Interesting stuff afoot in the Congressional shuffle: "Hollywood" Howard Berman (who once proposed a law immunizing the entertainment industry for hacking innocent peoples' PCs while undertaking vigilante anti-piracy activities) looks set to leave the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property and chair the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (where the pork makes the money you get from entertainment giants look like small potatoes.
Likely to replace Berman is Rep Rick Boucher, who once proposed the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA), which would have reformed the DMCA to make it legal to break DRM in order to do lawful things. He's the closest thing to a copyfighter in Congress, and you can only imagine that putting him in charge of the House Committee that handles the Internet and copyright will certainly change the game.
God knows what Berman will do once he's running Foreign Affairs, though.
There's no guarantee yet that Boucher will get the job, and he and Berman still need to win their respective elections this fall, but even the prospect of a Boucher-controlled Internet and IP subcommittee in the House feels like an early Christmas present. As the Hollywood Reporter correctly notes, though, the full Committee is still chaired by John Conyers (D-MI), who comes from the Berman School of Thought on such issues.