Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Nov. 7, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 58.
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New TLJ Stories

Supreme Court Grants Cert in NYT v. Tasini. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in New York Times v. Tasini, a case regarding the application of copyright law to the republication of the articles of free lance writers in electronic databases.
New Documents

FCC: Report to Congress re status of 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz auctions, 11/6 (PDF, FCC).
BXA: notice of request for comments on EARs for HPCs and encryption products, 11/6 (HTML, BXA).
USPTO: rule changes re 18 month publication of patent applications, 11/6 (PDF, FedReg).
USCA: opinion in E-Data v. Compuserve re Freeny patent, 11/3 (MS Word, FedCir).
JW: complaint in Regland.com v. ICANN, 11/3 (HTML, Regland).
New and Updated Sections

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

"Creating a successful market economy in ex-communist countries is a daunting challenge. But it can be done. Just look at Estonia. Ten years ago, it was part of the Soviet Union. Now, it has a thriving Internet economy and is on the doorstep of the European Union. Or take Slovenia, where a bigger share of the population have access to the web than in France or Germany. ... A few thousand protesters may demonstrate against the WTO, but 18 million people have joined the WTO this year. Whatever our critics say about us, whatever our flaws, these accessions underline that governments believe that freer trade and the rule of law are good for their citizens."

Mike Moore, Director General of the WTO, Nov. 6 speech in Vienna.
News Briefs

11/6. The Supreme Court granted certiorari in New York Times v. Tasini, a case regarding whether publication in electronic databases of works written by free lance writers for periodicals constitutes copyright infringement. The plaintiffs are free lance authors who whose articles were previously published in periodicals. They claim copyright infringement by defendants, who are publishers and owners of electronic databases in which the articles are also made available. The U.S. District Court (SDNY) issued its Opinion in 1997 holding that defendants are protected by the privilege afforded the publishers of "collective works" under 201(c) of the Copyright Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir) issued its Opinion reversing the District Court on Sept. 24, 1999. The Supreme Court's Order granting certiorari contained no comment. See, Order List [PDF], Nov. 6, at page 2. See also, TLJ story.
11/6. The FCC's Wireless Telecom. Bureau issued a Report [PDF] to Congress on the status of competitive bidding for spectrum between 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz. This spectrum offers potential to deploy new methods of providing high speed Internet access, and is suitable for new fixed wireless in underserved areas, as well as next generation high speed mobile services. The FCC has bifurcated the process into two separate auctions, one for licenses in a 30 megahertz spectrum block (747-762 MHz and 777-792 MHz) and another for licenses in the Guard Bands, which consist of 6 megahertz of spectrum (746-747 MHz, 776-777 MHz, 762-764 MHz, and 792-794 MHz). See also, Nov. 2 release. The former, Auction No. 31, has been postponed until March 6, 2001. The auction of Guard Band licenses, Auction No. 33, closed on September 21, 2000. For background, see WTB summary of Auction 31.
11/6. The BXA published in the Federal Register a notice of request for public comments regarding whether it should change foreign policy based export controls in the Export Administration Regulations (EARs). These regulations cover, among other things, high performance computers (HPCs), encryption products, and other software products. The deadline for comments is Nov. 30, 2000. See, Federal Register, Nov. 6, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 215, pages 66514 - 66515.
11/6. The FCC requested nominations to its Technological Advisory Council. The deadline is Nov. 22, 2000. See, release.
11/6. The USPTO published two minor technical corrections to its final rules regarding 18 month publication of patent applications. See, rule changes [PDF], at Federal Register, Nov. 6, Vol. 65, No. 215, page 66502.
11/6. The USITC published an article on e-commerce in the steel industry in the October edition [1.3 MB in PDF] of its International Trade and Technology Review, at pages 7-18. The study found that "Steelmakers and steel buyers around the world have recently aligned themselves with various Internet-based marketplaces ... to improve efficiencies and decrease costs. Electronic commerce ... has led to many strategic alliances and joint ventures among industry participants as well as between steel-related and high-technology companies. However, the amount of steel sold to date through E-commerce has necessarily been limited because the technology to conduct transactions online is still evolving."
11/6. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced deadlines for applying for grants and loans under its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program. For FY 2001, $25 Million in grants and $300 Million in loans will be made available for distance learning and telemedicine projects serving rural America. Grant applications must be postmarked no later than March 2, 2001. Loan applications may be submitted at anytime up to Sept. 30, 2001, and will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. See, RUS notice [PDF], Federal Register, Nov. 6, Vol. 65, No. 215, page 66503.
11/3. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion [MS Word] in E-Data v. Compuserve vacating and remanding the judgment of the U.S. District Court (SDNY) of non-infringement of U.S. Patent No. 4,528,643, also known as the Freeny patent. The Freeny patent is directed to a system for reproducing information in material objects at point of sale locations. The defendants are computer software and publishing companies and a retail bookstore. E-Data alleges that the software and publishing companies infringed the Freeny patent by selling software or documents over the Internet, and that the bookstore infringed the Freeny patent by selling books that include a CD-ROM containing encrypted computer applications, access to which is not possible until the consumer retrieves a password. 
11/3. The ICANN released a statement regarding RegLand.com's filing of a complaint in state court in Texas against ICANN: "Regland's claims are utterly baseless and ICANN regards the lawsuit as frivolous. ICANN believes that it is entirely appropriate to alert the public that no TLDs have been selected and that no company -- including Regland -- is yet authorized to be selling domain names in new TLDs. These statements are entirely true and are designed to caution consumers who may be mislead into believing that they have actually registered a name in a TLD that does not yet exist." On Sept. 29 ICANN released a statement which included the following: "The Names Council feels it is premature for companies to offer pre-registration services for domain names in speculative new TLDs. To date, no new TLDs have been selected and there is no guarantee that any particular organization will be authorized to take registrations for any particular TLD." Regland's three count complaint, which was filed by the law firm of Jackson Walker, alleges defamation, business disparagement and tortious interference. See, Regland release.
11/3. The ICANN issued a statement regarding the development of a standard specifying the requirements for internationalized access to domain names. This standard will extend the operation of the Internet's Domain Name System to character sets other than ASCII such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, the Scandanavian languages, and Spanish.
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.
On Tuesday Nov. 7 at 12:15 PM ET the Federal Communications Bar Association's Common Carrier Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speaker will be Dorothy Attwood, Bureau Chief of the FCC's Common Carrier Bureau. Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding, 1750 K Street, NW, 10th Floor.
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