Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
November 7, 2001, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 303.
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Nine States Join in Microsoft Settlement
11/6. Microsoft, the Department of Justice, and nine states filed a Stipulation and Revised Proposed Final Judgment with the U.S. District Court in the antitrust case against Microsoft. These states are New York, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
Seven states and the District of Columbia have not joined in the settlement. These states are California, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah and West Virginia.
Tom Riley, Attorney General of Massachusetts, stated that "The agreement reached by the U.S. Department of Justice and Microsoft is fundamentally flawed. It has enormous loopholes and may prove to be more harmful than helpful to competition and to consumers. We will show the utmost respect for the court and the process while at the same time conveying our problems with this agreement. This company has a long and consistent pattern of violating the law and not playing by the rules. The original goals of this suit were to restore competition and prevent a return of illegal and abusive conduct. This agreement is license for Microsoft to use its dominance and power to crush its competition. We all lose if that happens." See, release.
Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said in a prepared statement that "We made every effort to reach a compromise to address the states' concerns and allow everyone to move forward. Yesterday, at the request of the states, we made some additional revisions to clarify the proposed decree and better capture the intent of the parties. We hope that the remaining states will join in this agreement, so that everyone can focus on the future and avoid the unnecessary costs and delays of further litigation."
Ken Wasch, President of the Software & Information Industry Association, an anti Microsoft group, stated on November 6 that "We commend the state attorneys general for their steadfast pursuit of justice. The harm has been demonstrated, innovation has been impeded, and competition has been thwarted. The settlement agreement is not in the public interest. It should be rejected by the state attorneys general and the federal district court." See, release.
Sen. Hatch Comments on Microsoft Settlement
11/5. Sen Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the leading critic of Microsoft in the Senate, released a statement regarding the proposed settlement between the Department of Justice and Microsoft. He stated that "In the coming days, I will study the settlement proposal closely to ensure that it would restore competition to the computer industry, particularly where the D.C. Circuit found Microsoft to have violated the antitrust laws. As we all know, the devil is in the details."
Sen. Leahy Plans Hearing on Microsoft Settlement
11/2. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated that his committee will hold hearing on the proposed settlement of the Microsoft antitrust case. He stated that the Committee "has closely monitored high tech competition issues over the last few years, and we will continue to do so. The terms of the settlement and its implementation will be the focus of future hearings. We will want to hear from the Justice Department, and other affected parties, about whether the remedies ensure that consumers get high-quality and innovative products at reasonable prices. We will want to examine whether competitors have adequate opportunities to provide those products and computer manufacturers have the freedom to configure their machines as they think best, and whether the remedies are sufficiently adaptable to the constantly changing competitive environment of the Internet and computer industries." See, statement.
Legislators Introduce INS Reform Bill
11/6. Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Rep. George Gekas (R-PA) introduced the Immigration Reform and Accountability Act, a bill to restructure the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into two separate federal agencies. One agency would handle border enforcement; the other would handle immigration services. The bill would also provide for the creation of an Internet based system that would permit people with applications filed with the INS to access online information about the status of the application. See, Sensenbrenner release and Gekas release.
USPTO Tests Negative for Anthrax
11/5. The USPTO announced that "over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that all 88 samples taken at the USPTO tested negative for Anthrax. Consequently, the tests taken to date indicate that the USPTO is Anthrax free. In the interest of continued safety, the USPTO will test for Anthrax periodically." See, release.
More News
11/6. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion in American Bioscience v. Thompson, a case regarding the FDA's approval process for generic drugs, and patent law. Vacated and remanded.
11/6. The USPTO published the November issue of the USPTO Pulse in its web site.
RIAA CEO Addresses Online Music and Copyright
11/6. Hillary Rosen, P/CEO of the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA), gave a speech at the O'Reilly Peer to Peer and Web Services conference regarding peer to peer technologies and copyright.
She stated in the prepared text of her speech that "the music community has recognized the amazing opportunities offered by the Internet. They have been obvious. Our traditional promotion and marketing efforts have been choked holed at radio and retail for some time". She added that "the question isn’t whether music is going to be commercially available online. It is and it will continue to grow. It must -- because it's great for consumers, and I fervently believe it is still good opportunity for the multitude of entrepreneurs and technology developers who share a passion for serving this important need. The question isn't whether peer to peer or any other particular technology is good or bad either. The question is whether they're going to be used -- whether they’ll respect what artists create just like we in the recording business respect what the business sponsors and software developers in this audience create."
