Marybeth Peters became the United States Register of Copyrights on August 7, 1994. From 1983 to 1994 she held the position of policy planning adviser to the register. She has also served as acting general counsel of the Copyright Office and as chief of both the Examining and Information and Reference divisions. Peters is a frequent speaker on copyright issues; she is the author of The General Guide to the Copyright Act of 1976. She delivered the 2004 Brace Memorial Lecture (at New York University School of Law) and the 1996 Horace S. Manages Lecture at Columbia University School of Law. She serves on the Intellectual Property Advisory Committees of several law schools.
Peters received her undergraduate degree from Rhode Island College and her law degree, with honors, from The George Washington University Law School. She is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia.
Peters has received numerous awards for her work as Register of Copyrights. They include: The 2005 Jefferson Medal, awarded by the New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association, for exceptional contributions in the field of intellectual property, the 2004 Cyber Champion Award presented by the Business Software Alliance, for exceptional contributions in the field of computer law, the 2003 Computer Law Association Past President’s Award for distinguished service to information technology lawyers throughout the world, an award from the American Society of Media Photographers for “exemplary fairness and contributions to photographers,” an award from the Graphic Artists Guild, the Women in Music 1999 Touchstone Award for legislative contributions that brought significant benefit to those in music, the Los Angeles Copyright Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Intellectual Property Law Association 2006 Excellence Award and State Bar of Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Section 2007 Texas Star Award.
Peters, is a member of The Copyright Society of the U.S.A., the Intellectual Property Section of the American Bar Association, the U.S. Chapter of the Association litteraire et artistique internationale (ALAI), the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the International Technology Law Association.
Peters, from 1986 to 1995 was a lecturer in the Communications Law Institute of The Catholic University of America's law school and previously served as adjunct professor of copyright law at The University of Miami School of Law and at The Georgetown University Law Center.
During 1989 to1990 Peters was a consultant on copyright law to the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.