The incoming chairman of a key House of Representatives committee is bad news for those worried about internet freedom and great news for the RIAA and MPAA. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) was elected head of the House Judiciary committee this week, and seems to be even more enthusiastic about supporting Hollywood and the music industry than the previous chairman Lamar Smith.
This new position of power worries advocacy groups because Goodlatte has strongly supported bills like SOPA in the past and a few months ago said that he remained "committed to enacting strong copyright laws." In a press release last year, Goodlatte said he was supporting SOPA because the legislation would "protect American jobs" and prevent American babies from dying after drinking "counterfeit" baby formula.
"It's unfortunate to see another copyright maximalist taking over the chairmanship of the Judiciary committee, especially because Rep. Goodlatte has failed to show even a slight change of heart after the resounding defeat of SOPA," says Julie Samuels, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a vocal SOPA critic. "If anything he's doubled down, despite the bill's profound unpopularity."
CNET offers a run-down of the congressman's previous efforts to support legislation meant to fight copyright infringement on the Internet here.