May 25, 2022

Librarian of Congress Names New Chief Copyright Royalty Judge

From a LC News Release:

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today [recently] announced his selection of Suzanne M. Barnett as the new chief copyright royalty judge and head of the Copyright Royalty Board.

Barnett is a superior court judge of King County in Seattle, Washington. She was first elected to the court in 1996. Barnett officially begins in her new role May 20 and succeeds Chief Copyright Royalty Judge James Sledge.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Judge Barnett to this important position,” Billington said. “The Board plays a key role in helping ensure that many of the practical applications of our nation’s copyright laws are working for all parties. Judge Barnett’s 16 years of experience presiding over a wide variety of trials make her highly qualified to be chief copyright royalty judge. I also extend my gratitude for the dedicated public service of outgoing Chief Judge James Sledge, who has served ably during his six-year term.”

The 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.

Barnett joins William Roberts and Stanley Wisniewski on the Copyright Royalty Board. The Copyright Act provides that the chief copyright royalty judge “shall have at least five years of experience in adjudications, arbitrations, or court trials.” The chief is selected by the Librarian in consultation with the Register of Copyrights.

Read the Complete Announcement

See Also: Learn More About Copyright Royalty Board Judges

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.