WIlliam Patry writes today about what the election could mean for copyright. Bottom line, either Howard Berman or Rick Boucher will take over the IP subcommittee in the House, and Patry thinks there’s a good chance it will be Boucher. Boucher is no friend of the DMCA and seems to understand fair use.
Mr. Boucher is viewed by content owners as generally less sympathetic to their interests, although I would phrase the matter quite differently. Mr. Berman will always play an important role in the House on IP matters even if he is not chair of the subcommittee. In the past, he has taken great interest in international issues, and that may be the way he goes. The idea that he would pass on a different chairmanship solely at the urging of content owners is an idea that doesn’t reflect Mr. Berman’s overall interests or his role as a member of Congress. This isn’t to say he won’t take the IP subcommittee, it is only to say that I doubt the matter is as settled as some think.