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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. 19, 2000
6:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 23.

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News Briefs

9/18. The House Commerce Committee's Telecom Subcommittee approved HR 4445, the Reciprocal Compensation Adjustment Act of 2000, by a voice vote late on Monday. This bill, which is supported by ILECs, would end reciprocal compensation payments made for phone calls to connect to the Internet. The Subcommittee held a hearing on this bill on June 22. See, TLJ story of June 23.
9/18. The WTO Appellate Body upheld a ruling by a dispute settlement panel that Canada's 17 years from grant patent term does not meet its TRIPS obligations. USTR Charlene Barshefsky had this to say: "We expect Canada to comply promptly and fully with this ruling." See, USTR release and the Report of the Appellate Body [34 pages in PDF]. See also, TLJ story.
9/18. The House Judiciary Committee scheduled a marathon mark up session for Sept. 19 and 20. The agenda includes 11 bills, including HR 5018, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 2000. On Sept. 14 the Constitution Subcommittee approved an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Rep. Charles Canady (R-FL), as amended by an Amendment offered by Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA). The bill would: (1) require courts and law enforcement entities to make annual reports to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) regarding applications for orders, warrants, or subpoenas authorizing or requiring the disclosure of the contents of electronic communications, and further require the AO to submit an annual report to Congress; (2) affect the use of electronic communications as evidence in federal court; (3) affect the use pen registers and trap and trace devices; and (4) preclude any government entity from using any "mobile electronic communication service" device as a physical locator, without "a court order issued upon a finding that there is probable cause to believe that (A) an individual is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a felony offense; and (B) the location information sought to be obtained concerns the location of the person believed to have committed, be committing, or be about to commit that offense or a victim of that offense." The final item, which is the Barr Amendment, is intended to prevent the widespread use of cell phones as tracking devices.
9/18. The Commission on Child Online Protection held the first of two days of meetings.
9/18. Apple announced that it has licensed's 1-Click patent and trademark for use on its Apple Online Store, as part of an e-commerce patent cross-licensing agreement. See, Apple release.
9/14. The Texas Department of Public Safety, with assistance from the RIAA's Anti-Piracy Unit, executed a search warrant at Kode Red, a retail outlet in a Dallas suburb. Among the items seized were three CD-R towers, containing a total of 12 eight-speed CD-R burners, 329 blank CD-Rs, 528 jewel cases, 898 pirate CD-R labels, and 373 completed alleged pirate CD-Rs. See, RIAA release.
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

The Wall Street Journal reports in its web site that "The European Commission has drafted a preliminary recommendation to block the merger of America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. ..." See, full story.
New TLJ Stories

WTO Appellate Body Rules that Canada's 17 Year Patent Term Violates TRIPS. (9/19) The WTO Appellate Body upheld a dispute resolution panel decision that the section of the Canadian Patent Act which provides for a term of 17 years from the date of issuance violates Canada's obligations under the TRIPS Agreement.
New Documents

WTO: Appellate Body Report re Canadian 17 year patent term, 9/18 (PDF, WTO).
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