Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

End of the line for the House IP subcommittee

Andrew Noyes, Conyers To Abolish IP Subcommittee, CongressDaily, November 12, 2008.  (Thanks to Kara Malenfant.)  Only the first two paragraphs are free online:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers will abolish the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property in the new Congress and instead keep intellectual property issues at the full committee level, a Judiciary aide told CongressDaily today. A Subcommittee on Courts and Antitrust will be created, but no other subcommittee changes are expected, the staffer said.

In the 110th Congress, the IP subcommittee was among the House's most active under the direction of Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., who plans to chair the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the coming session....Conyers plans to remain just as active on IP issues at the full committee level, the staffer said....

Comment.  What's the OA connection?  The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property held the September hearing on the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (a.k.a. Conyers bill).  What does its abolition mean for OA?  All the subcommittee members who sided with publishers against OA are still members of the larger House Judiciary Committee, which is still chaired by the bill's sponsor, John Conyers.  The new committee structure won't change any votes --although some might have changed because of the testimony at the hearing, subsequent lobbying by both sides, and the election three weeks ago.  However, the new structure will give Conyers greater control over copyright-related legislation, and withdraw the control formerly held by subcommittee chair, Howard Berman.  Conyers, of course, supports the anti-OA bill, and Berman had doubts about it.