Shira Perlmutter Is Named Register of Copyrights
Issue No. 851 - September 21, 2020
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that she has appointed Shira Perlmutter as Register of Copyrights and director of the U.S. Copyright Office.
“I am pleased to announce that Shira Perlmutter will serve as the 14th United States Register of Copyrights,” said Hayden. “Shira brings to this role a deep knowledge of domestic and international copyright law and policy and a background in negotiating international intellectual property agreements. She has experience working with a wide range of stakeholders and finding common ground on complex issues.”
Perlmutter will step into the role of Register of Copyrights in late October and will assume leadership of the organization during its 150th anniversary year.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the U.S. Copyright Office during its 150th year,” said Perlmutter. “I look forward to working with Dr. Hayden and rejoining the dedicated staff of the Copyright Office on its mission of promoting the creation and dissemination of works of authorship to the benefit of the American public.”
Maria Strong, who has served as acting Register since January 2020, will return to her position as Associate Register of Copyrights for Policy and International Affairs. “I appreciate Maria for stepping into the role of acting Register and for providing excellent leadership to the U.S. Copyright Office,” said Hayden.
Perlmutter has served since 2012 as chief policy officer and director for international affairs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), working in all areas of intellectual property, including copyright. She worked with other agencies including the U.S. Copyright Office, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Justice, and other executive agencies.
At USPTO, Perlmutter guided the work of teams of policy experts, the Office of the Chief Economist and the IP Attaché program, oversaw the development and implementation of training and outreach plans, and served as lead author on significant Department of Commerce papers on copyright issues. She co-led the U.S. delegations that negotiated two copyright treaties at the World Intellectual Property Organization, notably the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled and the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances. She engaged with multiple copyright stakeholders, including author organizations, copyright industries, technology companies, consumers, libraries, and academics.
"We welcome Shira's appointment and look forward to working with her on the many initiatives underway at the Copyright Office," said Strong.
Prior to USPTO, she served as the executive vice president for global legal policy at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in London, United Kingdom, where she was responsible for the development and international coordination of policy positions on copyright, trade, and other legal issues for six years. Perlmutter previously served as vice president and associate general counsel, Intellectual Property Policy, for Time Warner Inc. As chief intellectual property counsel, she oversaw the development of positions on domestic and international copyright issues associated with the provision of creative content and journalism, as well as online services.
From 1995 through 1999, Perlmutter served as the Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Copyright Office. In that role, she advised Congress and the Administration on copyright and related matters, including the 1998 DMCA to implement international treaties and address the challenges of digital technologies. She prepared congressional testimony and responses to congressional inquiries and was the lead author of a report on digital distance learning that resulted in amendment of the Copyright Act.
Perlmutter began her career working for two different private law firms, developing a specialty in copyright and trademark law.
For a number of years, she was on the faculty of The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, teaching copyright and trademark law as well as international intellectual property. She continues to serve on the boards of several organizations that focus on intellectual property issues and is a frequent writer and speaker on the subject.
Perlmutter earned a B.A. degree from Harvard University and a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.