Broadband and fair use fan Rick Boucher new 'Internet overlord'?
[Revised] OK, that may be the most exaggerated title for a subcommittee chairmanship, but it could get you to read to the end of this item about a Southwestern Virginia congressman in the news... First, some sources:
Copyright Reformer Lands Key Legislative Post
"Some digital rights advocates cheered the appointment of longtime copyright-reform champion Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.
"Boucher is taking over for Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who will now head the Energy and the Environment subcommittee, the lawmakers announced Thursday."
From Dow Jones Newswires, via CNNMoney: US Rep Boucher Headed for Telecom Subcommittee Chair
"The recording and movie industries may suffer some heartache with Boucher leading the telecom subcommittee. For several years running, Boucher has sponsored bills dictating 'fair use' of copyrighted material, for example, allowing individuals to copy music or movies for their own use without violating copyright laws."
Here's the congressman's press release about his new chairmanship.
In the 111th Congressman Boucher will oversee the digital television transition and work toward reform of the federal universal service fund, promote broadband deployment and work to enable local governments to offer broadband in communities not fully served by commercial carriers.
Background: The online office of Congressman Rick Boucher
Geek cred: Boucher is a co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and back in 2001 (a "first"?) was interviewed by readers of Slashdot, the "news for nerds: stuff that matters" Internet forum.
Result: Here's Slashdot's discussion of his new chairmanship. I wonder if the congressman has noticed that someone is calling him "our new sane, Slashdot-answering, fair-use-aware internet overlord."
Another "/." comment: "He's honest, smart, knowledgeable. Yet despite those handicaps he's served in Congress for many years."
Finally: Also thanks to a link from Slashdot, a relevant cartoon, although Boucher doesn't have quite the track record of the guy in the hat.