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Librarian of Congress Names Steve Ruwe as New Copyright Royalty Judge

October 18, 2019

Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden today announced her appointment of Steve Ruwe to the position of copyright royalty judge on the Copyright Royalty Board. Effective Oct. 13, Ruwe will serve an interim appointment through Dec. 7, 2019, followed by a six-year appointment.

Ruwe is filling a vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Jesse Feder as Chief Judge. He will serve on the Copyright Royalty Board alongside Feder and Judge David R. Strickler, replacing CRB senior staff attorney Richard C. Strasser who filled the seat on an interim basis while Feder’s successor was chosen.

“I am pleased to appoint Mr. Ruwe to this position,” Hayden said. “His years of experience in the administration of copyright law with the Copyright Office and in other positions allows him to offer important expertise and insight to the job. I also thank outgoing Judge Strasser for his dedication and his continuing and able service to the board.”

Ruwe has more than 15 years’ experience in copyright and intellectual property law. Before his appointment to the CRB, Ruwe served as assistant general counsel in the Copyright Office’s Office of the General Counsel. He began his service in the Copyright Office in 2006, rising from the position of attorney-advisor to assistant general counsel. Ruwe’s work at the Copyright Office ranged over many issues, including statutory licensing, CRB rate determinations, regulations, policy studies, and appellate litigation.

“Steve Ruwe has been a trusted and valued asset to the Copyright Office, and his experience and expertise will serve him well,” said Karyn A. Temple, Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office.

From 2016 to 2018, he held the position of attorney advisor for copyright law and policy with the Patent and Trademark Office’s Office of Policy and International Affairs. With the PTO, Ruwe served on U.S. delegations in international negotiations, including NAFTA/USMCA negotiations and treaty negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.

Ruwe grew up in Northern Virginia. He earned a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a law degree from George Mason University. He worked as a literary agent for authors and served as a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Tom Davis before joining the Copyright Office in 2006.