Ars Technica: “With a Death in Congress, an IP Shakeup Looks Likely

Rep. Tom Lantos’ (D-CA) death from esophageal cancer last night leaves an opening at the top of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, an opening that appears to be perfectly shaped like Howard Berman (D-CA). Berman is expected to take over the foreign affairs post, which will open his current spot as chair of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. Rick Boucher (D-VA), who’s in favor of expanded fair use rights and DMCA reform, looks to be next in line.
Berman hails from Hollywood and has been a powerful Congressional backer of the entertainment industry. Known as Congressman Hollywood, he’s pushed everything from higher radio station royalty payments to the MPAA’s campaign against colleges to the current PRO-IP Act.