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Interim Register of Copyrights Named As Marybeth Peters Retires

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It’s one of the oldest, least understood and most arcane positions in the U.S. government, yet in the modern digital economy it’s also one of the most critically important.

It’s the position of the Register of Copyrights, the director of the United States Copyright Office in the Library of Congress.

On Friday, the Library of Congress announced that it has put Senior Adviser Maria Pallante in charge as the current Register Marybeth Peters retires at the end of the year.

Pallante has been working on national and international copyright policy issues in the Library of Congress since 2007.

A graduate of George Washington University’s law school, she  has a deep background in intellectual property issues. Prior to her work at the Copyright Office, Pallante was the Guggenheim Museum’s director of licensing for eight years in New York.

During Peters’ tenure, the Copyright Office has consistently tried to influence landmark copyright battles of the digital age. For example, the office has come out against the Google Book Settlement.

The office is part of the legislative branch of government. Its staff work with Administration counterparts in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to form policy positions on landmark copyright law both domestically and internationally.

The Copyright Office also registers and manages copyright registrations, interprets copyright law once it’s been enacted, and provides advice to lawmakers on key pieces of pending legislation.

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