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News, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer, internet, communications and information technology sectors

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Tech Law Journal
Daily E-Mail Alert
Sept. 4, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 12.
Labor Day

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News Briefs

9/1. A complaint was filed in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against Internet Wire and Bloomberg News in connection with their publishing a fake press release with false information about Emulex. Plaintiff, Ron Hart, an Emulex investor who is represented by the law firm of Schatz & Nobel, seeks class action status. The individual who perpetrated the press release fraud, Mark Jakob, has been arrested by the FBI, and charged with securities fraud by the SEC. A second complaint was filed in California against Internet Wire and Mark Jacob by a San Diego investor named Brian Robbins alleging for fraud and negligence.
9/1. The FCC released a request for comments [MS Word] on the CTIA Petition to Suspend Compliance Date in the FCC's CALEA proceeding (CC Docket No. 97-213). In 1994 Congress passed the CALEA to allow LEAs to maintain wiretap capabilities in new telecom devices, by requiring carriers to make their wireline, cellular, and broadband PCS equipment capable of certain surveillance functions. In Aug. 1999 the FCC issued an Order [huge WP file] implementing and expanding the requirements. The CTIA on others filed Petitions for Review. On Aug. 15 The U.S. Court of Appeals (DC) released its opinion vacating parts of the FCC order. However, the binding deadline of the order (Sept. 30, 2001) remains in place.
9/1. The House Commerce Committee's Telecom Subcommittee released the witness list for its Sept. 7 hearing on "Foreign Government Ownership of American Telecommunications Companies."
  Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC)
  Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-WA)
  Kevin DiGregory (DOJ)
  Larry Parkinson (FBI)
  William Kennard (FCC)
  Richard Fisher (Asst. USTR)
  John Stanton (VoiceStream)
  Morton Bahr (CWA)
  Gregory Sidak (AEI)
  Andrew Lipman (Swidler Berlin)
  Michael Noll (Annenberg Sch.)
  Thomas Donahue (US Chamber)
8/31. The U.S. Internet Council released its annual State of the Internet Report 2000. Quote: "Although it remains possible that governments might smother the Internet in regulation, early signs suggest that this is unlikely. The Internet should continue to evolve into an open and global information environment ..." See, release.
8/31. U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall (Conn.) released a scathing 103 page ruling in which she awarded Bristol Technologies $1 Million in punitive damages against Microsoft. Bristol filed a 14 count complaint against Microsoft on August 18, 1998 in which it plead a variety of federal and state antitrust, unfair trade practices, and common law theories. On July 16, 1999, the jury ruled for Microsoft on all counts, except one alleging violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, for which it awarded a token $1 in compensatory damages. Judge Hall saw the case differently. In addition to the punitives, she enjoined Microsoft from publishing or distributing its WISE Mission Statement. See, Bristol release and Tech Law Journal summary of Bristol v. Microsoft.
8/31. The FCC released a report [PDF] about competition in the market for local telecommunications services. It concludes that CLECs provided about 4% of the 190 million telephone lines that served end-user customers at the end of 1999. About 34% of these lines were local loops that they own, while the remaining lines were served by means of unbundled network elements (UNEs) or services acquired from other carriers. See also, FCC release [MS Word].
8/31. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy sent a letter to Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Stuart Eizenstat stating that proposed modifications to the U.S. Foreign Sales Corporations (FSC) tax scheme are still unacceptable to the EU. See, EU release. The FSC scheme allowed a portion of a U.S. taxpaying firm's foreign-source income to be exempt from U.S. income tax. It benefited software companies, among others. The EU filed a complaint about the FSC scheme with the WTO, alleging that it was a prohibited export subsidy. A WTO dispute settlement panel sided with the EU last fall, and the WTO Appellate Body upheld its findings in February. See also, HR 4986, the "FSC Repeal and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act of 2000", sponsored by Rep. Bill Archer (R-TX). For background, see May 2, 2000 press briefings by Lamy and Eizenstat and by Eizenstat and Talisman.
Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert. The dates indicate when the event occurred, not the date of posting to Tech Law Journal.
Breaking News

9/4. The Washington Post is reporting in a story in its Monday edition, and in its web site, that the FTC is "prepared to block the America Online Inc.-Time Warner Inc. merger unless the companies agree to keep open their high-speed cable lines to competing entertainment and online companies".
New TLJ Stories

9/4. Judge Awards Bristol $1M in Punitive Damages from Microsoft. Judge Hall awarded Bristol $1,000,000.00 in punitive damages from Microsoft under the Connecticut unfair trade practices law, based upon a jury verdict that awarded Bristol $1.00 in compensatory damages.
New Documents

9/1. FCC: Request for Comments on the CTIA's Petition to Suspend CALEA Compliance Date (MS Word file in the FCC web site).
8/31. Judge Hall: Ruling on Bristol Technology's Motion for Award of Punitive Damages & Motion for Permanent Injunction (103 GIF files in the Bristol web site).
8/31. Judge Hall: Injunction of Microsoft -- excerpt from ruling in Bristol v. Microsoft (HTML, TLJ).
8/31. U.S. Internet Council: State of the Internet Report 2000 (HTML, USIC).
8/31. FCC: Local Telephone Competition at the New Millenium (PDF, FCC).
New and Updated Sections

Bristol v. Microsoft (case summary updated to include Judge Hall's ruling on punitive damages).
Calendar (House and Senate committees are starting to publish their hearing schedules for early September).
News from Around the Web (updated daily).
Quote of the Day

"The deceptive conduct engaged in by Microsoft clearly rises to the level of reckless and wanton indifference to the harm it caused Bristol and others, including ISVs, that relied on Microsoft's assurances regarding the viability of products under the WISE Program to allow porting of applications written for Microsoft's latest NT source code". Judge Janet Hall, in her Aug. 31 ruling in Bristol v. Microsoft.
 

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