Copyright Office’s Deputy General Counsel Named Rising Star in Nation’s Capital
Issue No. 593 - September 16, 2015

The National Law Journal has announced the inclusion of Sarang (“Sy”) Damle on its 2015 “Rising Stars: Washington’s 40 under 40” list. Damle joined the Copyright Office’s legal staff in 2014 and was appointed deputy general counsel by the Register of Copyrights in January 2015.

The list consists of Washington, D.C., area lawyers under age 40 who have demonstrated great promise in private practice, in government agencies, on Capitol Hill, or with public interest groups. The journal’s editors predict that these young lawyers, selected based on nominations and reporting, will play a major role in the legal community of the nation’s capital, and therefore the nation, for years to come.

“Sy displays all of the qualities of a rising star, including, most critically, a discriminating intellect, willingness to lead, and significant and ongoing commitment to public service,” wrote Maria A. Pallante, the Register of Copyrights, in nominating Damle for recognition. “Few copyright lawyers have both the disciplined legal training and the command of technology that are so essential for this work.”

Damle is a former software developer, which allows him to bring first-hand experience to copyright questions involving technology, the Register said.

With the Copyright Office’s general counsel, Jacqueline Charlesworth, Damle oversees a legal staff and complex portfolio focused on the effective administration of the nation’s copyright laws. In the past year, he has helped to lead several high-profile projects, including an internationally recognized study, “Copyright and the Music Marketplace.” He is also a principal drafter and supervisor of the sixth triennial rulemaking to craft exemptions to the prohibition in copyright law against circumventing access controls on copyrighted works.

Damle has engineering and business degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he graduated first in his class. From 2013 to 2014, he was senior counsel in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Before that, he was an appellate litigator in the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, where he served as lead counsel in more than 40 appeals, with a focus on intellectual property, separation of powers, and administrative law matters. Damle began his legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Sandra L. Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Damle credits Judge Lynch with steering him toward a government career, which has permitted him to take the lead on “really interesting and difficult issues,” he told the National Law Journal.

Subscribers to the journal can access the full Rising Stars list here.