Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
July 24, 2001, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 233.
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Adobe Advocates Release of eBook Cracker
7/23. Adobe recommended the release of Dmitry Sklyarov from jail. The U.S. Attorney's Office (NDCal) charged Dmitry Sklyarov by criminal complaint [PDF] with one count of trafficking in a product designed to circumvent copyright protection measures in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). See, 17 U.S.C. § 1201. The complaint states that Sklyarov developed for sale and distribution a program that can convert Adobe's eBooks into naked files that can be read, copied, and stored on any computer.
Colleen Pouliot, SVP and General Counsel for Adobe, said in a release that "the prosecution of this individual in this particular case is not conducive to the best interests of any of the parties involved or the industry. ElcomSoft's Advanced eBook Processor software is no longer available in the United States, and from that perspective the DMCA worked. Adobe will continue to protect its copyright interests and those of its customers."
Copyright Office to Hold Arbitration Proceeding on Webcasting Rates and Terms
7/23. The Copyright Office (CO) published a notice of initiation of arbitration proceeding in the Federal Register regarding webcasting of digital sound recordings. The notice states that the CO "is announcing the initiation of and schedule for the 180-day arbitration period to set the rates and terms for two compulsory licenses. One license allows certain eligible nonsubscription services to perform sound recordings publicly by means of digital audio transmissions and the other allows a transmitting organization to make an ephemeral recording of a sound recording for the purpose of making a permitted public performance." The proceedings will begin with opening statements on July 30, 2001. Presentation of direct cases is scheduled for July 31 through September 13. See, Federal Register, July 23, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 141, at Pages 38324 - 38326.
Copyright Office Issues NPRM
7/23. The Copyright Office (CO) published a notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register regarding rates and terms for the digital performance of sound recordings. The CO requests comment on proposed regulations that will govern the RIAA collective when it functions as the designated agent receiving royalty payments and statements of accounts from nonexempt, subscription digital transmission services which make digital transmissions of sound recordings under the provisions of Section 114 of the Copyright Act. Comments are due by August 22, 2001. See, Federal Register, July 23, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 141, at Pages 38226 - 38229.
House Passes DOJ Appropriations Authorization Bill
7/23. The House passed HR 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, by a voice vote. The bill authorizes $3,507,109,000 for the FBI and $140,973,000 for the Antitrust Division. It also requires the DOJ to report to the Congress on its use of Carnivore, and to appoint a Deputy Inspector General to oversee the troubled FBI.
Carnivore. The bill provides, at Section 306, that the DOJ must provide detailed reports to the Congress regarding its use of the Internet surveillance systems known as both "Carnivore" and "DCS 1000". The bill requires that for FY 2001 and FY 2002 "the Attorney General and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall provide to the Judiciary Committees of the House of Representatives and Senate a report detailing -- (1) the number of times DCS 1000 was used for surveillance during the preceding fiscal year; (2) the Department of Justice official or officials who approved each use of DCS 1000; (3) the criteria used by the Department of Justice officials to review requests to use of DCS 1000; (4) a complete description of the process used to submit, review, and approve requests to use DCS 1000; (5) the specific statutory authority relied on to use DCS 1000; (6) the court that authorized each use of DCS 1000; (7) the number of orders, warrants, or subpoenas applied for, to authorize the use of DCS 1000; (8) the fact that the order, warrant, or subpoena was granted as applied for, was modified, or was denied; (9) the offense specified in the order, warrant, subpoena, or application; and (10) the nature of the facilities from which, or the place where the contents of, electronic communications were to be disclosed."
Inspector General. The bill also provides, at Section 304, in part, that "The Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall appoint a Deputy Inspector General for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who shall be responsible for supervising independent oversight of programs and operations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation until September 30, 2004." Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stated in a release that "This position is necessary because of the recent spy scandal, the FBI's failure to comply with the document disclosure agreement in the McVeigh case, and now the revelation about missing firearms and computers at our nation's number one crime fighting agency. These problems cry out for attention, and I believe there needs to be one person at the IG's office whose sole focus is the review of FBI operations."
G8 Communiqué
7/22. Leaders of eight major democratic nations and Russia issued a Communiqué at the conclusion of their summit meeting in Genoa, Italy. They agreed to promote free trade and a new round of multilateral negotiations. They wrote: "Open trade and investment drive global growth and poverty reduction. That is why we have agreed today to support the launch of an ambitious new Round of global trade negotiations with a balanced agenda." The statement also addresses in vague language protecting intellectual property rights and expanding the use of information technology.
Intellectual Property Rights. The Communiqué states that "Increased market access must be coupled with the capacity to take advantage of it. Thus, to help developing countries benefit from open markets, we will better co-ordinate our trade related assistance to: provide bilateral assistance on ... the protection of intellectual property rights ..." It also states that "To promote further investments in the knowledge- based economy, we call on the WTO and the World Intellectual Property Rights Organisation, in collaboration with the World Bank, to help the poorest countries comply with international rules on intellectual property rights."
Promoting Use of IT. The Communiqué states that "we will work to expand the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to train teachers in best practices and strengthen education strategies. We especially encourage the private sector to examine new opportunities for investment in infrastructure, ICT and learning materials. ... ICT holds tremendous potential for helping developing countries accelerate growth, raise standards of living and meet other development priorities. ... We also encourage development of an Action Plan on how e-Government can strengthen democracy and the rule of law by empowering citizens and making the provision of essential government services more efficient." 
