Karyn A. Temple
Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office


Karyn A. Temple serves as the 13th Register of Copyrights and the Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. Appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden on March 27, 2019, Temple leads a 400-person workforce and directs the administration of important provisions of the United States Copyright Act, Title 17. Temple is the first African American Register of Copyrights.

Prior to her appointment, Temple served in several different roles within the Copyright Office. She served as Acting Register of Copyrights from October 21, 2016 to March 26, 2019. Temple also previously served as Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs for the United States Copyright Office from January 30, 2013 to October 21, 2016. As Associate Register, she assisted the Register of Copyrights with critical policy functions of the Copyright Office, including domestic and international policy analyses, legislative support, and trade negotiations. She directed the Office of Policy and International Affairs, which represents the Copyright Office at meetings of government officials concerned with the international aspects of intellectual property protection, and she provided regular support to Congress and its committees on statutory amendments and construction. From 2011 to 2013, she served as senior counsel in the Office of Policy and International Affairs.

Before joining the Copyright Office in 2011, Temple served as senior counsel to the deputy attorney general of the United States, assisting with the formulation of U.S. Department of Justice policy on sensitive legal issues and helping to manage the department’s Task Force on Intellectual Property. She also spent several years in private practice at the Recording Industry Association of America and at the law firm Williams & Connolly, LLP. She began her legal career as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division through its Honors Program and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Nathaniel R. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Temple earned her JD from the Columbia University Law School, where she was a senior editor of the Columbia Law Review and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She earned her BA in English from the University of Michigan.

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About the USCO

Congress created the Copyright Office in 1897 as a separate department of the Library of Congress. The Register of Copyrights serves by appointment of, and under the general direction of, the Librarian of Congress. Congress enacted the first federal Copyright Act in 1790 in accordance with Article 1, section 8 of the United States Constitution, “to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries.”