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Pallante Exits Atop Copyright Office

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden is replacing Maria Pallante as head of the U.S. Copyright Office.

Pallante will become senior advisor for digital strategy, while Karyn Temple Claggett, associate register of copyrights and director of policy and international affairs, takes over as acting registrar as a "national search" for a Pallante replacement is conducted.

Pallante had been register of copyrights since 2011 and before that was deputy general counsel and associate register and director of policy and international affairs.

As head of the U.S. Copyright Office, Pallante pushed for making illegal streaming of copyrighted works a felony and more recently shared ISP concerns with the impact of the FCC's set-top box proposal on copyrights and contracts.

Fair use fans, including Public Knowledge, had taken issue with Pallante and what they said was the Copyright Office's too pro-industry bent.

Public Knowledge, which backs the FCC set-top revamp, had said the Copyright Office relied on a "deeply flawed" analysis to conclude their were copyright issues with the FCC's "unlock the box" set-top plan and accused it of working in the interests of "some" copyright holders rather than consumers.

"We hope this creates an opportunity to bring a more balanced perspective on copyright law into the leadership at the Copyright Office," said Public Knowledge president Gene Kimmelman.

Hayden, who comes from Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library and before that the Chicago library system (Obama became acquainted with her there), took over as Librarian of Congress earlier this year, much to the delight of Public Knowledge given that library associations tend to be on the fair use side of the copyright debate, with studios on the other.