date icon April 25, 2016 category icon

Happy Birthday, Library of Congress!

This week marks the 216th birthday of the Library of Congress, which was founded on April 24, 1800.

The nation’s library is steeped in a rich history, serving as our country’s oldest cultural institution and the largest library in the world, containing millions of books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, manuscripts, and recordings. Above housing invaluable contributions to our nation’s history, the Library serves as the people’s institution to both preserve and foster culture.

The Library is also home to a critical piece of the U.S. government: the Copyright Office. The U.S. Copyright Office was centralized in the Library of Congress in 1870, creating a linked system between the nation’s library and the Office responsible for sustaining our copyright system. Both serve a critical role in advancing the public interest and promoting the useful arts by providing access to works of creativity, fostering economic, social, and cultural value throughout the United States and the world.

As we reflect on the great social, economic, and cultural importance of the Library during its birthday celebration, we should also consider its future. In recent years, policymakers and constituents have questioned the Library’s (and Copyright Office’s) next chapter in the digital age, calling for both administrative and policy reforms that will make the Library more adaptable to modern technology and the public’s desire for accessibility.

The Library’s birthday and the discussion on its future coincide with another critical juncture in its history: for the first time in nearly three decades, the President has nominated a new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, who is currently awaiting confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

The enduring power of the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office to provide knowledge, access, and engagement to the nation will be deeply influenced by the coming years and the transformation into a 21st century institution. Internet companies are critical stakeholders in our nation’s copyright laws and the effective and equitable administration of both the policy and operations of the Copyright Office. By harnessing the power of modern technology, the Library and the Office’s accessibility to the nation would empower new generations of creators and thinkers.

More than two centuries after its foundations were laid, the Library is still a proud American institution, and has a unique opportunity in this chapter of history. The Internet industry applauds its 216th birthday and looks forward to a valuable partnership with the Library of Congress.

An American Privacy Framework

Data has revolutionized every part of our economy and daily lives, both online and offline. Thanks to data, we can get to work on time with efficient navigation, find the perfect playlist based on curated recommendations, and see faces of loved ones hundreds of miles apart. Americans deserve, and internet companies support, a modern approach Read more »

The Internet Makes Old Town Scottsdale New Again

“Old” and “internet” don’t always go together. But in Old Town Scottsdale, they do. That was a clear takeaway from our recent visit with five local businesses and Rep. David Schweikert in Old Town Scottsdale. Communities and businesses across the country depend on the internet to stay connected. State and national leaders should develop policies Read more »

Correcting Misconceptions About The U.S. Patent System

There’s been a great deal of misinformation floating around about the inter partes review process (IPR) and how it impacts American inventors and innovators. So, ahead of today’s U.S. Patent Office Oversight (USPTO) Oversight Hearing with USPTO Director Andrei Iancu, IA wanted to correct some common myths about the U.S. patent system and IPR. MYTH: Read more »

Latest News

Washington, DC – Internet Association Director of Diversity and Inclusion Policy Sean Perryman issued the following statement upon the introduction of the AI in Government Act of 2018: “The internet industry commends Senators Gardner and Schatz for their leadership in sponsoring the AI in Government Act. This bill assembles experts from the private and public Read more »

Read more news »

Stay Updated

Send me IA updates
I'm a member of the press