requiring broadcasters who stream music on the Internet to pay
additional royalties, 12/8 (PDF, CO).
re FCC regulation, and the migration to broadband digital
technologies, 12/8 (HTML, FCC).
re SEC regulation of electronic road shows and electronic offerings,
12/8 (HTML, SEC).
re software defined radio, 12/8 (PDF, FCC).
and Order re NGSO FSS, 12/8 (PDF, FCC).
re foreign policy, China's entry into WTO, and cyber security,
12/8 (HTML, WH).
in Apple v. Articulate re patent infringement, 12/7 (HTML, TLJ).
against Gateway, 12/7 (PDF, Milberg).
against AT&T, 12/6 (PDF, Milberg).
|New and Updated
from Around the Web (updated daily).
12/8. NorthPoint Communications
filed a complaint in California Superior Court for the City and
County of San Francisco against Verizon
alleging violation of an agreement to merge the two companies.
Northpoint seeks specific performance of its merger agreement with
Verizon, or alternatively, monetary damages. Northpoint is a DSL
provider. See, Northpoint
12/7. An individual named James Burton filed a complaint [PDF]
in U.S. District Court (SDCal)
against Gateway and two of its
top officers, alleging violation of federal securities laws. Gateway
makes personal computers. The plaintiff, who seeks class action
status, is represented by the law firms of Milberg Weiss and Cauley Geller.
Count one alleges violation of §10b
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b5 thereunder,
for making allegedly false statements about the financial status of
Gateway. Count two of the complaint alleges violation of §20a
of the Act by Chairman Ted Waitt and VP/CFO John Todd. Milberg Weiss
is a law firm that specializes in bringing class action securities
suits against technology companies with volatile stock prices.
12/6. An individual named Adele Selinger filed a complaint
in U.S. District Court (SDNY)
against AT&T, its Chairman,
Michael Armstrong, and Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Salomon
Smith Barney, underwriters of the AT&T wireless tracking stock.
The plaintiff, who seeks class action status, is represented by the
law firm of Milberg Weiss. The
complaint alleges violation of §11 and §15 of the Securities Act
of 1933. The Stanford
Securities Class Action Clearinghouse reports that 189 federal
securities class actions have been filed so far this year.
|Quote of the
"But, people also migrate to escape hostile conditions and we
see such movements in the Digital Broadband Migration as well. ...
People also often leave in search of political freedom. The
oppressor here is regulation. Providers are desperately looking for
ways to escape regulatory burden, or use it to their advantage. We
have a balkanized regulatory model that promotes regulatory
arbitrage by bending efficient market development to adapt to the
relative blessings and curses of regulation."
Michael Powell, FCC Commissioner, from Dec. 8 speech.
12/8. The U.S. Copyright
Office (CO) issued rules
[PDF] which provide that radio stations that stream their broadcasts
over the Internet must pay additional royalty fees. The CO
stated that it "has amended its regulations to clarify that
transmissions of an AM/FM broadcast signal over a digital
communications network, such as the Internet, are subject to a sound
recording copyright owner's exclusive right to perform his or her
work publicly by means of digital audio transmissions. Broadcasters
who choose to transmit their radio signals over a digital
communications network such as the Internet may do so under a
compulsory license." See also, CO release.
The RIAA issued a release praising
the rules, while the NAB issued a statement
condemning them. The NAB is also litigating the issue in U.S.
District Court (SDNY).
12/8. FCC Commissioner Michael
Powell gave a speech
in Washington DC about "the great exodus from legacy business
models, legacy technical infrastructures, and legacy
regulations" to the "Promised Land" of broadband
digital technologies. He also stated that "balkanized
regulatory treatment of different technologies and industries"
does not account for new technologies, and has become "cracked
and unstable". He offered his recommendations for how the FCC
can help this "Digital Broadband Migration", including
focusing on promoting competition through innovation (rather than
price competition), and focusing on enforcement (rather than
12/8. The FCC released its Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking [PDF] regarding the authorization and use
of software defined radio (SDR). The FCC proposes to
"define software defined radios as a new class of equipment
with equipment authorization rules that reflect the additional
flexibility incorporated into such radios. We propose to permit
equipment manufacturers to make changes in the frequency, power and
modulation of such radios without the need to file a new equipment
authorization application with the Commission. We also propose to
permit electronic labeling so that a third party may modify a
radio's technical parameters without having to return to the
manufacturer for re-labeling." Comments are due 75 days from
the date of publication in the federal register. Reply comments are
due in 135 days. (ET
Docket No. 00-47.) See also, contact
The FCC released its First
Report and Order [huge PDF file] in ET Docket No. 98-206,
permitting non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) fixed-satellite
service (FSS) providers to operate in various segments of the
Ku-band. The R&O also adopts rules and policies to govern these
operations. NGSO FSS can be used to provide many services, including
high speed Internet access, high speed data, video, and telephony
services. See also, FCC
release. See also, contact
12/8. The European
Patent Office announced that it received its first online filing
of a European Patent Application. See, release.
