Intellectual Property to Be Higher Priority for Judiciary Panel

Posted November 13, 2008 at 12:58pm

Starting in January, the full Judiciary Committee will take up intellectual property issues, a House Democratic aide confirmed Thursday.

Under a reorganization deal expected to be adopted at the outset of the next Congress, antitrust legislation and oversight — which is now taken up by the full panel — will be placed under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.

Intellectual property will then take its place as an issue for the full panel, which will consider in January legislation involving intellectual property and other digital ownership issues. The issues have risen in importance for trade groups representing recording artists, software manufacturers and other industries whose bottom line has eroded in recent years from inexpensive knock-offs and illegal Internet distribution.

“The elevation of intellectual property issues to the full Committee in the next congress ensures they will be front and center on the Committee’s agenda,” musicFIRST Coalition spokesman Martin Machowsky said in an e-mail. “We look forward to working with Chairman Conyers and members of the committee to close the copyright loophole and create a fair performance right on radio for America’s artists and musicians.”