Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Conyers: IP Is All Mine

I'm way late on this, but the Photo Business News and Forum blog links to a PaidContent article reporting that House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) has decided to strip jurisdiction over IP issues from the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property and grab them for himself on the full committee. The article cites an aide as claiming that the reason was "the subcommittee was getting too big because so many people wanted to be involved in IP."

I also think it's likely that the decision by Conyers -- a longtime friend to copyright owners -- was motivated by a desire that Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) not chair a subcommittee that would take the lead on IP issues. Boucher, Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus, is one of the copyleft's biggest allies in Congress, and would give Hollywood fits if he held sway over their issues. According to Broadcasting & Cable, Boucher will instead seek to chair the Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee of Energy & Commerce -- an important post, though not one that will put him in a position to gut the DMCA. However things shake out, copyright owners will certainly miss having Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) -- who quite literally represents Hollywood -- chair the IP subcommittee.

All of which is another sign that copyright owners will do just fine in the new Washington.

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