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Shira Perlmutter Appointed United States Register of Copyrights

Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden has announced Shira Perlmutter as the new Register of Copyrights. Perlmutter will officially take the role of the 14th Register of Copyrights in late October.

Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden has announced Shira Perlmutter as the new Register of Copyrights. Perlmutter will officially take the role of the 14th Register of Copyrights in late October.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the U.S. Copyright Office during its 150th year,” Perlmutter said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Dr. Hayden and rejoining the dedicated staff of the Copyright Office on its mission of promoting the creation and dissemination of works of authorship, to the benefit of the American public.”

Perlmutter has worked at the U.S. Copyright office for the past eight years serving most recently as Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She also served as the liaison for the USPTO to other agencies including the U.S. Copyright Office, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of State. Prior to USPTO, she held the position as the Executive Vice President for Global Legal Policy at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in London, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Intellectual Property Policy, for Time Warner Inc.

She is also recognized as an accomplished and well respected academic. Perlmutter was on the faculty of The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, teaching copyright and trademark law as well as international intellectual property.  She earned a B.A. degree from Harvard University and a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She prepared congressional testimony and responses to congressional inquiries, and was the lead author of a report on digital distance learning that resulted in amendment of the Copyright Act, according to a statement from the Library of Congress.


Mitch Glazier, chairman and CEO of the RIAA, called Perlmutter’s appointment and “outstanding choice” by Dr. Hayden.

“No one knows more about copyright than Shira,” Glazier said. “In her long career of public service and scholarship, Register Perlmutter has consistently worked to promote understanding and progress in copyright law and has established herself as a preeminent authority. Her previous leadership experiences in academia and the private sector, along with her appointments at the U.S. Copyright Office, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will prove especially valuable in an increasingly interconnected global digital world.”

Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid said he was pleased that Dr. Hayden selected “such an experienced, knowledgeable, and capable person” to be the next Register.

“In appointing Register Perlmutter, Dr. Hayden has entrusted the U.S. Copyright Office to someone who has been a proven leader and a beacon of knowledge and integrity within the intellectual property community for decades and will serve all stakeholders and users of the Copyright Office services well in her new post,” Kupferschmid said in a statement regarding the announcement.

SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe also applauded the appointment, citing her “diverse background and expertise.”

“Shira Perlmutter’s extensive background both in government and the private sector makes her an inspired choice to be the Register of Copyrights,” Huppe said in a statement. “Her experience as chief policy offer at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, overseeing intellectual property policy at Time Warner and advising the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva gives her the diverse background and expertise to help guide copyright policy and create procedures and practices. Her appointment reflects the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden’s commitment to setting the highest standards for U.S. copyright policy, and we look forward to working with Shira as we strive for a more fair, equitable and modern copyright system.”

The Recording Academy also released a statement, saying it appreciated her “leadership and efforts on behalf of music creators” in her last position.

“The Recording Academy congratulates Shira Perlmutter on her appointment as Register of Copyrights and extends our gratitude to Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden for this selection,” the Academy said. “The Academy appreciated Register Perlmutter’s leadership and efforts on behalf of music creators in her previous role at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and welcomes the opportunity to work with her again. Register Perlmutter is no stranger to copyright matters for music creators, and the Academy looks forward to working with her on copyright modernization issues related to the Music Licensing Collective and safe harbor issues within the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”

NMPA president/CEO David Israelite also welcomed the news in a statement.

“The appointment of Shira Perlmutter as our next Register of Copyrights is welcome news,” Israelite said. “Shira’s extensive background and years of experience advancing both domestic and international copyright policy makes her extremely well suited for the position. She also appreciates the Office’s crucial role in protecting our nation’s creative economy. We thank the Librarian, Dr. Hayden, for her leadership in making this selection.”

Last December, Karyn Temple stepped down from the Register role to join the Motion Picture Association as their global general counsel. Temple began working at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2011 and served as Acting Register of Copyrights from October 2016 until March 2019, when she was appointed Register. Maria Strong, who has served as acting Register since Temple’s departure, will return to her role as Associate Register of Copyrights for Policy and International Affairs.