At today's scheduled Judiciary Committee Markup, everyone's not-so-favorite copyright bill for the end of 2006, the Copyright Modernization Act was scheduled for passage. The CMA had actually been on the markup schedule for the previous two weeks, but folks on both sides of the debate had successfully chimed in to delay the bill.
This week, it was a little different. A few bills were considered and passed out of committee before the CMA was considered. This week, it actually came up and Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, who introduced the bill was recognized to make a statement. In it, he said he had counted heads in the committee and was confident that he had the votes for successful passage, but was concerned that the bill may be set for difficult passage out of the House and Senate. He said he'd prefer to start anew next year. Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner rhetorically asked if that was an indication that Smith wanted to withdraw the bill from markup consideration, and then made it so.
A collective sigh of relief was let out from a few rows of audience, comprised of consumer device manufacturers and some service providers.
From there, Mr. Smith made a heartfelt statement thanking and congratulating Chairman Sensenbrenner on his leadership of the full House Judiciary Committee.
So, with your support by writing and calling your members of Congress, we've managed to dodge another bullet for, we think, the rest of the year. Good work!