Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed Maria A. Pallante as the 12th Register of Copyrights and director of the United States Copyright Office, effective June 1. Pallante served as the Acting Register following the retirement of Marybeth Peters on Dec. 31, 2010.
Pallante has had wide-ranging experience in copyright transactions, policy and litigation, in both the government and private sectors. In addition to Acting Register, she has held several key positions within the Copyright Office: Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs (2008-2010), Deputy General Counsel (2007-2008), and Policy Advisor (1996-1997). She spent much of her career in New York, working there from 1999-2007 as intellectual property counsel and director of the licensing group for the worldwide Guggenheim Museums, where she advised on programmatic and business initiatives related to publishing, product development and branding. She has led two national author organizations, working as Executive Director of the National Writers Union (1993-1995) and as Assistant Director of the Authors Guild (1991-1993), and was associate counsel at the Washington-based law firm and literary agency, Lichtman, Trister, Singer and Ross.
Pallante is a 1990 graduate of the George Washington University Law School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Misericordia University, where she was also awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters. She completed a clerkship in administrative law under the Hon. G. Marvin Bober, appellate division, U.S. Department of Labor. During her career, Pallante has been a frequent speaker on copyright law at events in the United States and abroad, and has testified before Congress several times, including on the Copyright Reform Act (1993); Orphan Works (2006) and Online Enforcement of Rogue Websites (2011). She was a member of the Librarian’s 1993 Advisory Committee on Copyright Registration and Deposit and is currently serving on the Department of Education’s Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Post-Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities.
The U.S. Copyright Office has been part of the Library of Congress since 1870. The Library is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the main repository of American authorship. Millions of books, songs, films and other creative works have been added to the Library’s unequaled collection of American creativity through the copyright registration system.