12/8. The U.S. International
Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it will conduct an investigation,
at the request of the USTR, to assess the
economic impact of the U.S. Singapore free trade agreement (FTA).
The USITC will issue a report to the USTR by Jan. 12, 2001. The
report will not be made public, and no public hearings will be held.
However, the USITC requests public comments on a range of topics,
including the "potential trade and economic effects of changes
in intellectual property rights regimes" under the FTA. The
deadline for comments is Dec. 20. See, USITC release.
12/8. The WTO's General Council met in
Geneva, Switzerland. Among the issues discussed was electronic
commerce. See, USTR
summary and reaction.
12/8. President Bill Clinton gave a speech
at the University of Nebraska in which he addressed China's joining
"It is a statement by them, by agreeing to the conditions of
membership, that they can't succeed over the long run without
opening to the world. It is a declaration of interdependence,"
said Clinton. "And if China goes on and follows through with
this, they'll have to dismantle a lot of their old command and
control economy, which gave the Communist Party so much power.
They'll open their doors to more foreign investment and more foreign
information, and the Internet revolution. Will it inevitably bring
freedom? No, but it will increase the chances of China taking the
12/8. Clinton also addressed cyber security in his Nebraska
speech. "And one of the biggest threats to the future is going
to be cyberterrorism -- people fooling with your computer networks,
trying to shut down your phones, erase bank records, mess up airline
schedules, do things to interrupt the fabric of life. Now, we have
the first national strategy to protect America's computer systems
and critical infrastructure against that kind of sabotage. It
includes, interestingly enough, a scholarship for service program to
help students who are studying information security and technology,
pay for their education if they will give us a couple of years'
service in the government. It's really hard to get talented people
in the government, because we can't pay them enough."
12/7. The U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Federal Circuit issued its Opinion
Computer v. Articulate Systems. Apple brought suit
against Articulate alleging patent infringement. Apple
alleged that Articulate's PowerSecretary product infringed Apple's
U.S. Patent No. 5,469,540 patent, which pertains to the generation
of multiple active windows in a graphical user interface. The U.S.
District Court (NDCal)
invalidated this patent. Apple appealed. The Appeals Court affirmed
in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
12/7. Patriot Computer Corp., maker of Mattel Barbie and Hot Wheels
personal computers, filed for bankruptcy. The Markham, Ontario,
company has had difficulty with production and delivery delays.
Patriot was one of seven online retailers fined in July by the U.S. FTC
for violating the Mail Order Rule (which also applies to Internet
orders). See, FTC Complaint
12/6. SEC Commissioner
Paul Carey gave a speech in
Athens, Greece, on how technology is changing the U.S. capital
markets. He stated that "The Internet is providing another
vehicle for companies to access the U.S. capital markets by offering
them a cheap and efficient way to communicate with potential
investors." He detailed the SEC's treatment of electronic road
shows and electronic offerings.
12/4. Qualcomm announced that
it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China's Ministry
of Information Industry (MII). The MOU pertains to cooperation
between Qualcomm and China on development of CDMA
technology, and deployment in China of a nationwide network based on
CDMA technology. See, release.
12/4. Jing Jing Fan Mou plead guilty to, and was sentenced for, two
felonies, conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods, in U.S.
District Court (CDCal).
The original six count indictment was returned on May 11. The
defendant trafficked in foreign manufactured counterfeit software
products, including Microsoft's Windows NT Server and Office 97.
Under the plea agreement one count of trafficking, and three count
of money laundering, were dropped. The defendant was sentenced to 12
months in prison. This case was the product of a U.S. Customs
Service investigation. See, releases of the U.S. Atty's. office
25, and May 23. [Contact
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
The FTC begins a two day
workshop to examine emerging wireless Internet and data
technologies and the privacy, security, and consumer
protection issues they raise. Location: Commission Meeting
Room (432), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20580.
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