U.S. Singapore Trade Agreement
7/20. The USTR stated that the U.S. and Singapore concluded the fourth round of negotiations on the U.S. Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in London. The USTR stated in a release that "The two sides continued intensive negotiations on a wide range of issues, including trade in goods, customs and rules of origin, textiles, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, and government procurement. Significant progress was achieved in services and rules of origin. The two sides agreed to adopt the negative list approach for services and investment and to develop state of the art rules of origin to take into account the globalization of manufacturing in a knowledge-based world economy." The parties will resume negotiations during the week of September 17-21, 2001 in London.
.us Domain Management
7/20. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the ranking Democrat on the House Telecom and Internet Subcommittee, sent a letter [PDF] to Commerce Secretary Donald Evans regarding the .us top level domain.
Rep. Markey stated that the "NTIA has announced its intent to contract out management of the ".us" domain, apparently to any contractor willing to run the ccTLD registry service at no cost to the government. I strongly suggest that the Department of Commerce reconsider this proposal for several reasons." He went on to state that it should be managed "in the public interest, serving all Americans in a non-commercial context." Moreover, he stated that "it is inexcusable to give away this public asset without due compensation".
On June 13, NTIA, which is a part of the Commerce Department, issued a Request for Quotations (RFQ) for management of the .us domain. The final date for responses to the RFQ is July 27.
FEC Fines Tech PACs
7/23. The FEC fined the Nortel Networks PAC, Cable & Wireless PAC, and Circuit City PAC $1,000 each for failure to file reports pursuant to the Federal Election Campaign Act. See, FEC release
New Documents
Markey: letter to Commerce Sec. Evans re .us domain management, 7/20 (PDF, Markey).
CO: notice of proposed rule making, 7/23 (HTML, FedReg).
CO: notice of arbitration proceeding re webcasting rates and terms, 7/23 (HTML, FedReg).
G8: communiqué, 7/22 (HTML, State).
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Tuesday, July 24
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM. The Consumer Electronics Association will hold a conference titled "The DTV Transition: Is Laissez Faire Fair?" The keynote speaker will be Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT); he will speak at 8:35 AM. The price is $199 in advance, and $299 at the door. Location: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Polaris Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC. See, full schedule.
9:30 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "U.S. Deployment of Third Generation Wireless Services: When Will It Happen and Where Will It Happen?" Location: Room 2123, Rayburn House Office Building. The witnesses will be Michael Dempsey (Catholic Television Network), William Hatch (Commerce Dept.), Julius Knapp (FCC Office of Engineering and Tech.), Denny Strigl (Verizon Wireless), Linton Wells (Defense Dept.), Thomas Wheeler (CTIA).
10:00 AM. The House Financial Services Committee's  Financial Institutions Subcommittee will hold a hearing on HR 556, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act, and other Internet gambling proposals. Location: Room 2128, Rayburn House Office Building. The scheduled witnesses will be Rep. James Leach (R-IA), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Michael Farmer (Wachovia Bank Card Services), Bob Frederick (NCAA), Ernest Stevens (National Indian Gaming Assoc.), Edwin McGuinn (E-Lottery), Timothy Kelly (Nat. Gambling Impact Study Comm'n).
10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a meeting to mark up eight bills, including HR 2047, the Patent and Trademark Office Authorization Act of 2002. Location: Room, 2141 Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a panel discussion titled "Broadband and the Markets: Perspectives from the Investment Community." The speakers will be Doug Ashton (Bear Stearns), Blake Bath (Lehman Brothers), Scott Cleland (Precursor Group), and Erik Olbeter (Schwab Capital Markets). Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC.
10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on monetary policy at which Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will testify. The Committee will also hold a business meeting to consider the nomination of Harvey Pitt, to be a Chairman of the SEC. Location: Room 216, Hart Building.
RESCHEDULED TO JULY 31. 10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing for titled "How Secure is Sensitive Commerce Department Data and Operations? A Review of the Department's Computer Security Policies and Practices." Location: Room 2322, Rayburn House Office Building.
2:00 PM. The House Financial Services Committee's Domestic and Monetary Policy, Technology and Economic Growth Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the security and design of currency. The hearing will focus on preliminary plans for further redesign and security changes to thwart currency counterfeiting. The hearing might also address privacy implications of proposed currency technologies. See, release. Room 2128, Rayburn Building.
Wednesday, July 25
9:00 AM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a panel discussion titled "The Law and Economics of Anticompetitive Behavior by Public Enterprises." The scheduled speakers are Dennis Logue (University of Oklahoma), John Lott (Yale University), Gregory Sidak (AEI), and Peter Wallison (AEI); the moderator will be Rick Geddes (Fordham University). See, online registration page. Location: AEI, 1150 17th Street, NW, Washington DC.
9:00 AM. The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Export Administration's Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee (ISTAC) will hold the first session of a two day meeting. Part of the meeting is open to the public, and part is closed. See, notice in Federal Register, June 29, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 126, at Page 34613. Location: Herbert Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington DC.
9:30 AM. The Senate Appropriations Committee's Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine education technology issues. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.
9:30 AM. The Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. The meeting will be closed to the public from 9:30 AM to 12:00 NOON. For more information, contact Heather Wingate (Office of the USTR) at 202-395-6120. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: USTR ANNEX Building in Conference Rooms 1 and 2, located at 1724 F Street, NW, Washington DC.
2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center and fighting cybercrime. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will preside. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.