|4/2. The Senate approved S 27, Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ)
bill pertaining to campaign finance, by a vote of 59 to 41.
The Senate will now move on to President Bush's FY 2002 budget
|ICANN & VeriSign
|4/2. The ICANN
Board of Directors approved proposed revisions to VeriSign's
contract to operate the .com, .net, and .org registries. Under
the revisions, the .com agreement would expire on November 10,
2007, and VeriSign would have a right at that time to renew
for a four year term if it satisfies the criteria set forth in
the agreement. Also, the .org agreement would expire on
December 31, 2002, and VeriSign would not be eligible to seek
to renew it. Finally, the .net agreement would expire on
January 1, 2006, and it would then be subject to a competitive
renewal process. See, ICANN
release. The proposed revisions were adopted by the ICANN
Board of Directors by a vote of 12 to 3. They are still
subject to ratification by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
|3/28. Three senior Democrats on the House Commerce Committee
wrote a letter
to FTC Chairman Robert
Pitofsky requesting that the FTC investigate the privacy
practices of TiVo, a maker
of personal video recorders and a provider of personal
television programming services. The letter questions whether
about its customers' program viewing selections, and whether
this violates the prohibition in § 5 of the Federal
Trade Commission Act against "unfair or deceptive
practices." The letter was written by Rep. John Dingell
(D-MI), Ranking Member of the full committee, Rep. Edolphus Towns
(D-NY), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade,
and Consumer Protection, and Rep. Ed Markey
(D-MA), Ranking Member Subcommittee on Telecommunications and
|Annual 1377 Review
|4/2. The USTR said that
it released the results of its annual Section 1377 review of
foreign compliance with telecom trade agreements.
"Telecommunications trade agreements, particularly in the
World Trade Organization,
have been a driving force in opening up world markets to
high-technology trade and investment," said USTR Robert
Zoellick in a release.
The report addresses anti-competitive practices of state
owned, or formerly stated owned, telecom monopolies or
dominant carriers in eleven nations. The report addresses four
areas of concern regarding Germany's Deutsche Telekom (DT),
which is still 58% state owned: unbundled loop rates,
excessive colocation conditions and provisioning delays,
absence of a reference interconnection offer, and excessive
licensing fees. The report states that France Telecom,
which remains 54% state owned, has failed to provide essential
technical information for interconnection and non
discriminatory colocation, discriminates against competitors
in providing access necessary for the competitive provision of
DSL services, and receives preferential rights of ways over
new entrants. The report also states that over regulation of
new entrants and toleration of anticompetitive behavior by the
46% state owned NTT group of companies in Japan have
restricted opportunities for new entrants. The report also
identifies shortcoming in the United Kingdom, including
the failure of British Telecom,
the dominant incumbent, to offer non discriminatory access to
facilities necessary for local loop unbundling, and the
failure of BT to offer line sharing. The report also addresses
Spain, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Columbia, South Africa, and
Taiwan. See also, USTR
fact sheet and State
re digital divide, 4/2 (HTML, EPIC).
to FTC re privacy practices of TiVo, 3/28 (HTML, Dingell).
to FCC re Verizon's request to delay MDS and ITFS
applications, 4/2 (PDF, FCC).
in Preston v. Board of Equalization re state sales taxes and
transfers of copyrights, 4/2 (PDF, SupCtCal).
|More IP News
|4/2. The National Association
of Broadcasters (NAB) submitted a request
[PDF] to intervene, or to file an amicus curiae brief, with
Board of Canadian in its JumpTV proceeding. The
NAB stated that it wants to argue "that internet
retransmissions of United States broadcast signals by 2000051
Ontario, Inc. ... or any other Canadian entity pursuant to
Section 31 of the Canadian Copyright Act could result in
devastating consequences for the United States system of free
over-the-air broadcasting and could violate the Berne
Convention to which both the United States and Canada are
4/2. The California Supreme Court issued its opinion
[PDF] in Preston
v. Board of Equalization, a case regarding whether
a copyright interest in artwork, transferred in
conjunction with the temporary transfer of the tangible
artwork itself, is subject to California state sales tax. The
California Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal, and
held that the relevant state statute exempts the copyright
transfer at issue from taxation.
4/2. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (Fed Cir) heard oral argument in
Techsearch v. Intel, Appeal No. 00-1226.
4/2. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (Fed Cir) heard oral argument in Semitool
v. Novellus Systems, Appeal No. 00-1375.
|4/2. President Bush met at the White House with a group of
Senators and Representatives who are active on trade issues.
