Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Feb. 28, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 133.
TLJ Home Page | News from the Web | Calendar | Search | Back Issues
2/27. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) held its second day of oral argument U.S. v. Microsoft. See, transcript.
2/27. President Bush gave an address to a joint session of the House and Senate on his proposed budget and tax cuts. He also asked the Congress to grant him fast track trade negotiating authority. "Each of the previous five presidents has had the ability to negotiate far-reaching trade agreements. Tonight, I ask you to give me the strong hand of presidential trade promotion authority and to do so quickly." He did not address technology related issues.
2/22. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman gave a speech in Vienna, Virginia, in which she said that "We must pass presidential trade negotiating authority so that we can enter into new market-opening agreements, including the Free Trade Area of the Americas and a new WTO agreement. The lack of this authority has undermined America's fundamental ability to lead global market-opening efforts. We must also advance an ambitious agenda for the next round of global trade talks."
2/27. The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on trade policy. Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said in his opening statement that "Thanks to the distortions fostered by the opponents of free trade, the increasingly integrated world economy is often seen as nothing more than a source of global inequality and exploitation. ... It's time to set the record straight. That's what today's hearing is about." See also, prepared statement of witnesses: David Aaron (former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade), William Daley (Former Secretary of Commerce), Carla Hills (former USTR), Robert Hormats (Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs).
2/27. Sen. Grassley also advocated giving the President fast track trade negotiating authority. "However, the one thing we must not do is employ trade sanctions to enforce labor and environmental provisions in trade agreements. This would be a prescription for disaster in terms of rebuilding an international consensus for trade liberalization. ... I will strongly oppose any legislation that directly or indirectly involves the use of trade sanctions to enforce such provisions in trade agreements. I will fight such legislation if it is brought before this Committee, and I will work hard to defeat it."
Racicot Joins RIAA
2/27. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that former Montana Governor Marc Racicot (R) will join the RIAA as outside counsel. See, RIAA release. He is currently a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Bracewell & Patterson. He was Attorney General of Montana before being elected governor in 1992. He was re-elected in 1996 with 79% of the vote. He will bolster the RIAA's ability to lobby the Congress and President on intellectual property issues affecting the music recording industry. He was a very early supporter of President Bush's candidacy for President. His fellow Montanans hold key posts in the Senate. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) is Chairman of the Communications Subcommittee. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is Ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.
New Documents
Bush: address to Congress re budget, 9/27 (HTML, GOP).
Markey: amendment to bankruptcy reform bill re privacy for electronic records, 2/27 (HTML, TLJ).
USCA: transcript of day two of oral argument in U.S. v. Microsoft, 2/27 (HTML, MSFT).
Coble: speech re intellectual property agenda for the 107th Congress, 2/16 (HTML, TLJ).
Myrick: IPO letter to Commerce Sec. Evans re diversion of USPTO fees, 2/23 (HTML, IPO).
DOJ: Cert Petition of the DOJ in Ashcroft v. ACLU, the COPA case (HTML, DOJ).
Veneman: speech re trade policy, 2/22 (HTML, DOS).
Mink: HR 726, a bill to ban gun sales on the Internet, 2/26 (HTML, LOC).
2/27. For years some of the user fees paid to the USPTO have been diverted to subsidize other government programs. Proponents of ending this diversion waged an effort, in advance of the President's budget address, to end this diversion. On Feb. 16 Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), Chairman of the House Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee (CIIP), gave a speech in which he said that "Since 1992 through this year, the President and Congress have taken more than $650 million in patent fees ... I am elevating the end of the fee diversion to my number one patent and trademark priority." On Feb. 26, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), Ranking Democrat on CIIP, sent a letter to President Bush urging him to allow the USPTO to "devote all of its user fees to modernizing and professionalizing its office." On Feb. 23 Ron Myrick, President of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), wrote a letter to Commerce Sec. Don Evans in which he argued that the USPTO's "effectiveness is now in jeopardy. It is faced with an unprecedented increase in patent and trademark filings." On Feb. 27 the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) sent a letter to Sec. Evans. See, ITAA release.
2/27. FCC Chairman Michael Powell appointed Mary Beth Richards to be Special Counsel responsible for an FCC reform project. She has held a number of positions at the FCC, including Deputy Chief of the Common Carrier Bureau, Deputy Managing Director of the FCC, Special Counsel to the Commission for Reinventing Government, Chief of the Enforcement Divisions of the Common Carrier Bureau and the former Field Operations Bureau, and Legal Advisor to the Chief of the Common Carrier Bureau. For more information, contact David Fiske at 202-418-0513.
2/27. Joseph Lombard will join Archipelago as EVP in its soon to be opened Washington DC office. Until recently Lombard was Senior Counsel to former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt. See, SEC release.
2/26. BT announced the appointment of Anne Fletcher as Group General Counsel. She will take over the role in April. She is currently Director of Regulatory Compliance with BT. She will replace Alan Whitfield, who is joining the accountancy firm KPMG. See, BT release.
COPA Cert Petition
2/27. The Department of Justice published in its web site a copy of its Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month in the legal proceeding challenging the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). This proceeding is now titled Ashcroft v. ACLU. The COPA Act, which was passed at the end of the 105th Congress in late 1998, makes it unlawful to make any communication for commercial purposes by means of the World Wide Web that is available to minors and that includes material that is "harmful to minors," unless good faith efforts are made to prevent children from obtaining access to such material. The U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) issued its opinion on June 22, 2000, upholding the U.S. District Court's order enjoining enforcement of the Act.
More News
2/26. Rep. Patsy Mink (D-HI) introduced HR 726, a bill that would amend the criminal code to provide that "It shall be unlawful for any person to use the Internet to obtain or dispose of, or offer to obtain or dispose of a firearm." The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
2/27. The ICANN published in its web site a request for comments on internationalized domain names -- that is, the use of non-Roman characters, such as Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit, and Cyrillic characters.
2/27. FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth addressed the Washington DC Bar Association and the Federal Communications Bar Association on "Ex Parte Contacts: How Can Agencies Achieve Neutrality and Transparency?"
2/27. The FCC's Network Reliability and Interoperability Council held a meeting. See, agenda.
2/22. The U.S. Attorney's Office (CDCal) announced that Adrian Herr plead guilty one count of criminal copyright infringement for copying and selling over the Internet a variety of computer software products, including Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 2000, Office 2000 and Publisher 2000. See, release.
Quote of the Day
"... thanks to a well-funded, well-organized anti-free trade campaign, the 50-year, American-led effort to enhance global prosperity and peace through reducing barriers to trade is now in jeopardy."

