Maria Strong is the Acting Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. She was appointed to the position effective January 5, 2020. Strong leads a 400-person workforce and directs the administration of important provisions of the United States Copyright Act, Title 17.
Strong also serves as Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs, directing a team that focusses on domestic and international policy analyses, legislative support, and trade negotiations. The Office of Policy and International Affairs represents the Copyright Office at meetings of government officials concerned with the international aspects of copyright protection and enforcement, and provides regular support to Congress and its committees.
Prior to her April 2019 appointment as director of PIA, Strong served as its deputy director since January 2015. Upon joining the Copyright Office in 2010, she served as senior counsel for policy and international affairs and also served as acting general counsel from April to July 2013. Before joining the Office, Strong spent nineteen years in private practice in Washington, DC, where she represented clients in the media, technology, and entertainment sectors and provided analyses and advocacy on global and domestic issues involving copyright law, enforcement, trade policy, and e-commerce. She began her legal career as a staff attorney at the Federal Communications Commission.
Strong earned her JD from George Washington University Law School, her MA in communications management from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications, and her BA in communication studies from UCLA.
About the USCO
Copyright functions were first centralized within the Library of Congress in 1870 and, in 1897, Congress created the position of Register of Copyrights. 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 useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”