Shira Perlmutter
Register of Copyrights and Director, U.S. Copyright Office


Shira Perlmutter is the Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. She was appointed to the position effective October 25, 2020. Perlmutter leads a workforce of over 400 employees, advises Congress on copyright policy, and directs the administration of important provisions of the United States Copyright Act, Title 17.

Prior to her appointment as Register, Perlmutter had served since 2012 as Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In that position, Perlmutter was a policy advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and oversaw the USPTO’s domestic and international IP policy activities; legislative engagement, through the Office of Governmental Affairs; education and training, through the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA); global advocacy, through the IP Attaché Program; and economic analysis, through the Office of the Chief Economist.

Before joining the USPTO, Perlmutter was Executive Vice President for Global Legal Policy at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Prior to that, she held the position of Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Intellectual Property Policy at Time Warner.

Perlmutter previously worked at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva as a consultant on copyright and electronic commerce. In 1995, she was appointed as the first Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Copyright Office. She was the copyright consultant to the Clinton Administration’s Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure in 1994 and 1995.

Perlmutter is a research fellow at the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre at Oxford University. From 1990 through 1995, she was a law professor at The Catholic University of America, teaching copyright law, trademark and unfair competition law, and international intellectual property law. Previously, she practiced law in New York City, specializing in copyright and trademark counseling and litigation. She is a co-author of a leading casebook on international intellectual property law and policy and has published numerous articles on copyright issues.

Perlmutter received her AB from Harvard University and her JD from the University of Pennsylvania.

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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.”