Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Nov. 17, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 66.
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New Documents

USCA: opinion in Cook v. Robbins re copyright, 11/16 (PDF, USCA).
EPIC: Carnivore document which reflects capture of unfiltered Internet traffic (HTML/GIF, EPIC).
DOJ: Competitve Impact Statement in Clear Channel - AMFM merger action, 11/15 (HTML, DOJ).
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News from Around the Web
Quote of the Day

"Never before has the United States had to enact legislation -- and particularly legislation in the sensitive field of taxation policy -- in order to implement the findings of a dispute settlement panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO). We believe that this legislation specifically addresses the concerns raised by the WTO Appellate Body and will be found to be WTO-compliant."

Bill Clinton, on signing HR 4986, the FSC replacement bill on Nov. 16. (source)
News Briefs

11/16. Bill Clinton signed HR 4986, the Foreign Sales Corporation Repeal and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act of 2000. See, Clinton statement.
11/16. The U.S. and Singapore announced the launch of negotiations for a U.S. Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). USTR Barshefsky stated that "It will remove the remaining barriers to trade between our countries, and help us take full advantage of the new opportunities unfolding through communications, the Internet and high technology." The USTR release also stated that it will "cover substantially all services sectors, help to develop electronic commerce, protect intellectual property rights, and include safeguards and dispute settlement mechanisms". See, USTR release. These trade negotiations are also scheduled to include non trade related social issues, such as labor and environmental matters. This aspect of the negotiations likely would be continued by a Gore administration, but not by a Bush administration.
11/16. EPIC announced that its review of documents regarding the FBI's Internet surveillance system named Carnivore reveals that it has broader capability than the FBI has previously claimed. For example, EPIC stated that one document which it obtained under a FOIA request states that a machine with Carnivore installed "could reliably capture and archive all unfiltered traffic to the internal hard drive ..." In contrast, the FBI has asserted that Carnivore is only capable of capturing and archiving "unfiltered" Internet traffic. An team from the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute (IITRI) selected, that was picked by the Justice Dept., is scheduled to give a draft "technical report" on the Carnivore system to the Justice Dept., but not the public or the Congress, on Friday, Nov. 17. See, EPIC release. Background: testimony of FBI Asst. Dir. Donald Kerr before the House Constitution Subcommittee on July 24, 2000; FBI's Carnivore web page; and letter from House Republicans to Janet Reno urging suspension of Carnivore.
11/16. Michael Aisenberg, Director of Public Policy for Network Solutions, spoke at a Federal Communications Bar Association luncheon on "The Future of the On-Line Revolution." He reviewed a wide range of current issues. On online privacy, he stated that EU safe harbor "is essentially unworkable" and "it was perhaps a mistake to attempt to negotiate a common ground between two essentially conflicting predicates" (opt in and opt out). On Internet growth, he stated that in the U.S. "we are going to rapidly tap out that potential", but that the growth potential in Asia is enormous. He predicted that Asia's Internet community "will dwarf the size of the Internet community here in the U.S.", and this means that "the U.S. government is going to have to give." He also stated that "the traditional regulatory schemes such as exited in the U.S. before 1984 and the 96 Act ... is essentially a barrier to the growth of the Internet."
11/16. The Social Security Administration (SSA) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing a computer matching program that SSA plans to conduct with the IRS. [Federal Register, Nov. 16, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 222, Pages 69358 - 69359.]
11/16. The SEC promoted several persons to the position of Senior Assistant Chief Accountant, including:
• Dennis Muse (Office of Computer and OnLine Services).
• Carlos Pacho (Office of Telecommunications).
• Margery Reich (Office of Electronics and Machinery).
See, SEC release.
11/16. The U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [PDF] in Wade Cook v. Anthony Robbins, a copyright infringement case. Cook wrote a book titled the Wall Street Money Machine, which was based on his experiences as a cab driver. It spent 18 months on the New York Times business best seller list. Robbins is in the business of providing investment seminars. Cook sued Robbins in U.S. District Court (WDWa) alleging copyright infringement based on use of Cook's taxi cab expressions in Robbins' seminars. The jury returned a special verdict finding that Cook held a valid copyright, that Robbins infringed it, that it was not fair use, and awarding $655,900 in damages. However, the USDC entered judgment for Robbins as a matter of law on the grounds that Cook did not prove that Robbins' profits were attributable to the infringing use of taxi jargon. Cook appealed. Robbins cross appealed on the copyright validity and fair use issues. The three judge USCA panel reversed and remanded. The USCA held that the USDC erred in holding that there must be profits attributable to the infringement. The USCA upheld the USDC on the validity and fair use issues.
11/16. Microsoft announced that it filed two complaints in U.S. District Court (DMd) against two software resellers, Intellect Computers Inc. of Rockville and Charles County Computers Inc. of Waldorf, alleging the distribution of counterfeit software products. See, MSFT release.
11/15. The European Patent Office's (EPO) Board of Patent Appeals published 38 decisions. See, list of decisions, with links to PDF copies of each, that were decided from June through Oct.
11/15. The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Dept. filed with the U.S. District Court (DC) its Competitve Impact Statement relating to the proposed Final Judgment in the civil proceeding pertaining to the merger of Clear Channel Communications and AMFM. The combined operations include more than 900 radio stations, 19 TVstations and over 700,000 outdoor advertising displays in 40 countries. Operations also include the Clear Channel Internet Group, which operates web sites with streaming online casts of on-air programming. On Aug. 29 the DOJ filed a complaint, proposed consent decree, and related pleadings in U.S. District Court to put into effect an agreement with the merging parties that they would divest AMFM's partial ownership interest in Lamar Advertising Company and divest an additional 14 radio stations in 5 markets. See, Stipulation and Order and DOJ release. Clear Channel had also previously sold 122 radio stations to obtain FCC approval of license transfers. See, FCC release of Aug. 15. See also, Clear Channel release of Aug. 28 [PDF] regarding divestiture of stations and Clear Channel release of Aug. 30 [PDF] regarding closing the merger.
11/15. NCTA CEO Robert Sachs gave a speech at Trinity College in NYC in which he addressed regulation of cable and broadcast TV. "All this raises a question as to how long broadcasters should continue to receive preferential regulatory treatment over cable programming networks. Indeed, as broadcasters cut back on political coverage and are relieved of their few remaining public interest responsibilities, it is increasingly difficult to justify a regulatory regime that favors broadcasters. Long ago, broadcasters were granted free use of the public spectrum, now worth tens of billions of dollars, in order to distribute their signals for free to the public. That was in an era when broadcasters had public interest responsibilities such as the Fairness Doctrine and license renewal requirements, which have long since been swept away." He added that "the so-called 'free' major commercial broadcast networks now seek to charge the public to receive their signals" by charging cable and DBS providers for retransmission of their signals. He also stated that "The Presidential election could have its greatest impact on communications policy through the next President’s appointments to the Federal Communications Commission."
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.

Nov. 21

The USTR's Industry Sector Advisory Committee on Services will hold a meeting. The meeting will be open to the public from 9:00 to 10:00 AM, and closed to the public from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM. See, notice. Location: Department of Commerce, Conference Room B841-A, 14th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues, NW., Washington DC. The agenda for the public portion of the meeting includes:
  • Review of ISAC Mission to Geneva.
  • Overview of GATS Work Program.
  • Review of Preparation of GATS Council for Trade in Services Meeting Dec. 6.

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