Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Feb. 20, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 127.
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Broadband
2/15. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) said that he will re-introduce a bill intended to spur deployment of broadband Internet access facilities in rural areas. He stated in a speech in the Senate that "in urban and suburban areas, they are getting access to high-speed Internet access ... In the rural areas of my State and in many places across the country, they are not getting access to high-speed Internet. ... I will shortly be submitting a bill to try to address this inequity that is taking place and to keep this digital divide from further exacerbating the economies in suburban areas versus rural areas." He introduced S 877, the Broadband Internet Regulatory Relief Act, in the 106th Congress. It would have provided regulatory relief to ILECs (incumbent local exchange carriers). Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has already introduced his "broadband bill" in the 107th Congress. S 88, the The Broadband Internet Access Act of 2001, would provide tax credits to companies that deploy high speed Internet access facilities in underserved areas.
NYT v. Tasini
2/14. Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters wrote a letter to Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) regarding the case New York Times v. Tasini. The issue in Tasini is whether, under Section 201(c) of the Copyright Act, newspaper and magazine publishers that publish articles written by freelance authors automatically have the right to subsequently include those articles in electronic databases. She wrote: "201(c) cannot be read as permitting publishers to make or authorize the making of public displays of contributions to collective works. Section 201(c) cannot be read as authorizing the conduct at the heart of Tasini. The publishers in Tasini assert that because the copyright law is 'media-neutral,' the 201(c) privilege necessarily requires that they be permitted to disseminate the authors' articles in an electronic environment. This focus on the 'media-neutrality' of the Act is misplaced." The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in NYT v. Tasini on March 28.
New Documents
ICANN: Preliminary Fiscal Year 2001-2002 Budget, 2/19 (HTML, ICANN).
Murkowski: S 346, a bill to split the 9th Circuit, 9/15 (HTML, LOC).
Peters: letter re NYT v. Tasini, 2/14. (HTML, TLJ).
Coble: HR 614, the Copyright Technical Corrections Act of 2001, 2/14 (HTML, LOC).
Coble: HR 615, the Intellectual Property Technical Amendments Act of 2001, 2/14 (HTML, LOC).
Gillmor: HR 646, the Federal Communications Commission Reform Act, 2/14 (HTML, LOC).
Thurman: HR 604, the Internet Toy Safety Awareness Act, 2/13 (HTML, LOC).
Capps/Feinstein: HR 573 and S 307, the Teacher Technology Training Act, 2/13 (HTML, LOC).
Quote of the Day
"... the success of our economy and quality of modern life can be directly attributed to the innovation and genius of our patent and trademark system, whether it be in the fields of computers, media, aerospace, or bio-technology."

Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), Congressional Record, Feb. 14.
New Bills
2/14. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), introduced HR 614, the Copyright Technical Corrections Act of 2001, and HR 615, the Intellectual Property Technical Amendments Act of 2001. Both bills are cosponsored by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA). Coble and Berman are the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee's Courts, Internet, and Intellectual Property Subcommittee. Rep. Coble stated that HR 614 "corrects errors in references, spelling, and punctuation". He said that HR 615 "makes a small number of other non-controversial changes requested by the PTO. For example, it changes the title of the chief officer of the PTO from 'Director' to 'Commissioner.' It also clarifies some of the agency's administrative duties and the protections for the independent inventor community." These two bills are similar to S 320 ES, the Intellectual Property and High Technology Technical Amendments Act of 2001, which passed the Senate on Feb. 14 by a vote of 98-0.
2/14. Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-OH) introduced HR 646, the Federal Communications Commission Reform Act, a bill to establish a commission to study the FCC. The bill is cosponsored by six other members of the House Commerce Committee, the committee with jurisdiction. The commission created by this bill would "study and report on the organizational structure of the Federal Communications Commission, with an emphasis on determining (1) whether that structure should be changed to reflect the current state of telecommunications, including the rise of the Internet; and (2) whether there should be a reduction in the number of commissioners."
2/13. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced HR 573, the Teacher Technology Training Act, in the House. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S 307, the Teacher Technology Training Act, in the Senate. These identical bills would authorize $100,000,000 for each of the years 2002 through 2006 to be awarded by the Secretary of Education in grants to state education agencies, which would in turn award grants to local education agencies to provide "classroom-related technology training for licensed or certified elementary school or secondary school teachers." The bills have been referred to the House Education and Workforce Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
2/13. Rep. Karen Thurman (D-FL) introduced HR 604, the Internet Toy Safety Awareness Act, a bill that requires safety labels for certain Internet advertised toys and games. The bill also instructs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to promulgate regulations. It has been referred to the House Commerce Committee. Rep. Thurman is not a member. However, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who is a cosponsor of the bill, is.
More News
2/19. The ICANN published in its web site its Preliminary Fiscal Year 2001-2002 Budget.
2/16. HP announced that it settled its patent lawsuit against Teco Information Systems Europe Limited (Teco Europe) regarding thermal inkjet cartridges. HP recently instituted patent infringement proceedings in Germany, France and the UK against International United Technology Co. Ltd. (IUT). HP filed a lawsuit in the UK against Teco Europe for acting as the European distributor of thermal inkjet cartridges made by IUT. Under the settlement, Teco Europe has agreed to stop importing IUT inkjet cartridges and pay compensation to HP. HP's litigation against IUT continues. See, HP release.
9th Circuit Divide
2/15. Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK) introduced S 346, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Reorganization Act of 2001. This bill would split the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, into two circuits. It would create a new 12th Circuit comprised of the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Hawaii. The 9th Circuit would be left with the states of California, Arizona, and Nevada. The bill is cosponsored by all of the Republican Senators from the states that would be in the new 12th Circuit. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
People
2/14. Stuart Eizenstat joined the Washington DC office of the law firm of Covington & Burling as a partner and head of its international practice. He was previously Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration. Recently, he worked on Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) tax regime issues.
2/12. Andrew Berg joined the Washington DC office of the law firm of King & Spalding as a partner in the firm's antitrust practice. He will counsel clients involved in mergers and acquisitions and antitrust matters before the FTC, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, state attorneys general and in private litigation. He also works on consumer protection and unfair and deceptive trade practice matters involving advertising, marketing, and credit practices at the FTC. He was previously a partner at Akin Gump. See, release.
Privacy
2/16. The Wall Street Journal published an article which stated that "The Internet's phone book is up for sale -- and though the listings may represent a treasure trove for marketers, the move also risks a serious privacy backlash. At issue are millions of entries in the domain-name database operated by the Network Solutions unit of VeriSign ..." The EPIC promptly wrote a letter to the Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the House Telecom Subcommittee, and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Communications Subcommittee, that cited this article. EPIC urged the Members of Congress "to examine whether this sale is currently permissible and if so, whether it is therefore necessary to adopt new legislation to safeguard the information that is provided by Internet users and companies as a condition of registering a domain name. We believe that the sale violates well established principles of U.S. law as well as international privacy standards, including privacy rules specifically developed to address concerns related to privacy in the context of domain name registration."
Today
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DC Cir) will hear oral argument in Global Naps v. FCC. Judges Williams, Sentelle and Rogers will preside. This is a Petition for Review of an FCC Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 99-381) regarding reciprocal compensation for ISP bound traffic. Globals Naps is a CLEC that provides phone service in Massachusetts. Bell Atlantic filed a complaint with the FCC alleging illegal tariffs by Global Naps. The FCC released its order on Dec. 2, 1999 which ruled the tariff to be illegal. Global Naps then filed this Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals. Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) intervened. See, TLJ Case Summary.
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