On September 21, 2020 the Copyright Office announced that Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden had appointed Shira Perlmutter as Register of Copyrights and director of the U.S. Copyright Office. Perlmutter will step into the role 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.”
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.
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.