Judge Roberts Reappointed
Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, reappointed Judge
William J. Roberts to a six-year term as United States Copyright Royalty
Judge. (read more)
Copyright Royalty Judges
On January 11, 2006, Librarian of Congress Dr. James H. Billington
appointed three copyright royalty judges—James Scott Sledge,
Stanley C. Wisniewski and William J. Roberts—who oversee the
copyright law’s statutory licenses, which permit qualified parties
to use multiple copyrighted works without obtaining separate licenses
from each copyright owner.
The Judges will serve six-year terms, which are staggered. Under the
initial appointment, Sledge, who will serve as Chief Judge, will serve
six years, Wisniewski will serve four years, and Roberts will serve
two years. Each may be reappointed to subsequent six-year terms. The
Judges were appointed in accordance with the Copyright Royalty and
Distribution Reform Act of 2004, which became effective in 2005. Among
other duties, the Judges are responsible for determining and adjusting
the rates and terms of the statutory licenses and determining the distribution
of royalties from the statutory license royalty pools that the Library
of Congress administers.
Chief Judge Sledge is a retired United States Bankruptcy Judge from
Alabama. He has chaired the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association
and the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges. Chief Judge Sledge
also served for 12 years on the Alabama State Council on the Arts,
including two years as chairman. He was a director of the Alabama Symphony
Orchestra, an Alabama advocacy captain for Americans for the Arts,
and a director on the regional Southern Arts Federation.
Judge Wisniewski holds a Ph.D. in economics from Catholic University
of America and a J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law. Prior
to his appointment, he represented a variety of clients in litigation,
arbitration and administrative proceedings. He has provided expert
economic testimony in federal court, before private arbitration panels,
and before U.S. Senate and House committees. Judge Wisniewski also
served on the American Arbitration Association list of commercial arbitrators.
Judge Roberts began his legal career in the Copyright Office in 1987.
A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he served as
an attorney advisor in the Copyright General Counsel’s Office
and was promoted to senior attorney for compulsory licenses. He was
a Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel attorney for the entire 12-year
history of the panel. Since the inception of the Copyright Royalty
Board, Judge Roberts has served as interim senior attorney. He is an
adjunct faculty member at the George Mason University School of Law
where he teaches copyright law.