Nadler to lead Dems on House Internet panel

Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Nadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime Lewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media MORE (D-N.Y.) has been selected as the new ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.

The spot became open when former-Rep. Mel WattMelvin (Mel) Luther WattFannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform should put American taxpayers first Watchdog: Former Rep. Mel Watt attempted to 'coerce' employee into relationship Budding housing crisis must be nipped now MORE (D-N.C.) left Congress earlier this month to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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Previously, Nadler was the ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) will take Nadler's ranking member seat on the Civil Justice Subcommittee. Both subcommittee assignments will not take affect until ratified by the full committee.

The Intellectual Property and Internet Subcommittee handles issues critical to the tech sector, including patent and copyright law. The House Judiciary Committee is in the middle of its comprehensive review of copyright law, led by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

"These laws are at the core of how we consume media, from watching TV and listening to music to enjoying a movie or sharing photos,” Nadler said in a statement announcing his new assignment.

“We will seek to strike the right balance between how artists, authors, musicians, photographers and other content creators are compensated for their work with the desire of technology companies to provide new and innovative ways for consumers to access this content like never before," he said.

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) changed Senate procedure last year — paving the way for a smooth confirmation process for Watt — intellectual property groups in the music industry commended Watt for his tenure on the subcommittee and expressed optimism about the possibility of Nadler becoming ranking member.

Those stakeholders pointed to the shared policy goal between Watt and Nadler of changing the current music royalty system, which allows AM/FM radio stations to play music at no cost.