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This Week in Tech: Patent Reform Hits House Floor

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Judiciary joins the Commerce and Homeland Security committees, which are both deeply involved in negotiations over an upcoming bill. Scheduled witnesses include associate deputy attorney general James Baker, acting deputy under secretary at DHS Greg Schaeffer and National Institute of Standards and Technology senior Internet policy adviser Ari Schwartz.

The full Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday will hold an oversight hearing of the administration’s recent efforts to enforce intellectual property laws, featuring IP enforcement coordinator Victoria Espinel, deputy assistant attorney general Jason Weinstein and the assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division, Gordon Snow.

Espinel will likely detail the administration’s crackdown on sites that link to pirated content. The administration has also targeted sites that stream copyrighted content such as movies and sports games; the committee approved a bill Thursday that would make streaming movies online commercially a felony if certain thresholds are met.

Also on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing on FCC process reform. Details and witness list are still to come.

The House Oversight subcommittee on Technology will hold a hearing Thursday on improving oversight and accountability in the more than $50 billion in federal grants issued annually. The hearing will likely include discussion of federal transparency sites such as USASpending.gov, which is supposed to provide accurate data on grants disbursed by agencies. House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced new transparency legislation last week that would create a single platform to track all federal spending.

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