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Fourth Hearing on the New Copyright Law is Announced

July 19, 2013

MTP readers will be interested in the announcement by the direction of Chairman Goodlatte of the fourth in a series of hearings before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, on the new Copyright Act.

The hearing was announced yesterday to be held next Thursday, July 25, at 9:30 a.m. in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.  These meetings are typically live streamed by the Subcommittee.

Witnesses have not been announced, but the topic is “Innovation in America: The Role of Copyrights.”  We expect that Committee Chairman Goodlatte and Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble will want a balanced witness list, but Google will be working this hearing on a grand scale with their legion of lobbyists, consultants and PR brigades, and we may actually see Google present for the first time.  This is particularly true since Google recently got the White House to release its absurd methods for perpetuating brand sponsored piracy that would fit nicely with this exchange between Ranking Member Mel Watt and the Google lobbyist (transcript at p. 140):

Mr. WATT. What about if [a brand sponsored pirate site] contains 20 copies of the King James Bible, but it is still 90 percent child pornography? Are you saying First Amendment rights will not allow us to do that?
Ms. OYAMA. I think we agree with Floyd Abrams [on one thing that Floyd Abrams did not say–] that you need to look at the whole site. You need to make sure that it is reallydedicated to infringement—and we need legitimacy.
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