Abe A. Goldman
Acting, 1973


Abe A. Goldman came to the Copyright Office in 1952 as a legal advisor in the Research Unit. He was promoted to chief of research and served until 1960, when he was promoted to fill the position of general counsel following George Cary, who had been assumed the duties of deputy register. Upon Cary’s retirement from government, Goldman served as acting register of copyrights from March to November 1973, when Barbara Ringer was appointed Register of Copyrights

Goldman played a principal role in the effort to revise the 1909 copyright law. As chief of research, he was the editor-in-chief of the 34 studies prepared under the supervision of the Copyright Office for the purpose of considering a general revision of the copyright law. These studies were first published by the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights under the program for a comprehensive reexamination of the copyright law that preceded the enactment of the 1976 Copyright Act. Goldman authored the first study, The History of the U.S.A. Copyright Law Revision from 1901 to 1954. Together with E. Fulton Brylawski, he edited the 6-volume Legislative History of the 1909  Copyright Act.

Born March 2, 1907, in Evansville, Indiana, Abe Goldman attended the University of Chicago, where he received both his bachelor’s degree in 1930 and his law degree in 1931. He joined the Indiana and Illinois bars and engaged in the private practice of law. During this time, he taught commercial law and government at People’s Junior College in Chicago.

He began his federal career in 1935 as an attorney for the Farm Credit Administration, later assuming responsibility for all legal work of the Production Credit Division and the Regional Farm Credit Administration. He resigned in 1950 and worked for a time as an executive in private industry. Goldman was the author of numerous articles on copyright and related subjects, and represented the Copyright Office at national and international meetings on copyright. He was noted for his legal expertise and scholarship. Goldman retired from government service in December 1973 as general counsel of the Copyright Office and did consultative work and research. He died May 25, 1988.