualified candidates, he is also hindered by the fact that the position is not currently an elected one. Rather, the position is currently appointed by the Librarian of Congress.

“People in the U.S. love elections, this is why we have such a high voter turnout. Over half of all eligible Americans voted in 2008 and I’m sure that an election for the Register of Copyrights would get the other half to come out as well. It is such a well-known and prominent position that affects all Americans in their day-to-day lives. I’m sure myself, the FEC and the USCO can work this out and arrange an election for this position.”

To that end, Bailey has already sent a team of negotiators to the USCO to hammer out plans for just such an election and, according to him, progress has already been swift.

“Yesterday,” he said, “The USCO finally stopped calling the police on my team. With this swift progress, I see no reason we can’t have the details hammered out in another two months. Plenty of time for a 2012 election.”

As far as his next steps go, Bailey has said he is focused on building his campaign and growing his presence on copyright matters.

“I’m currently working on an official site for the campaign. But I have a bunch of friends who need sites first and a couple of other client-related projects as well, so don’t expect anything for a few months. I have to have my priorities.”

In the meantime, Bailey encouraged everyone to follow his campaign and his candidacy efforts on both his blog Plagiarism Today and the site for his plagiarism and copyright consulting firm CopyByte.

“I’ll always be there,” he said, “Even after I get elected.”

For those who haven’t figured it out (or are coming at this post later) this is an April Fools joke. I’m not actually running for the position. Though it would be neat if one could…

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