Bush advocated passing fast track trade negotiating
authority for the President. He stated that "We've
got a lot of work to do in order to get trade promotion
authority, but I'm confident that we can work together to do
so. ... This is an issue that is going to require close
cooperation between members of the Republican Party and the
Democrat Party. But that's achievable ..."
|High Tech Tax Issues
|4/2. Sen. Charles
Grassley (R-IA), the Chairman of the Senate Finance
Committee, gave a speech to the Tax Executives Institute, in
which he reviewed tax issues likely to be addressed by the
Senate this year, including the R&D tax credit, Internet
taxes, and the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) tax regime. He
made no predictions about the R&D tax credit, but
pointed out that the only corporate tax provision in President
Bush's tax plan is making the R&D tax credit permanent.
Sen. Grassley stated that "It is very likely that the
Finance Committee will address electronic commerce
issues this year. The present federal moratorium on the
states' ability to tax Internet transactions expires this
fall. The challenging issues involved in the interstate and
international aspects of Internet transactions will certainly
be part of the Finance Committee's upcoming slate of
Sen. Grassley also touched on the ongoing FSC dispute.
"Many of you have been closely following last year's
legislation repealing the foreign sales corporation
provisions. It appears the WTO will not issue a decision until
this summer. Be assured that the Finance Committee is
following the WTO case closely and is prepared to respond if
necessary." The FSC tax regime (which the WTO ruled to be an illegal
export subsidy), and the replacement legislation (enacted late
last year, and currently under review by the WTO), benefit
U.S. high tech exporters.
|4/2. The FCC adopted a
Second Report and Order adopting modifications to its LPFM
service rules. See, FCC
release. See, MM Docket 99-25.
3/29. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its opinion
in Drews v. Silicon
Gaming, a case regarding construction of an
arbitration provision in a distribution contract between the
manufacturer and distributor of video gambling machines.
|4/2. Robert Koppel, VP of Wireless Regulatory Affairs for WorldCom, called Verizon
Wireless' request to delay MDS and
applications "a transparent and unconscionable effort to
use the regulatory process to delay broadband competition to
Verizon's DSL service." See, WorldCom's
comment [PDF] of April 2, and Verizon's petition
to the FCC [PDF] of March 27. The FCC is
examining whether spectrum in the 2500-2690 MHz band might be
reallocated, shared or segmented, for use by Third
Generation (3G) wireless technologies. MDS and ITFS
operators are incumbent users of spectrum in this band. See,
FCC's ET Docket No. 00-258.
|4/2. Dianne Cornell will leave the FCC, where she
is currently Associate Bureau Chief of the WTB. She will
become VP for Regulatory Policy at the CTIA.
4/2. Debra Valentine, General Counsel of the FTC,
will return to the law firm of O'Melveny
and Myers as a partner. She worked at the firm prior to
joining the FTC in 1995. John Graubert, who is
currently the Deputy General Counsel, will be acting General
Counsel. See, FTC
|The Senate will debate the FY 2002 budget resolution.
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The NTIA
and FTC will hold a public
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 a study.
Location: Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW, Washington DC. See, notice
published in the Federal Register.
10:00 AM. The Senate
Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on online
entertainment and copyright law. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
will preside. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The USPTO will hold recruitment meeting
for students majoring in engineering, science or computer
science who may be interested in becoming patent examiners.
Location: Patent Theatre, 2121 Crystal Drive, 2nd Floor,
Arlington, Virginia. See, notice.
10:00 AM. The House
Government Reform Committee's Technology and Procurement
Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "Enterprise-Wide
Strategies for Managing Information Resources and Technology:
Learning From State and Local Governments". Location:
Room 2154, Rayburn Building.
2:00 PM. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and
Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled An
Examination of Existing Federal Statutes Addressing
Information Privacy. Rep. Cliff Stearns
(R-FL) will preside. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
The scheduled witnesses are:
• Michael Lamb (AT&T).
• Richard Varn (State of Iowa).
• Anne Fortney (Lovells).
• Rick Fischer (Morrison & Foerster
• Ronald Plesser (Piper Marbury).
• Ed Mierzwinski (USPIRG).
• Richard Smith (Privacy Foundation).
• Frank Torres (Consumers Union).
• Jonathan Zuck (ACT).
|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
Number of subscribers: 1,220.
Contact: 202-364-8882; E-mail.
P.O. Box 15186, Washington DC, 20003.
Copyright 1998 - 2001 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All