House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Online Infringement

The House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet (which is a subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary) held a hearing on March 14, 2011 entitled “Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online:  Legitimate Sites v. Parasites, Part I,” addressing how to combat online infringement by rogue websites.

While I have not yet watched the webcast available on the Committee’s web site, an article by the Bureau of National Affairs suggests that the hearing was devoted to the same kind of inquiry that the Senate Judiciary Committee considered last month, and thus raises questions about what a revised COICA bill could look like. (For a discussion of the Senate’s hearing, see my prior blog post.) The BNA article reported that Rep. John Conyers, Jr. “lashed out at the witnesses [toward the end of the hearing] and expressed his profound disappointment at what he perceived is a dearth of suggestions for action that Congress could take to address the problem being addressed.”

The witnesses who testified during the hearing and provided written remarks were Maria A. Pallante (Acting Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office), David Sohn (Senior Policy Counsel, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)), Daniel Castro (Senior Analyst, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)) and Frederick Huntsberry (Chief Operating Officer, Paramount Pictures).  Their written remarks are available on the Committee’s site.

As of this writing, a date for the second part of this hearing has not yet been posted to the Committee’s site.