Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940, Jill Brett (202) 707-2905
August 12, 1993
Register of Copyrights Ralph Oman Resigns
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has accepted the resignation of Register of Copyrights Ralph Oman, effective January 8, 1994. In a letter to the Register, the Librarian noted Mr. Oman's contributions to the Copyright Office and to the international copyright community, and offered him best wishes as he moves on to other endeavors.
Until January 8, Mr. Oman will continue to hold the title of Register of Copyrights, but will be responsible for international copyright matters. Mary Berghaus Levering, Executive Director of the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC), will be detailed to the Copyright Office and will be responsible for the operation of the office in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Code. She will work with acting Deputy Librarian of Congress Daniel Mulhollan in advising Congress on the need for changes in legislation and will serve on the Management Team.
All managers and staff in the Copyright Office will report to Ms. Levering, who has agreed to serve in this capacity until January 8, by which time, the Librarian announced, he hopes to have named a new Register of Copyrights. If he has not, he will appoint an acting Register. A nationwide search will be conducted for a new Register of Copyrights.
Ms. Levering is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a member of the D.C. bar and the Supreme Court bar. She is also a professional librarian and information specialist, a graduate with distinction from the University of Washington's Graduate School of Library and Information Science, which in 1986 chose her as its Distinguished Alumnus. During the past 28 years, she has worked in four major areas at the Library--Collections Services, the Congressional Research Service, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and FLICC.
Mr. Oman was named Register of Copyrights by Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin on September 23, 1985. He was formerly chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks.
Mr. Oman received a bachelor of arts degree in history from Hamilton College in 1962 and a doctor of laws degree in corporate and international law from Georgetown University in 1973. From 1962 to 1964, he served as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State. He served in the U.S. Navy as a flight officer from 1965 to 1970. He was a press aide to Senator Hugh Scott in 1970 and a legislative aide to Senator William Roth in 1972. He was a trial attorney from 1974 to 1975 and again in 1977 with the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. In announcing his resignation to the staff of the Copyright Office, Mr. Oman stated his intention to return to the private practice of law.
The U.S. Copyright Office is responsible for administering the copyright law in the public interest, advising Congress concerning copyright matters, serving as principal advisory to the U.S. government on national and international copyright matters, accepting or rejecting claims to copyright, and managing the Copyright Office, one of the principal elements of the Library of Congress. Copyright deposit is a major source of the Library's vast collections. The estimated value of the materials received annually through copyright deposit is $12 million.
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