November 8, 2021 Librarian of Congress Names Interim Chief Copyright Royalty Judge

Press Contact: William Ryan (202) 707-1940

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced her selection of Judge Suzanne Barnett as interim Chief Copyright Royalty Judge and head of the Copyright Royalty Board effective today. Barnett is replacing Chief Judge Jesse Feder who is stepping down from the position which he has held since 2019. A vacancy announcement seeking applicants for the permanent position will be issued in the near future.

"I am grateful to Judge Barnett for agreeing to serve in this position that she held before with such distinction,” Hayden said. “We are thankful again to have the benefit of her expertise and experience as Chief Copyright Royalty Board Judge and from other posts in the public and private sectors. My thanks also to outgoing Chief Judge Jesse Feder for his dedication and able service.

Barnett previously served as the Chief Copyright Royalty Judge from 2012 until her retirement in 2019. Before her 2012 appointment as Chief Copyright Royalty Judge, she was a superior court judge of King County in Seattle, Washington. Before taking the bench, Barnett practiced law for 16 years, most recently at a firm that she co-founded, Barnett MacLean.

Feder has been a Copyright Royalty Judge since 2013 and Chief Copyright Royalty Judge since 2019. A published author, he has more than 30 years of experience in copyright and intellectual property law, including as director of international trade and intellectual property for the Business Software Alliance, an associate register in the U.S. Copyright Office; and a legal adviser in the Office of the General Counsel for the Library of Congress. 

Barnett will serve on the Copyright Royalty Board alongside Judge David Strickler and Judge Steve Ruwe. The three copyright royalty judges are charged by statute with facilitating efficiency of transactions required by law between copyright holders and distributors ( The judges conduct proceedings between parties when the parties are unable to reach agreement on royalty terms, and facilitate distribution of royalties in concert with the U.S. Copyright Office.


PR 21-068
ISSN 0731-3527