October 28, 2020

New U.S. Register of Copyrights Appointed

Shira Perlmutter begins service at Copyright Office

The Librarian of Congress announced in September that Shira Perlmutter was selected as the 14th U.S. Register of Copyrights.

The Librarian of Congress announced in September that Shira Perlmutter was selected as the 14th U.S. Register of Copyrights.

The Librarian of Congress announced in September that Shira Perlmutter was selected as the 14th U.S. Register of Copyrights. She took office in late October.

Perlmutter, formerly chief policy officer and director for International Affairs for the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, has more than 20 years’ experience working on copyright and other intellectual property issues in a variety of public and private sector positions. Prior to joining the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), she served as executive vice president for global legal policy at the International Federation of Phonographic Industry and before that as vice president and associate general counsel for IP policy at Time Warner Inc. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The U.S. Copyright Office and the Register of Copyrights play a leading role in the U.S. and global intellectual property system, administering the nation's copyright laws and providing impartial expert advice on copyright law and policy.

The Register of Copyrights is one of the significant policy thought leaders and institutional representatives overseeing some of the key issues of interest to ABA members.

The ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law (IPL), which advances the development and improvement of intellectual property laws and their fair administration, works closely with the Register and the Copyright Office on a range of activities on behalf of section members. For example, the Intellectual Property Section hosts a popular annual event -- Copyright Office Day -- where Copyright staff provide legal and policy updates. The ABA IPL frequently interacts with the Register and her staff, and comments on rule-making and policy reports. Section members can benefit from these meaningful opportunities to engage the Register and her staff concerning cutting-edge policy updates on copyright legal, legislative, and policy developments that directly impact clients and our practices.

“The Copyright Office’s policies and administration are vital for the ABA Intellectual Property Section and its committees,” said ABA IPL Section Chair June Besek.  “We are honored to be working with Ms. Perlmutter in her new role.”

Copyright functions were first centralized within the Library of Congress 150 years ago in 1870. The position of Register of Copyrights was created by Congress in 1897.

The Register directs the Copyright Office as a separate federal department within the Library of Congress, under the general oversight of the Librarian, based on U.S. Copyright Act statutory authorities.