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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. 13, 2000
9:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 19.

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News Briefs

9/12. House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) released a GAO report [PDF] that found that of a sample of 65 federal government web sites, only 3% satisfy the privacy standards which the FTC applies to commercial web sites.
9/12. CEO Michael Robertson released a lengthy statement on the pending copyright infringement litigation against On Sept. 6, U.S. District Court Judge Rakoff ruled that willfully infringed Universal Music Group's copyrights, and set damages at $25,000 for each compact disk. Quote: "Regardless of the aggregate judgement, we intend to pursue an appeal of all appropriate issues related to this lawsuit, including the court's decision regarding the 'willfulness' issue and level of statutory damages, as well as the court's ruling on the issue of 'fair use.' " He added: "We are working with several legislators in Washington DC to review current copyright laws and possibly revise those laws ..."
9/12. The House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology held a hearing on establishing a Federal Chief Information Officer. Rep. Jim Turner (D-TX), the ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee, is the sponsor of HR 4670, the Chief Information Officer of the United States Act of 2000.
9/12. Attorney General Janet Reno gave the keynote speech at the Intellectual Property Symposium of the Americas. She devoted her address to intellectual property crime and the need for cooperation among governments and industry.
9/12. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HR 4321, the "Antitrust Enforcement Improvement Act of 2000."
9/12. Harris Interactive (HI), an Internet market research firm, announced that is has dismissed its complaint against MAPS and several ISPs. "We sued to open communication with our respondents and that goal was accomplished," said CEO Gordon Black. HI filed suit in U.S. District Court (WDNY) on July 31 against Microsoft (as the operator of hotmail), AOL, Qwest, other e-mail service providers, and MAPS, alleging violation of antitrust law, defamation, negligence, and other causes of action. The e-mail service defendants were blocking HI e-mail as part of their anti-spam efforts. Both AOL and Microsoft previously reached settlements with HI, in which both agreed not to block HI e-mail. See, release.
9/12. FCC Chairman Wm. Kennard gave a speech in Atlanta about Internet telephony and the nature of FCC regulation. He stated that "now my top priority at the FCC is to get high-speed broadband access into every home and hamlet in this country." He commented that "I also think that regulation is too often used as a shield, to protect the status quo from new competition - often in the form of smaller, hungrier competitors -- and too infrequently as a sword -- to cut a pathway for new competitors to compete by creating new networks and services."
9/11. FCC Chairman Wm. Kennard announced his intention to name Sherille Ismail Deputy Chief of the Cable Services Bureau. He is currently Dep. Dir. of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. He has also worked in the Common Carrier Bureau and International Bureau. Prior to working for the FCC, he worked for Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. See, release [MS Word].
9/12. Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) President Matthew Flanigan advocated passage of S 2698 and HR 4728, the Broadband Internet Access of 2000, at a press conference in Washington DC. See, TIA release.
9/12. NCTA EVP Peggy Binzel gave a speech in Baltimore in which she stated that "much of our competition is continuing to run to Washington with arguments about 'consolidation' and 'bottlenecks' -- conveniently forgetting that cable operators face intense competition in each of our new businesses while facing growing competition in our core business -- from satellites, overbuilders and ultimately, from the Internet itself."
9/12. Microsoft announced that it filed five complaints in U.S. District Courts in California alleging that the five defendants distributed counterfeit and/or infringing copies of Microsoft software or software components. See, MSFT release.
9/11. The Senate resumed consideration of HR 4444, a bill to provide permanent normal trade relations status for China, and proposed amendments thereto.
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.
New TLJ Stories

97% of Government Web Sites Fail the FTC's Online Privacy Test. (9/13) The GAO released a report on the privacy practices of federal government web sites. It conducted a survey of 65 web sites, and found that only 3% complied with all four of the "fair information practices" that the FTC applies to commercial web sites.
New Documents

GAO: Internet Privacy: Comparison of Federal Agency Practices with FTC's Fair Information Principles, 9/12 [3.4 MB PDF, GAO].
Transcript of press conference of Reps. Armey and Tauzin regarding the release of the GAO privacy report, 9/12 [HTML, TLJ].
Kennard: speech regarding Internet telephony and FCC regulation, 9/12 [HTML, TLJ].
New and Updated Sections

Calendar (updated).
News from Around the Web (updated daily).
Quote of the Day

"I've learned that when most people ask me to level the playing field, they want less regulation for themselves and more for their competitors. And today, people are telling me that voice communications, whether delivered by the Internet or the traditional phone companies, should be treated the same: licensed the same, regulated the same and taxed the same. In other words, more regulation for IP telephony." William Kennard, Chairman of the FCC.

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