Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Dec 19, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 86.
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New TLJ Stories
US 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.
New Documents
Congress: Children's Internet Protection Act, an Internet filtering bill, 12/15 (PDF, CDT).
US/EU: Joint Statement on e-commerce and ADR, 12/18 (HTML, WH).
USPTO: revisions to its Rules of Practice, 12/18 (TXT, FedReg).
USCA: Opinion in Airtouch Paging v. FCC
New and Updated Sections
Calendar (updated daily).
News from Around the Web (updated daily).
News Briefs
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 story.
12/18. The EU and US issued a joint statement on e-commerce and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
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 a release 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 release.
12/18. Verizon withdrew its Section 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 Chairman Kennard.
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 release.
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 - 78960.
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. Patent 4,873,662.
12/11. The U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Cir) issued its opinion in Airtouch 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.

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