Librarian of Congress Appointees Questioned

An Internet radio company has filed a straight-on challenge to the constitutionality of the Copyright Royalty Board, the three-member panel that determines the rates companies pay for statutory copyright licenses.

In a complaint filed yesterday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Live365, an Internet radio aggregator, argued that the royalty board violates the Constitution’s appointments clause, because its members are selected by the Librarian of Congress. The suit argues that because of their significant authority, these non-Article III judges are “Principal Officers of the United States” who must be selected by the president.

FYI, our current Librarian of Congress is James Billington, who was appointed by President Reagan (way back) in 1987.

There is currently speculation about the possiblity of a new LoC being appointed…see this story from Library Journal.

Interesting story with significant implications from Legal Times.