Job Overview


The Library of Congress serves the Congress in fulfilling its duties and preserves and promotes knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people. It is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the world's largest library, with more than 155 million items in its physical collections (including books, manuscripts, prints, photos, film, video, and sound recordings) and over 37 million items online. Located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Library is the home of the U.S. Copyright Office, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Law Library of Congress and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

The Copyright Royalty Judge has responsibilities and delegated authority for broad, emerging, and or critical Library of Congress programs or operations presiding (with two other Copyright Royalty Judges) over quasi-judicial administrative proceedings relating to the determination of copyright royalty rates and terms and the distribution of collected royalties. Also, the incumbent has full responsibilities and duties as assigned by the Chief Copyright Royalty Judge pursuant to Chapter 8, Title 17 of the United States Code.

Candidates must be an attorney in good standing with a minimum of seven (7) years' legal experience and have significant knowledge of copyright law.

The office of the Copyright Royalty Judge shall be in the Library of Congress.

The position description number for this position is 058682.

This appointment is for six (6) years.

This position is an AL-02 and has no promotion potential.

Relocation expenses may be authorized for the applicant selected under this vacancy announcement.


Has overall responsibility, as well as delegated authority, for the oversight and administration of broad, emerging, and/or critical agency programs or operations in the area of quasi-judicial administrative proceedings for copyright royalties. Carries out all the responsibilities assigned to a Copyright Royalty Judge in Chapter 8 of title 17, United States Code.

Conducts and oversees quasi-judicial administrative proceedings to set and adjust terms and rates of royalty payments for the compulsory and statutory licenses in the Copyright Act, title 17 of the United States Code. Conducts and oversees quasi-judicial administrative proceedings to determine the distribution of royalty fees collected under sections 111, 119 and 1003 of the Copyright Act.

Conducts legal research and prepares probing and well-reasoned written analyses with respect to legal and factual issues to define or clarify controversial or disputed legal issues; applies sophisticated legal and factual analysis to resolve challenging problems; and assesses legal, economic and institutional constraints. Applies a comprehensive knowledge of a range of specialized areas of the law to the development, interpretation, or implementation of sensitive public policies that have long-range national or international significance.

In collaboration with other judges on the panel, evaluates evidence, and interprets testimony, regulations, statutory provisions regarding standards for setting rates and making royalty distributions. Makes final determinations on certain legal and factual issues. Schedules proceedings, rules on motions and admissibility of evidence according to the rules governing these proceedings.

Collaborates in preparation of final determinations within the statutory time limits announcing new royalty rates or a final distribution of copyright royalties. The Copyright Royalty Judges authorize the distribution of royalty fees collected under sections 111, 119, and 1003 of the Copyright Act; promulgate regulations governing rate and distribution proceedings based on changes in the law, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, and other decisions that affect the compulsory and statutory licenses; accept or reject royalty claims filed in accordance with regulations issued by the Copyright Royalty Judges; accept or reject petitions to participate in a rate setting or distribution proceeding; consider as a basis for statutory rates and terms or as a basis for the distribution of royalty fees, voluntary agreements among participants to a proceeding; and determine the status of a digital audio recording device or a digital audio interface device under the provisions of section 1010.

Performs miscellaneous administrative duties as needed in support of the Copyright Royalty Program, including but not limited to training of program staff and developing the office policies and practices.
May request a decision from the Register of Copyrights on questions of law and consult with the Register of Copyrights when a royalty determination would require that an action be performed by the Copyright Office or, when necessary or advisable, on other matters unrelated to questions of fact.

Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with various high-level individuals in the Library of Congress, the Copyright Office, and the Department of Justice.

Serves as an authority on litigation matters related to the distribution of copyright royalties and the setting of rates and terms for statutory licenses and works closely with the other Judges and the Department of Justice on appeals of the program's decisions.

May participate in boards and committees dealing with matters related to the copyright royalty program.  May serve as a representative and consultant for the program at interagency and international meetings dealing with issues and information in the area of expertise and program responsibility.

Contributes to the human resource management functions relative to the staff supervised.

Shares responsibility for furthering the goals of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Americans with Disabilities (ADA), by taking positive steps to ensure the accomplishment of affirmative action objectives and by adhering to nondiscriminatory employment practices in regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or non-disqualifying disability.