Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Feb. 8, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 119.
TLJ Home Page | News from the Web | Calendar | Search | Back Issues
Internet Tax Bills
2/6. Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) introduced S 245, a bill to make permanent the moratorium on the Federal imposition of Internet taxes, and S 246, a bill to extend the moratorium on the imposition of taxes on the Internet for an additional 5 years. Both bills have been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee. However, the proposal that is likely to get more attention is a bill to extend for five more years the existing moratorium on new or discriminatory Internet taxes, to be introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) on Feb. 8.
Export Controls
2/7. The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on export controls, and S 149, the Export Administration Act (EAA), introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) on Jan. 23. Sen. Enzi said in his opening statement that "The goal of the EAA of 2001 is to eliminate unnecessary trade barriers, while focusing controls on the items most sensitive to our national security." He added that "the bill recognizes that items available from foreign sources or available in mass-market quantities cannot be effectively controlled." Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) said in his opening statement that "the basic premise of the bill is that if something is mass marketed or if you can buy it in the marketplace of the world, while it may have defense uses, there is no way you can prevent a would-be user of that technology from having access to it." Dan Hoydysh of Unysis testified. He praised the bill, and its Section 202, which empowers the President, Secretary of Commerce, and Secretary of Defense to review the National Security Control List and determine whether an item can and should be controlled. But, he added that "its application to computers is seriously undermined by another statute, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which imposes mandatory, rigid controls on high performance computer (HPC) exports." He advocated its repeal. See, statement. See also, statements of Paul Freedenberg, and Richard Cupitt, and Larry Christensen.
FCC Reform
 2/7. House Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) issued a statement concerning the fifth anniversary of the Telecom Act of 1996. "For the most part, the Act has been a catalyst for change and competition. Consumers all across America, for example, have benefited from new innovations in wireless technology. But, clearly, a lack of high-speed broadband services in this country is now threatening to stifle e-commerce and our New Age economy. Congress can prevent this from happening by simply completing work on the Act. If we made one mistake in 1996, it’s that we did not reform the FCC at the same time we reformed the law. As a result, the agency has created roadblocks to competition in both the telephone and broadband markets. My goal is to remove those roadblocks, create true competition and provide consumers with exciting, new choices in the marketplace." See, release.
New Documents
HCC: Republican Subcommittee assignments for the House Commerce Committee, 2/7 (PDF, HCC).
HCC: Democratic subcommittee assignments for the House Commerce Committee, 2/7 (PDF, HCC).
Smith: S 245, re Federal Internet taxes, 2/6 (HTML, LOC).
Smith: S 246, re extension of  moratorium on Internet taxes, 2/6 (HTML, LOC).
Royce: HR 375, re eliminating the Commerce Dept., 2/6 (HTML, LOC).
CO: Distribution Order re digital audio recording technology royalties, 2/7 (HTML, TLJ).
NTIA/FTC: notice re E-SIGN Act, 2/7 (HTML, NTIA).
Quote of the Day
"It is my thesis that, given that the Berlin Wall has been torn down, given that we have liberated eastern Europe and destroyed the Soviet Union, clearly there is a need to change the basis focus of our export administration system. ... I believe that the ultimate source of America's national security is our ability to dominate the flow of new and productive ideas as they relate to technology, not our ability to protect old ideas that we or anybody else has developed. In the end, you cannot protect technology."

Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX), statement in support of S 149, the Export Administration Act, Feb. 7.
Commerce Committees
2/7. The House Commerce Committee held its organizational meeting for the 107th Congress. The Committee adopted six resolutions regarding rules, jurisdictions, and subcommittee membership and chairs. See resolutions [PDF]:
 • No. 1:  Rules.
 • No. 2:  Jurisdiction.
 • No. 3:  Subcommittees.
 • No. 4:  Subcommittee Chairs.
 • No. 5:  Repub. Subcomm. Membership.
 • No. 6:  Dem. Subcomm. Membership.
Billy Tauzin (R-LA), who was Chairman of the Telecom Subcommittee, is now the full Committee Chairman. John Dingell (D-MI) is again the Ranking Member. The Telecom Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over many high tech related issues, will be chaired by Fred Upton (R-MI). He has not been as active on Internet issues as many other members of the subcommittee. The Ranking Member will again be Ed Markey (D-MA). The rest of the Republicans on the Subcommittee are Mike Bilirakis (R-FL), Joe Barton (R-TX), Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Paul Gillmor (R-OH), Chris Cox (R-CA), Nathan Deal (R-GA), Steve Largent (R-OK), Barbara Cubin (R-WY), John Shimkus (R-IL), Heather Wilson (R-NM), John Shadegg (R-AZ), Chip Pickering (R-MS), Vito Fossella (R-NY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Tom Davis (R-VA), Bob Ehrlich (R-MD), and Billy Tauzin (R-LA). The rest of the Democrats on the Subcommittee will be Bart Gordon (D-TN), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Eliot Engel, (D-NY), Gene Green (D-TX), Karen McCarthy (D-MO) Bill Luther (D-MN), Bart Stupak (D-MI), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Jane Harman (D-CA), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Thomas Sawyer (D-OH), John Dingell (D-MI) (Ex Officio). Upton, Davis, Stupak, and Brown are new members of the Telecom Subcommittee. See also, statement by John Dingell.
2/6. House Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) named Howard Waltzman to be  telecom counsel. For the last four years he was general counsel to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee. Waltzman has also worked for Empower America and as press secretary to former Rep. Gary Franks (R-CT). See, release.
2/1. The Senate Commerce Committee announced assignments to its Communications Subcommittee: Conrad Burns (R-MT) (Chairman), Ernest Hollings (D-SC) (Ranking Democrat), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Trent Lott (R-MS), Kay Hutchison (R-TX), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL), John Ensign (R-NV), George Allen (R-VA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), John Kerry (D-MA), John Breaux (D-LA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Ron Wyden (R-OR), Max Cleland (D-GA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and John Edwards (D-SC). Smith, Fitzgerald, Ensign, Boxer, and Edwards are new to the subcommittee. See, release.
Judiciary Committee
1/31. The House Judiciary Committee announced subcommittee chairmanships. Howard Coble (R-NC) will again chair of the Courts, Internet, and Intellectual Property Subcommittee. It was formerly named the Courts and Intellectual Property Subcommittee. George Gekas (R-PA) will be Chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over H1B visa bills. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who previously chaired the Immigration Subcommittee, will chair the Crime Subcommittee. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over bills which criminalize activity on the Internet. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) will chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution. Bob Barr (R-GA) will chair of the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) will be the new Chair the full Committee; John Conyers (D-MI) will again be the Ranking Member. See, release.
Online CRS Reports
2/6. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will introduce a Senate resolution to provide public Internet access to certain Congressional Research Service reports, lobbyist disclosure reports, and Senate gift disclosure reports. Said Leahy, "these reports are indeed 'public' for those who can afford to hire a lawyer or lobbyist or who can afford to travel to Washington to come to the Office of Public Records in the Hart Building and read them. That is not very public."
2/6. Kodak announced that it "has completed its acquisition of substantially all of the imaging businesses of Bell & Howell Company." The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Kodak agreed to restructure its plans to purchase assets of Bell & Howell, by abandoning its purchase of the document scanner business, in order to resolve the DOJ's antitrust concerns. The DOJ asserted that the acquisition as originally proposed would have led to a loss of competition for high speed document scanners. See, Kodak release, Bell & Howell release, and DOJ release.
2/7. The NTIA and FTC announced that they are requesting comments on, and will hold a workshop on, the benefits and burdens of requiring consumer consent to receive information electronically. These agencies are required by the E-SIGN Act, passed last year, to conduct this study. Comments and papers are due by March 16, 2001. The workshop will be held at the FTC on April 3, 2001 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. See, notice to be published in the Federal Register.
Burns' Tech 7
2/7. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), Chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee, announced his high tech agenda for the 107th Congress, which he has named "Tech 7". The issues include high speed Internet access, online privacy, spam, spectrum allocation, wireless privacy, ICANN, and e-government. He plans to introduce legislation to provide tax incentives to companies that build high speed Internet facilities. He plans to introduce a bill similar to his 1999 privacy bill; he will also introduce a bill to provide more protections against the monitoring and recording of cell phone calls. He also plans to re-introduce anti-spam legislation, and hold hearings on ICANN and domain names. See, release.
2/8. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) announced the creation of the Internet Public Interest Opportunities Program (IPIOP), a program for law students interested in public interest law and the Internet. It is made possible by a $1,000,000 grant from Pamela Samuelson and Robert Glushko. See. EPIC release.
More News
2/7. The House Ways and Means Committee held its organizational meeting. See, Committee and Subcommittee assignments.
2/7. The Copyright Office published a Distribution Order in the Federal Register regarding distribution of 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998 digital audio recording technology royalties. See, Federal Register, Feb. 7, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 26, Pages 9360-9365.
2/6. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced HR 375, the Department of Commerce Elimination Act. The bill would terminate the Department, but continue many of its functions. The USPTO would be transferred to the Justice Department. The NIST would be renamed the "National Bureau of Standards" and transferred to the NOAA, which would be made independent. Several of the NTIA's grant giving functions would be eliminated; its Boulder laboratory would be privatized; and most of its remaining functions would be transferred to the FCC.
9:30 AM. The Senate Health, Ed., Labor, and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on the HHS's patient privacy regulations. Room 430, Dirksen Building.
9:30 AM. The House Government Reform Committee will hold its organizational meeting. Room 2154, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The House Telecom Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "Is ICANN's New Generation of Internet Domain Name Selection Process Thwarting Competition?" Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on HR 333, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2001. The is almost the same bill as HR 2415 (106th Congress), which both the House and Senate passed last year, but which Clinton vetoed. Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. Oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) in Imatec v. Apple, a patent infringement case. Federal Circuit, 717 Madison Place (on LaFayette Square), Courtroom 203.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on bankruptcy law reform. Room 226, Dirksen Building.
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's Young Lawyers Committee will host a Brown Bag Luncheon. The speaker will be Scott Cleland of The Precursor Group. Sprint, 401 9th Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington DC.
12:30 PM. Sun Microsystems Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy will speak at a National Press Club Luncheon. NPC Ballroom, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC.
1:00 - 2:00 PM. Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO, Nicholas Godici, will hold an online Q&A session. See, release.
2:00 PM. House Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and others will hold a news conference on the major news networks' coverage of election 2000 and the Voter News Service. Location: Capitol Building, Radio/TV Press Gallery, H-321.
5:00 - 7:00 PM. The Business Software Alliance will host a reception to present "the latest in American Software Technology". Room B338, Rayburn Building.
About Tech Law Journal
Tech Law Journal is a free access web site and e-mail alert that provides news, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer and Internet industry.

This e-mail service is offered free of charge to anyone who requests it. Just provide TLJ an e-mail address.

Number of subscribers (as of Feb. 7): 769.

Contact TLJ:
P.O. Box 15186, Washington DC, 20003.

Privacy Policy

Notices & Disclaimers

Copyright 1998 - 2001 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.