Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Dec. 27, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 89.
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New Documents
FCC: request for public comments re co-location of antennas, 12/26 (PDF, FedReg).
Verio: petition to revoke Register.com's registrar accreditation agreement with ICANN, 12/21 (HTML, ICANN).
FCC: Order re AT&T and MediaOne merger conditions, 12/21 (MS Word, FCC).
DOJ: Competitive Impact Statement re WorldCom acquisition of Intermedia, 12/21 (HTML, DOJ).
Quote of the Day
"More and more jobs are relying on computers and electronic communications. Doctors talk to other doctors using e-mail. Attorneys use the Internet to study the law."

Norman Mineta, Secretary of Commerce, from speech to students at the Birney Elementary School in Washington DC, Dec. 22.
News Briefs
12/26. The FCC published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register regarding removing some regulatory barriers to the development of secondary markets in spectrum rights. (WT Docket No. 00-230.) The FCC adopted this NPRM at its meeting on Nov. 9, and released it to the public on Nov. 27. Comments are due by Feb. 9, 2001; reply comments are due by March 9, 2001. See, Federal Register, Dec. 26, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 248, at pages 81475 - 81486.
12/26. The FCC released a request for public comments [PDF] on procedures for review of co-locations of antennas under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Comments are due by Jan. 23, 2001.
12/22. NTIA chief Greg Rohde released a statement regarding the increase in funding for the NTIA for FY 2001. NTIA funding was increased from $73.4 Million in FY2000 to $100.4M in FY 2001. Technology Opportunities Program (TOP, aka TIIAP) grants were increased from $15.5M to $45.5M. "I want to express my appreciation to Congress," said Rohde. Bill Clinton signed the appropriations bill for the Commerce, Justice, and State Departments for FY 2001 on Dec. 21.
12/22. The USTR published a notice in the Federal Register that it is extending the deadline for public comments on the U.S. Singapore free trade agreement until Jan. 5, 2001. See, Federal Register, Dec. 22, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 247, at pages 80982 - 80983.
12/21. The SEC announced that it settled a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matter with IBM. To put the agreement into effect, the SEC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DDC) against IBM alleging illegal payments to foreign officials by an IBM subsidiary in Argentina in 1994, in violation of 13(b)(2)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. IBM consented to the entry of a judgment ordering it to pay a $300,000 penalty; but, it made no admissions. IBM-Argentine entered into a $250 Million contract to integrate and modernize the computer system of a commercial bank owned by the Argentine government. $4.5 Million went to several bank directors. See, SEC release.
12/21. The FCC issued an Order [MS Word] in which it found that AT&T has not complied with its Order approving the merger of AT&T and Media One. This order required AT&T to submit, by December 15, 2000, a statement that it would either (a) divest its interests in TWE, (b) terminate its involvement in TWE's video programming or (c) divest its interests in other cable systems, such that it will have attributable ownership interests in cable systems serving no more than 30% of MVPD subscribers nationwide. AT&T General Counsel James Cicconi wrote a letter to the FCC on Dec. 15 which stated that AT&T made the necessary election. The FCC Order of Dec. 21 states that while AT&T "filed a written document that purports to comply with this condition, we conclude that this submission does not satisfy our Merger Order." (CS Docket 99-251.)
2/21. FCC Chairman Wm. Kennard remained defiant of the Congress on the topic of low power FM licensing. The FCC announced on Dec. 21 that "255 noncommercial educational applicants in 20 states are eligible for new low power FM (LPFM) licenses." See, FCC release. The FCC also announced pending applications. See, release. Chairman Kennard also released a statement. "I predict that as these first stations go on the air," said Kennard, "these new LPFM stations will not create any harmful interference problem for existing radio service." The appropriations bill for the Commerce, Justice and State Departments, which was just enacted into law, limits the FCC's authority to issue LPFM licenses.
12/21. The FCC's Common Carrier Bureau released its bi-annual study titled Trends in Telephone Service. It found, among other things, that the number of lines (and wireless channels) used by homes and small businesses for Internet access with a capacity at least 200 kbps in at least one direction increased to 4.3 Million lines (and wireless channels) in the first half of 2000. This was a 57% increase over the second half of 1999. See, FCC summary [PDF, 2 pages].
12/21. The Antitrust Division of the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) filed its Competitive Impact Statement with the U.S. District Court (DDC) in the proceeding pertaining to WorldCom's acquisition of Intermedia. On Nov. 17 WorldCom and the DOJ reached an agreement regarding WorldCom's acquisition of Intermedia, under which WorldCom agreed to divest all of Intermedia's assets, except its controlling interest in Digex. To put this agreement into effect the DOJ filed a complaint and proposed consent decree in the U.S. District Court (DDC). The objection of the DOJ related to the circumstance that both WorldCom and Intermedia owned Internet backbone networks. Digex provides web and applications hosting for e-businesses.
12/21. Commerce Sec. Norman Mineta gave a speech at the Birney Elementary School in Washington DC at which he discussed high tech jobs and a "digital divide". See also, DOC release.
12/21. MP3.com and Warner Music Group (WMG) entered into a non exclusive marketing and promotion agreement and a video license agreement. See, MP3.com release. In June, WMG settled its claims in the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by affiliates of the five major record companies against MP3.com.
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.
News Briefs
12/21. Verio filed a petition with ICANN requesting the termination of ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreement with Register.com. See, ICANN release. Verio is currently on the loosing end of litigation with Register.com. On Aug. 3, 2000 Register.com filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against Verio for accessing its Whois database for mass marketing purposes. The complaint and motion for preliminary injunction alleged that Verio's use of software robots to collect information from Register.com's Whois database to solicit Register.com customers to become Verio customers, and misleading of its customers, violates 43(a) of the Lanham Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, and constitutes trespass to chattels and breach of contract under the common law of New York. On Dec. 8, the Court found that Register.com had demonstrated both likelihood of success upon the merits, and irreparable harm, on all grounds, and thus issued a preliminary injunction order restraining Verio from "Accessing Register.com's computers and computer networks in any manner, including, but not limited to, by software programs performing multiple, automated, successive queries ..."
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