The old Register of Copyrights snuck a $25M fake line-item into the budget

When the old Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante stepped down from the Library of Congress, it was an open secret that she'd been forced out and there was a lot of Big Content conspiracy theories that Google had gotten her canned because she was too friendly to the movie studios and record labels.

But after a leaked report revealed massive waste in the Library (blowing $11.6M on a computer system that shoulda cost $1.1M and then ending up with nothing to show for it), the real reasons behind Pallante's departure started to come into focus.

Now comes a video from a House Judiciary Committee hearing where Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) asked Pallante to explain a mysterious $25M line-item in the Library's budget, Pallante shrugged and admitted that she'd made up the number as a "place holder" but that it was "no big deal."

Now, what can a Librarian do if a Register is acting insubordinately, or giving fake budget request numbers. Unfortunately, this is not a hypothetical. While preparing the fiscal year 18 appropriations request, the Library noticed that a $25 million line item in the Copyright Office's request didn't add up. When questioned about this, Register Pallante stated that this number "was no big deal" — it was just a placeholder and they'd make adjustments after the money was appropriated.

In other words, the Copyright Office gave the Librarian fake budget numbers with the intention that she go testify in front of the Appropriations Committee to the need of these funds that was made up.

Another Major Scandal At The Copyright Office: $25 Million 'Fake Budget' Line Item
[Mike Masnick/Techdirt]

(Image: PD)