March 27, 2019 Librarian of Congress Appoints Karyn Temple Register of Copyrights

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Public Contact: Catherine Rowland (202) 707-0956

Karyn A. Temple, Register of Copyrights. Photo by David Rice

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced her selection of Karyn A. Temple as the Register of Copyrights. Temple has been Acting Register of Copyrights since Oct. 21, 2016.

“I am pleased to announce that Karyn Temple will serve as the 13th United States Register of Copyrights,” Hayden said. “Karyn has done a superb job as Acting Register for the last two and a half years, leveraging her skills as both a copyright lawyer and accomplished manager to provide excellent leadership for the Copyright Office.” Of the 13 Registers of Copyright in U.S. history, Temple will be the first person of color to hold this position.

Prior to her appointment as Acting Register, Temple had served since 2013 as Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs for the United States Copyright Office. In that role, she oversaw the office’s domestic and international policy analyses, legislative support and international negotiations.

Before joining the Copyright Office in 2011, Temple served as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, where she helped formulate Department of Justice policy on legal issues and helped manage the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Intellectual Property. She also spent several years in the private sector as Vice President, Litigation and Legal Affairs for the Recording Industry Association of America and at the law firm Williams & Connolly LLP.

Temple began her legal career as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division through its Honors Program and also served as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review. Temple received her B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Congress created the Copyright Office in 1897 as a separate department of the Library of Congress. The Register of Copyrights serves by appointment of, and under the general direction of, the Librarian of Congress.

The Copyright Office plays a crucial role in the nation’s cultural and economic development. Congress enacted the first federal Copyright Act in 1790 in accordance with Article 1, section 8 of the United States Constitution “to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” The Copyright Office is the principal federal entity charged by statute with the administration of the U.S. copyright law. Among other statutory duties, the Register oversees the copyright registration and recordation systems of the United States, manages statutory royalty fees totaling more than a billion dollars annually, advises Congress on domestic and international copyright policy issues, and provides support on copyright matters to courts and executive branch agencies.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services, and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register and record creative works of authorship at


PR 19-034
ISSN 0731-3527