Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Nov. 15, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 64.
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Court Rules that Open Access Ordinance Violates First Amendment Rights of Cable Operators. The U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the cable operators in the Broward County cable access case. It held that the county ordinance requiring cable operators to provide their competitors with access to their broadband cable Internet access facilities violates the First Amendment rights of the cable operators. See, opinion.
New Documents

FTC: Notice of workshop on consumer protection in m-commerce, 11/14 (HTML, FTC).
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Calendar (updated daily).
News from Around the Web (updated daily).
Quote of the Day

"Under the circumstances, I would agree that there is no point in holding Members here with the unrealistic expectation that something is going to happen over the next week or so on the appropriations bills."

Rep. David Obey (D-WI), 11/13.
News Briefs

11/14. The House met on Monday Nov. 13 and Tuesday Nov. 14. It put off negotiations over unresolved appropriations legislation disputes until after Thanksgiving, in part because of uncertainty in the Presidential election. However, the House passed the FSC bill, the Intelligence Authorization Act, and another joint resolution making further continuing appropriations for the FY 2001. It then adjourned until Dec. 4.
11/14. The House passed HR 4986, the Foreign Sales Corporation (FCS) Repeal and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act by a vote of 316 to 72. See, Roll Call No. 597. The bill benefits, among others, U.S. high tech companies that sell their goods and services abroad, including Microsoft and Cisco. It also averts, at least temporarily, a potential trade war with the European Union. However, the EU will complain to the WTO that this new bill constitutes an illegal export subsidy. See also, USTR release.
11/13. The House passed by voice vote HR 5630, the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2001. It is one of several appropriations bills held up by Bill Clinton before the Nov. 7 election. However, Clinton stated only one objection -- that a provision criminalizing the unauthorized disclosure of classified information would impede the free flow of information. Hence, the House passed the bill once again, absent this one provision. Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, explained: "The bill before us, HR 5630, is identical to the version of HR 4392 that passed the House and the Senate on October 12 of this year with one major exception. The language, formerly section 304, prohibiting the unauthorized disclosure of classified information has been removed in its entirety. All the other provisions remain the same."
11/14. and Universal Music Group (UMG) settled their legal disputes, just prior to a ruling from U.S. District Court (SDNY) Judge Ned Rakoff on the issue of damages. Under the agreement will pay $53.4 Million in damages, and license the use of UMG music recordings. UMG is the final major music company to settle its copyright infringement claims against in a suit that was filed on Jan. 31. In Sept., Judge Rakoff found that had deliberately infringed the copyrights of the plaintiff record companies by copying CDs onto its servers, and making them available to its users on the Internet.
11/14. The FTC announced that it will host a two day public workshop on December 11-12 to examine emerging wireless Internet and data technologies and the privacy, security, and consumer protection issues they raise. The workshop will examine, among other things, the what role the FTC should play in protecting consumer from unfair trade practices in m-commerce. See, FTC release and notice.
11/14. ICG Communications filed a Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court (DDel). ICG stated that "it has secured a commitment for up to $350 million of new financing from Chase Manhattan Bank of which $200 million is available immediately. The remaining $150 million will be made available upon the satisfaction of certain conditions. ICG also has approximately $160 million cash on hand." See, ICG release. ICG is a facilities based communications provider and LEC. It offers voice and data services, including local, long distance and enhanced telephony, to small and medium sized business customers. It also offers network facilities and data management to ISP customers. It also provides interexchange services such as special access and switched access services to long distance carriers and other customers.
11/14. The FCC published in the Federal Register regulations to implement aspects of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 which take effect on Nov. 29, 2000. The act authorizes satellite carriers to add more local and national broadcast programming to their offerings and seeks to place satellite carriers on an equal footing with cable operators with respect to availability of broadcast programming. (Federal Register, Nov. 14, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 220, pages 68082-68107.)
11/14. 11/14. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion affirming the decision of the U.S. District Court (EDTex) in John Watts v. XL Systems, a patent infringement case. (The opinion is in the court web site in EXE/MS Word format.)
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.

ISTAC Meeting
Nov. 15 and 16

There will be a two day meeting of the Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee (ISTAC) of the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) of the Department of Commerce. See, notice in Federal Register. This committee deals with export controls applicable to information systems equipment and technology. Parts of the meeting will be closed to the public. Location: Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC.

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