The news is a few days old, but it hasn’t appeared here yet and it should. This past week the United States got a new Register of Copyrights: Maria Pallente.
Maria has been serving as the Acting Register since the previous Register, Marybeth Peters, retired at the end of the last year. As of the first of this month, Maria is now the full, official, not-just-acting-but-being, Register.
The US Register of Copyrights works under the Librarian of Congress and does a lot more than just registering things. Her role does includes developing procedures within the Copyright office for registering works, researching registrations and other such things. But her increasingly more important role is to provide input and analysis on copyright law and issues relating to copyright, both domestic and international.
Already Maria has testified before Congress about potential changes to the US copyright regime. Her first day as Register, she appeared before the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet to discuss various types of online infringement. She had testified about similar issues before the same subcommittee has Acting Register in March.
Marybeth Peters is often hailed for her many achievements as Register of Copyrights, and I’ve often heard her spoken of fondly by both sides of the great copyright debates. Maria has some big shoes to fill, but it looks like she’s jumped right in and is ready for the challenge. Welcome to Maria!
For a full description of the US Register of Copyrights duties: 17 U.S.C. §701