Copyright Office Announces Appointment of Nancy E. Weiss as Kaminstein Scholar

Issue No. 1035 - February 1, 2024

Photo of Nancy E. Weiss

Register of Copyrights Shira Perlmutter welcomes Nancy E. Weiss as the fifth Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in residence at the U.S. Copyright Office. Weiss joined the Office on January 14, and will be serving in this position for the coming year. She will focus her activities on advancing scholarship, engagement, and research on the protection, preservation, access to and use of diverse forms of traditional cultural expressions.

Prior to joining the Office, Weiss served as general counsel of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an executive branch agency that provides federal leadership and support for the nation’s more than 140,000 museums, libraries, and archives, including tribal and native-led cultural organizations. She has served as a high-level advisor in the context of domestic and international policy on cultural activity and digital inclusion, including as a key drafter of several international agreements and partnerships, and as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Weiss held the position of senior advisor for innovation and IP to the chief technology officer of the United States at the White House. She also served as the secretary to the National Museum and Library Services Board, a presidentially appointed policy advisory board.

Weiss received a BA in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School, before clerking for the Hon. William Schwarzer and practicing law at Williams & Connolly.

“Ms. Weiss is a deeply experienced leader at the intersection of law and culture,” said Perlmutter. “She will be an asset to the Copyright Office as we consider the copyright issues with traditional cultural expressions. I look forward to our collaboration during her tenure as our scholar in residence.”

The Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar Program provides an opportunity for scholars in legal, copyright, and other related areas to spend time at the Copyright Office, conducting independent research and working on mutually beneficial projects. Kaminstein served as Register of Copyrights from 1960 to 1971. An internationally recognized expert in the field of copyright, he presided over many major revision studies and roundtables that laid the foundation for the 1976 Copyright Act.

Prior Kaminstein Scholars were Professor Joel Waldfogel of University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management (2021–2022), Professor Robert Brauneis of George Washington University Law School (2013–2014), Professor Zvi Rosen of Hofstra University (2015–2016), and Steven Wilf of the University of Connecticut School of Law (2016–2017). For additional information about the Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar Program, including how to apply, please visit the program’s webpage.