|3/13. The USTR announced
that it has designated Ukraine as a "Priority Foreign
Country" under the "Special 301" program.
Section 301 is the statutory means by which the U.S. asserts
its international trade rights, including its rights under WTO
Agreements. Under the "Special 301" provisions of
the Trade Act of 1974, the USTR identifies trading partners
that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual
property or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S.
artists and industries that rely upon intellectual property
protection. The USTR stated that "This action is being
taken as a result of Ukraine's persistent failure to take
effective action against significant levels of optical media
piracy and to implement adequate and effective intellectual
property laws." See, USTR
The International Intellectual
Property Alliance (IIPA) praised the USTR action. See, release.
Also, Recording Industry
Association of America (RIAA) President Hillary Rosen said
that the decision "underscores the recognition by the
Bush Administration of the importance of copyright protection
to the overall US economy. President Bush and his trade team
have made clear that they will not sit by and tolerate the
massive and organized theft of US intellectual property."
re nominations to advisory committees, 3/13 (TXT, FedReg).
re new round of trade negotiations, 3/12 (HTML, WIPO).
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|3/13. The Senate
Judiciary Committee held a hearing on S
487, the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization
(TEACH) Act. The bill would amend §§ 110(2)
of the Copyright Act to extend the distance learning
exemptions enacted in 1976 to digital delivery media. The
TEACH Act incorporates many of the recommendations
made by the U.S.
Copyright Office in 1999 in a study mandated by the the DMCA.
law, there are exemptions for
"face-to-face" and "transmission" teaching
activities; but Internet based education is not referenced.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from several educators
involved in distance learning who testified in support of the
bill: Gerald Heeger (Univ. of Maryland), Richard Siddoway
(Utah's Electronic High School), Paul LeBlanc (Marlboro
College), and Gary Carpentier (American University). Marybeth
Peters, the Register of Copyrights, testified in support
of the bill. She also said that it is consistent with Berne
Treaty and TRIPS obligations. Allan Adler, of the Association of American
Publishers, was the sole representative of content
producers on the witness panel. He opposed the bill as
unnecessary and unworkable. He quipped that it could be called
the Technology, Education and Copyright Heist Act. See
also, statements for the record submitted by Sen.
Peters, and Allan
Adler. Senators Hatch and Leahy, the Chairman and ranking
Democrat on the Committee, were the only Senators who
participated in the hearing.
|3/13. The USPTO published
in the Federal Register a notice
requesting nominations for the Patent Public Advisory
Committee and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee.
These advisory committees review and advise the Director of
the USPTO on matters relating to policies, goals, performance,
budget, and user fees of the USPTO relating to patents and
trademarks, respectively. Nominations must be postmarked or
electronically transmitted on or before April 12, 2001. See,
Federal Register, March 13, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 49, at Pages
14551 - 14552.
announced that it entered into an agreement with Gracenote to provided
services to assist it in complying with the March 5 order
of the U.S. District Court in A&M Records v. Napster
enjoining it from copying plaintiffs' copyrighted songs. See, Napster
release and Gracenote
|Quote of the Day
|"We invest sweat and blood and millions of dollars
creating musical products. It takes years of insane sacrifice
and grueling tour schedules and intense effort. To think a
third party should be allowed to give away our product for
zero compensation is brain-dead and un-American. ... Thank God
common sense is still operating in the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals, which recently ruled Napster must stop providing
Ted Nugent, rock star, from his op-ed
in the Wall Street Journal, March 13.
|3/13. The FTC held a public
workshop to explore how businesses merge and exchange detailed
consumer information and how such information is used
commercially. See, agenda.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) said that
"If the government is going to monitor the information
sharing practices of the private sector, I'd like to know
who's going to monitor the government." He added that
"We need to be careful when the government becomes
involved with regulating electronic commerce."
|9:30 AM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Internet taxes.
The hearing will address "whether Congress should allow
states to require all remote sellers to collect and remit
sales taxes on deliveries into that state, provided that
states and localities dramatically simplify their sales and
use tax systems." Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
12:30 PM. The FCBA's
Transactional and Mass Media Committees will host a brown bag
lunch on "FCC Attribution and Ownership Rules." The
speakers will be Susan Eid, David Goodfriend, Ben Golant, and
Mania Baghdadi. RSVP to Tracy
Watts. Location: Dow
Lohnes & Albertson, 1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW, 8th
Floor, Washington DC.
1:30 - 4:00 PM. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee's Informal
Working Group 2: Mobile-Satellite Service including GPS, will
hold a meeting. Location: Leventhal, Senter & Lerman, 2000
K Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington DC. See, notice
|3/13. The FTC announced that it
settled its lawsuit against Mercury Internet Services and its
principal, Neal Saferstein, for cramming onto phone bills
unauthorized charges for web sites services. On June 28, 2000,
the FTC filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court (EDPa)
alleging that Mercury and Saferstein misrepresented to
consumers that they were legally obligated to pay for web site
services the defendants charged to their telephone bills
without their authorization. See, release.
3/12. WTO Director General
Mike Moore gave a speech
in London in which he advocated a new round of multilateral
trade negotiations. "The economic case for a new WTO
round is compelling. Cutting barriers to trade in agriculture,
manufacturing and services by a third would boost the world
economy by $613 billion ..."
Communications filed a Chapter 11 petition for bankruptcy
in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court (DDel).