Tech Law Journal
Daily E-Mail Alert
Nov. 2, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 55.

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News Briefs

11/1. and filed an agreement in U.S. Bankruptcy Court (CDCa) under which agrees to purchase assets of On July 20 a collection of motion picture studios, record companies, and music publishers (which are members of the MPAA and RIAA) filed a complaint [HTML | PDF] in U.S. District Court (SDNY) alleging that "Scour enables and encourages its users to find and download digital files of plaintiffs' copyrighted motion pictures, sound recordings, and musical compositions from the computer hard drives of other users". All plaintiffs alleged copyright infringement. Record company plaintiffs also alleged unfair competition and misappropriation under state law. On Oct. 12, filed its Chapter 11 petition for bankruptcy in Los Angeles. Hillary Rosen, CEO of the RIAA, said in a release that "I have been assured by's management that prior to the acquisition of that the file exchange service and search engine service will be shut down and any resolution of the lawsuit will depend upon Scour and following through on this commitment."
11/1. Clinton and Congressional leaders appear to have put off until after the Nov. 7 election resolution of their disputes over legislation. Several appropriations bills have yet to be signed into law, one month into the new fiscal year. Most of the agencies which deal with technology related matters are affected, including the FCC, FTC, SEC, Justice Department, and Commerce Department (which includes the USPTO, NTIA, NIST, and BXA). Other pending matters include the FSC replacement bill, repeal of the 3% tax on telephones, and a provision mandating Internet porn filtering by schools and libraries receiving e-rate subsidies. The House recessed until Nov. 2. The Senate recessed until Nov. 14. Most Members of Congress, as well as Clinton, are out campaigning.
11/1. The Senate approved by unanimous consent HR 4986, the FSC Repeal and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act of 2000. Another version of this bill was included in HR 5542, a large tax reform package which has been passed by both the House and Senate, but which Clinton has said he would veto. See, Senate Finance Committee release.
11/1. WorldCom announced a realignment of its businesses; it will create two separately traded tracking stocks: WorldCom for data, Internet, hosting and international businesses, and MCI  for consumer, small business, wholesale long-distance voice and dial-up Internet access operations. See, WC release. Gary Lytle, CEO of the USTA, seized the occasion to plead the case for RBOCs being allowed to offer long distance services. He said that "Today's announcement from WorldCom, coupled with AT&T's apparent retreat from the residential long distance market last week, provides further compelling evidence that more competition is needed in the long distance segment." See, release. Several RBOC Section 271 applications are pending before the FCC.
11/1. SEC Enforcement Division chief Richard Walker gave a speech to the Securities Industry Association in NYC in which he defended Regulation FD, the selective disclosure rule, which went into effect on Oct. 23. "Although I've heard industry spokespersons continue to claim that the rule has caused a 'chilling effect' on communications, I personally believe that any such effect being observed is largely due to an over-abundance of caution, fed by the dire predictions of numerous law firms and others opposed to the rule." He also reiterated that "Regulation FD was not designed as a trap for the unwary, as many law firms are counseling. ... there is no liability under Rule 10b-5 for failure to make a public disclosure required by FD ... there is no exposure to private liability ..."
11/1. ICANN published an update on the status of TLD applications. The public comment forum on the applications will remain open until 4:00 PM California time, Sunday, Nov. 5.
11/1. The Department of Defense, General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a notice of proposed rule making regarding the use of electronic signatures in procurement. Public comments are due by Jan. 2, 2001. See, Federal Register, Nov. 1, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 212, pages 65697 - 65698.
11/1. The Copyright Office published in the Federal Register the schedule for the 180-day arbitration period for the Phase II distribution of the 1997 cable royalty funds for the syndicated programming category. (Nov. 1, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 212, pages 65335 - 65336.)
11/1. NTIA chief Greg Rohde held a demonstration of a new Internet based system intended to warn the public of dangerous weather conditions or other events. See, release.
11/1. BellSouth named Jonathan Banks General Counsel of its Washington DC office. See, 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.

The NTIA will hold a public meeting on obtaining more spectrum for use by 3G wireless communications. Third Generation wireless technology currently being developed will bring broadband Internet access to hand-held devices. See, NTIA release and notice in Federal Register.
New Documents

FCC: report titled "High- Speed Services for Internet Access: Subscribership as of June 30, 2000", 11/1 (PDF, FCC).
DOD: notice of proposed rule making regarding the use of electronic signatures in procurement, 11/1 (TXT, FedReg).
CO: schedule for the 180-day arbitration period for the Phase II distribution of the 1997 cable royalty funds for the syndicated programming category11/1 (TXT, FedReg).
New and Updated Sections

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

"I oppose H.R. 4986, the FSC Repeal and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act of 2000. Unfortunately, this legislation is an example of corporate welfare. Further, it does not adequately change the old Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) program to prevent disputes with the European Union. I am concerned that this legislation is an example of the costly corporate welfare that cripples our ability to respond to truly urgent social needs such as health care, education, and national security. The FSC benefits many major U.S. corporations, including ... Cisco Systems."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
"European companies did not beat a path to EU headquarters in Brussels insisting that they take us on over the FSC. Trade ministers in European capitals did not rush to Brussels with demands to file this case against us. Rather, the EU bureaucrats, angry at having lost two important cases to the United States, were going to fight back. So, we end up with the FSC case, and another example of the EU undermining the global trade system."

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)