Maria A. Pallante, senior adviser to the Librarian of Congress, has been appointed Acting Register of Copyrights, assuming the duties of Marybeth Peters, who will retire on Dec. 31, after 16 years as Register of Copyrights. Pallante, whose appointment is effective January 1st, will serve until the next Register of Copyrights is selected

"The position of Register of Copyrights is extremely important to the copyright community, the Library of Congress and the United States, and requires a significant skill set," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement. "It is important that we proceed diligently in making that appointment. In the meantime, Maria is an experienced copyright lawyer and manager, and I am grateful that she is willing to oversee the registration, policy and other important functions of the Copyright Office for as long as we need her."

Since assuming her current position as senior adviser to the Librarian in October, Pallante has worked with the Library's senior management on a number of strategic assignments related to the mission and operations of the Library of Congress and its future in a world digital economy. She previously held two senior positions in the Copyright Office. From December 2008 to October 2010, she was the associate register in charge of the office of policy and international affairs. From January 2007 to December 2008, she was deputy general counsel. In both positions she helped to shape a number of domestic and international policy initiatives, working with congressional offices, Executive Branch agencies and constituents from the private sector. She was also a policy adviser in the Copyright Office from June 1996 to November 1997.

Prior to joining the Library of Congress, Pallante served as intellectual property counsel and director of licensing for the Guggenheim Museums where she advised on programmatic and business initiatives related to worldwide publishing, product development and branding; the acquisition and exhibition of contemporary art; and the operation of overseas affiliates and licensees. Earlier in her career, she worked in private practice and on the staffs of the Authors Guild and National Writers Union, respectively. Pallante earned her juris doctor degree from George Washington University and her bachelor's degree from Misericordia University, where she was also awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

The U.S. Copyright Office has been part of the Library of Congress since 1870. The Library is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the main repository of American authorship. Millions of books, songs, films and other creative works have been added to the Library's magnificent collection through the copyright registration system.