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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. 26, 2000
8:30 AM ET.
Alert No. 28.

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News Briefs

9/25. California Gov. Gray Davis vetoed Assembly Bill 2412, sponsored by Assemblywoman Carole Migden (D-San Francisco). This bill would have imposed a sales tax for retailers who process orders over the Internet. In addition, Gov. Davis signed a bill creating a commission to examine sales tax issues in the New Economy, and another bill calling for a three-year moratorium on Internet access taxes. SB 1933, sponsored by Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), creates the California Commission on Tax Policy in the New Economy. The Commission will examine sales tax issues and develop a long-term strategy in relation to technology and the State and local tax structure. AB 1784, sponsored by Assemblyman Ted Lempert (D-San Carlos), provides a 3 year extension of Californiaís Internet Tax Freedom Act. See, Gov. Davis release.
9/25. U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it determined not to review the presiding administrative law judge's (ALJ) finding that access from the U.S. of Mentor Graphics's foreign design verification centers would not be covered by the ITC's cease and desist order in its advisory opinion proceeding instituted by Quickturn regarding certain hardware logic emulation systems used in the semiconductor industry to debug and test electronic circuit designs for semiconductor devices. (Inv. No. 337-TA-383) The respondents are Mentor and Meta Systems. The ITC also determined to take no position on the ALJ' s alternate determination concerning the "use" of Mentor's hardware logic emulator in the United States if the term "covered product" in the cease and desist order is interpreted to include infringing hardware and software that has not been imported. See, ITC release.
9/25. The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced an electronic Braille reader that allows blind people to read e-books. It employs software to translate electronic text into Braille, and features variable speeds. NIST hopes that it will be adopted by the private sector. According to NIST, "About 50,000 e-books already have been sold in America, and industry analysts believe e-books could represent a $2.3 billion market by 2005, about 10 percent of all consumer books." See, release.
9/25. Christian Mixter left the SEC to become a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, a huge Philadelphia based law and lobbying firm. He was the SEC's Chief Litigation Counsel in the Division of Enforcement. See, SEC release.
9/25. Bill Clinton announced his intent to nominate Donald Robinson to be a member of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. See, release.
9/25. Ivan Seidenberg, President and co-CEO of Verizon Communications, gave a luncheon address at the National Press Club in Washington DC.
9/22. The FCC's Wireless Telecoms. Bureau issued a Notice [MS Word] in which it requests public comment on a petition for declaratory ruling filed on Feb. 2, 2000 by the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit White v. GTE. It pertains to whether certain CMRS practices violate the Communications Act. Comments are due by Oct. 20; reply comments are due by Nov. 6.
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

Economist Estimates that Court Ordered Microsoft Breakup Would Cost U.S. Consumers $50 Billion. (9/25) Stan Liebowitz, an economics professor, released an economic analysis of Judge Thomas Jackson's breakup order in the Microsoft antitrust case, which concluded that, if the order were implemented, software prices will rise, costing American consumers at least $50 Billion over three years, and possibly much more.
New Documents

Liebowitz: An Expensive Pig in a Poke: Estimating the Cost of the District Courtís Proposed Breakup of Microsoft, 9/21/. (PDF, ACT).
Calif.: Assembly Bill 2412 (a bill to impose a sales tax on Internet retailers vetoed by Gov. Davis on 9/25) (HTML, Calif. Assem.)
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Calendar (updated daily).
News from Around the Web (updated daily).
Quote of the Day

"A remedy is supposed to fix a problem. An antitrust remedy is supposed to help consumers. The current remedy does neither. Over a three year period the remedy put forward by Judge Jackson can be expected to cost American consumers upward of $50 billion in higher software prices alone, compounded by additional development and support costs, reduced competition in the server/ workstation market, a lower quality Windows operating system and an inferior shopping and utilization experience for PC consumers. The total price tag will undoubtedly wind up being much larger than this conservatively estimated $50 billion."  Prof. Stan Liebowitz, regarding Judge Jackson's order to break up Microsoft. (source)
 

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