Lofgren: House copyright review won’t do much

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) isn’t optimistic about the House Judiciary Committee’s ongoing review of copyright law.

The process — kicked off by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) last year — “is interesting for those of us that are very nerdy, but I don’t see it going very far,” Lofgren said.

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Speaking at a Computer and Communications Industry Association event on Wednesday, Lofgren said the process won't go very far despite its activity over the last year. “We’ve had a lot of hearings,” she said.

The House Judiciary subcommittee on Intellectual Property has held hearings on a wide range of topics as it looks to evaluate the adequacy of current copyright law in the digital age, including fair use and the responsibilities of Internet platforms that can be used to infringe on copyrights.

Lofgren noted the eagerness of some members of the committee to crack down on online piracy through Internet companies.

“People who didn’t go through SOPA, PIPA don’t realize that we’re not going to go there again,” she said, referring to the massive 2012 online protest that led to the end of two anti-online piracy bills, the Stop Online Privacy Act and the PROTECT IP Act.

Rather than trying to rewrite copyright law, the content industry is working with the tech community to curb online piracy, Lofgren said.

“They’re trying to do collaborative deals with the tech world,” she said. “They’re not asking for a big review of the copyright law.”

Recently the Department of Commerce began a process to bring tech companies and the content industry together to improve the “notice and takedown system,” which allows rightsholders to notify Internet companies when their users are infringing.