|New TLJ Stories
and EU Hold Summit. The U.S. and European Union held a
summit in Washington DC on Monday, December 18, but made
little progress in talks to avert a potential trade conflict
that could harm U.S. high tech companies.
|12/18. Outgoing President Bill Clinton made a recess
appointment of Susan Ness to be a Commissioner of the FCC. See, Clinton
release. Clinton nominated, and the Senate confirmed, Ness
to be one of the five members of the FCC in 1994. Clinton
renominated Ness for a second five year term in 1999. However,
the Senate did not confirm her. The Constitution gives the
President the authority to make recess appointments. The 106th
Congress recessed last Friday. The 107th Congress will convene
on January 3. Ness is a liberal Democrat. The Senate Commerce
Committee, which is chaired by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ),
did not vote on her nomination.
12/18. EU and the US held their annual summit in Washington
DC. U.S. President Clinton, European Commission President
Prodi, and French President Chirac participated. Little
progress was made on resolved longstanding disputes over EU
agricultural policies and the U.S. FSC tax policy that could
lead to a trade conflict that would harm U.S. high tech
companies. See, TLJ
12/18. The EU and US issued a joint
statement on e-commerce and alternative dispute resolution
12.18. Clinton assistants Gene Sperling and Tony Blinken held
a joint press conference on the EU and US summit. See, transcript.
12/18. The Congress made available a copy of the section
of the budget bill [PDF] passed late on Friday, Dec. 15,
that requires that schools and libraries receiving federal
subsidies to use porn filtering technology on computers used
by children to access the Internet. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ),
a Senate sponsor of an earlier version of the bill, stated in
that "While schools and libraries across the country
increasingly use the Internet as a learning tool, we need to
ensure that pervasive obscene and violent material is screened
out and that our children are protected." Sen. McCain
added, "Parents can protect their children from Internet
smut at home, but have no control over the computers at
school. This legislation allows local communities to decide
what technology they want to use and what to filter out so
that our children's minds aren't polluted." The ACLU,
which has successfully challenged other Internet censorship
statutes and ordinances, promised file a legal challenge to
this measure. See, ACLU
12/18. Verizon withdrew
271 application to the FCC to provide
long distance service in Massachusetts. Verizon plans to
refile its application after satisfying FCC objections
regarding providing non-discriminatory access to unbundled
loops to other DSL providers. Verizon SVP Tom Tauke stated
that "We also will update the existing application with
the most current data that further confirms that we do provide
parity of service for DSL." See, Verizon
release. See also, statement by FCC
12/18. Verizon filed a
complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order in U.S.
District Court (DWV)
against West Virginia seeking a halt to bidding on a RFP
issued by the Governor's
Office of Technology for a state contract that would
provide exclusive access to the rights of way along state
highways. Verizon alleges that the RFP violates a provision of
the Telecom Act of 1996 that requires that state governments
manage rights-of-way on a "competitively neutral and
nondiscriminatory basis." The RFP also provides that
bidders must offer free services to the State of West Virginia
in return for the exclusive access. See, Verizon
12/18. The USPTO
published in the Federal Register revisions
to its Rules of Practice pertaining to the Patent
Business Goals. The revisions are effective Dec. 18. See,
Federal Register, Dec. 18, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 243, pages 78958
12/13. BT filed a complaint
in U.S. District Court (SDNY)
against Prodigy alleging
patent infringement. BT, the British legacy telecom
company, asserts that the use of hyperlinks by Prodigy, an
Internet Service Provider, violates its U.S.
12/11. The U.S. Court
of Appeals (2nd Cir) issued its opinion
Paging v. FCC. Airtouch
petitioned for review of an FCC Order that included a
definition of the term "telephone exchange service"
found in Section 251(b) of the 1996 Telecom Act. The
definition did not include paging services. The Court
dismissed the petition for lack of standing, on the grounds
that Airtouch had not yet suffered an injury.
|Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs
added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert.
The date indicates when the event occurred, not the date of
posting to Tech Law Journal.
|Quote of the Day
|"When I came through the door, I heard what Ross Perot
would probably have described as a Great Sucking Sound. It is,
I am told, the noise made by fifty resumes being faxed
simultaneously to the Bush transition team."
Pascal Lamy, EU Commission for Trade, from his
address at the American
Enterprise Institute, Dec. 18.
|The TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert will not be published on Friday,
Dec. 23, Monday, Dec. 25, or Tuesday, Dec. 26.
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