Seven being considered for new US Register of Copyrights

Apparently it is now down to seven final candidates to be the new US Register of Copyrights. These include two employees of the Copyright Office (Carson and Kasunic), a lawyer in private practice (Fries), a full time professor (Brauneis), a professor/USPTO negotiator (Hughes), a trade negotiator (McCoy), and a representative of a trade association (Perlmutter). By gender, the finalists are two women, and five men.

They are, in alphabetical order:

Robert Brauneis
Professor of Law; Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Law Program; Co-Director of the Dean Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies; Member, Managing Board, Munich Intellectual Property Law Center

David Carson
U.S. Copyright Office, General Counsel, Library of Congress

Janet Fries
of Counsel, Drinker Biddle

Justin Hughes.
Justin Hughes teaches intellectual property, international trade, and internet law at Cardozo Law School. Since November 2009, served as Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.

Robert Kasunic
Principal Legal Advisor- U.S. Copyright Office, Office of the General Counsel, Library of Congress

Stan McCoy
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation

Shira Perlmutter
Shira Perlmutter – Executive Vice-President, Global Legal Policy, IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry)

We don’t know Janet Fries. I’m told that in addition to being a well respected copyright lawyer, she is a talented artist. David Carson and Robert Kasunic are highly regarded lawyers at the Copyright Office. Both have solid backgrounds in the relevant legal issues, but quite different personal styles. Professor Robert Brauneis is well known, has an easy going manner, and is considered a strong candidate for the Register job. Stan McCoy’s application was a surprise, in part because, unlike all of the other candidates, he is not considered an expert on copyright law. McCoy’s primary political asset in applying for the job is probably the heavy handed way he pushed for ACTA, and his reputation for favoring industry positions over consumer interests — to the extent that has impressed the MPAA, the RIAA or others lobbying the Librarian of Congress on the appointment. McCoy may be the most anti-consumer candidate of the group. Justin Hughes, who positions himself as a pro-industry academic, is probably smart enough for the job, but he has a poor reputation for working with colleagues at the USPTO, for personalizing policy disputes, and for engaging in bizarre conspiracy theories regarding trade negotiations. Last summer, Justin told a number of persons he had the job in hand, but others say it is doubtful that he actually has the inside track on the job at this point. Shira Perlmutter has considerable experience and expertise in the copyright area, having worked at the Copyright Office, WIPO, Time-Warner and IFPI, and she has managed to maintain fairly decent relationships with consumer groups, including KEI.