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), statement at Senate Finance Committee hearing on trade, Feb. 27.
Bankruptcy Privacy
2/27. On Thursday, March 1, the House will likely debate and vote on HR 333, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2001, sponsored by Rep. George Gekas (R-PA). The Judiciary Committee passed the bill on Feb. 14 by a vote of 19-8. On Wednesday, Feb. 28, the Rules Committee will meet to adopt a rule for consideration of the bill. Numerous amendments have been submitted to the Rules Committee, including several pertaining to privacy.
2/27. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) sent an amendment to the Rules Committee that would add privacy protections afforded to electronic bankruptcy records by requiring that personal and financial information divulged in a bankruptcy proceeding be disclosed only to individuals and entities that have legitimate interests in the case. It provides that the "clerk of the bankruptcy court ... may provide electronic access to a paper filed in a case", but that the clerk "may not provide electronic access (A) to the debtor’s social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, telephone number, or account numbers (including bank account and credit card account numbers); (B) to any of the single line items in the debtor’s schedule of assets or statement of income and expenditures; or (C) to any personal, medical, or financial information regarding the debtor or a relative of the debtor." However, the amendment continues that the clerk may provide electronic access to "a party in interest ... an entity that requires any such information to determine whether it is a party in interest ... the trustee ... the United States trustee; or ... a governmental unit that requires any such information for a bona fide law enforcement purpose".
2/27. Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) sent an amendment to the Rules Committee that would remove the names of children from bankruptcy filings in order to protect their identity from those who prey on children. See, summary of amendments.
2/27. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a business meeting for Feb. 28 at 9:30 AM to resume markup of its version of the bankruptcy reform bill.
2/26. The GAO issued a report [PDF] titled "Information Security: Advances and Remaining Challenges to Adoption of Public Key Infrastructure Technology." The report found that implementation of Public Key Infrastructrure (PKI) is not commonplace in government, for several reasons, including interoperability problems, high monetary cost of implementation, and the lack of well-defined policies and procedures for ensuring that an appropriate level of security is maintained. The report was requested by Rep. Steve Horn (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations of the House Committee on Government Reform.
9:30 AM. FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth will address the Competitive Carrier Regulatory Summit 2001. Location: Renaissance Washington Hotel, Washington DC.
10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee will meet in open markup session to mark up eight bills, including HR 90, the Know Your Caller Act of 2001, and HR 496, the Independent Telecommunications Consumer Enhancement Act of 2001. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
12:15 PM. The FCBA's Legislation Committee will host a Brown Bag Luncheon. The topic will be "Legislative Outlook 2001: House Perspective." The scheduled speakers are Jessica Wallace (Rep. Billy Tauzin), Andy Levin (Rep. John Dingell), and Colin Crowell (Rep. Ed Markey). RSVP to Location: Mintz, Levin, 701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 900, Washington DC.
Deadline to submit comments to the USPTO regarding the standard for declaring a patent interference. In its original notice in the Federal Register of Dec. 20, 2000, the USPTO requested comments by Jan. 31, 2000. On Feb. 1, 2001, the USPTO published a second notice in the Federal Register extending the deadline to Feb. 28, 2001. See, Federal Register, Feb. 1, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 22, at Page 8571.
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: 909.

Contact: 202-364-8882; E-mail.
P.O. Box 15186, Washington DC, 20003.

Privacy Policy

Notices & Disclaimers

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