Peer to Peer Technology. "In the public's mind, peer to peer technology is all about stealing music and increasingly stealing movies", said Rosen. She continued that "The problem with peer to peer is not the technology, but how it is used. The multiple exciting applications for P to P that are being discussed over these few days show the limitless potential of the technology in multiple ways." She also cited other harmful uses of P to P technology, included "security concerns", "the spread of viruses that endanger national computer network infrastructure", and "child pormography".
Napster Law Suit. Rosen stated that "People have often asked me over the last two years why record companies took Napster to court instead of just licensing them. Well, the reason we were and still are in court is because they have taken the legal position that they don't need a license. So do many of their counterparts. After all, you tell me -- can a legitimate, licensed company, one that's paying royalties, compete on a level playing field with those who aren't?"
Intellectual Property Laws. She stated that "You also may hear and think that copyright law stifles technology. In fact, we have the most thriving economy in the world and we have it precisely because we have found the right balance between innovation and protection. The hue and cry from some corners of the world suggesting the dismantling of intellectual property protection are, in my view, short term thinkers looking for a popular cause."
Opposition to Legislation. Rosen stated that the music industry has been slow to make music available online, but this does not warrant government intervention. She elaborated that "It is clear that record companies haven’t been as quick as some have hoped to get online. Maybe that encouraged piracy -- not excused it, to be sure, -- but encouraged it by not filling the vacuum of consumer demand. But I hope you’ll acknowledge this as well: Building a legitimate business model from scratch -- one that involves literally hundreds of millions of copyrights and interlocking creative rights, navigating incompatible DRM's and players and building customer service and ease of use that music fans have always enjoyed -- isn't quite as easy as people might think. Some have argued for government intervention. I think that would be ill advised. The pace of the marketplace is too fast to accommodate such regulation. And who would want to dictate a "one size fits all" business model? The proposals being circulated for legislative action would stifle innovation, competition and consumer choice."
MOCA. Rep. Rick Boucher (R-VA), a sponsor of HR 2724, the Music Online Competition Act of 2001, is scheduled to speak at the same conference on Wednesday, November 7. See also, March 6, 2001 address by Rep. Boucher regarding proposals for changes to the fair use doctrine in the context of digital and Internet media.
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Wednesday, Nov 7
8:30 AM. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) will speak at the O'Reilly Peer to Peer and Web Services conference. Location: Washington Ballroom, The Westin Grand, 2350 M Street NW, Washington DC.
9:30 AM - 5:30 PM. Day three of a three day conference and exhibition hosted by the NIST and NISO titled "4th annual Electronic Book Conference". See, registration page. Location: Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC. See, Nov. 6 agenda.
10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled Challenges Facing the Federal Trade Commission. FTC Chairman Timothy Muris will be the only witness. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on pending nominations. Panel I will be five nominees to be U.S. District Court Judges: Joe Heaton (Oklahoma), Clay Land (Georgia), Frederick Martone (Arizona), Danny Reeves (Kentucky), and Julie Robinson (Kansas). Panel II will be James Rogan, the nominee to be Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will preside. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) will begin a Section 337 evidentiary hearing regarding the importation of certain integrated circuits. The complainants are United Microelectronics Corp., UMC Group (USA), and United Foundry Service, Inc. The respondents are Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. and Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. This investigation pertains to U.S. Patents No. 5,559,352 and 6,117,345. See, Investigation No. 337-TA-450. ALJ Sidney Harris will preside. Location: Courtroom A, ITC Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington DC.
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Online Communications Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "Broadband, When? -- the View from Earthlink". The speaker will be Dave Baker, VP of Law & Public Policy at Earthlink. RSVP to Scott Blake Harris at sharris@ Location: Lampert & O'Connor, 5th Floor, 1750 K Street, NW, Washington DC.
Thursday, Nov 8
9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting to consider five items: (1) a Report and Order concerning reexamination the Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) spectrum aggregation limits and the cellular cross interest rule (WT Docket No. 01-14); (2) a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) concerning whether to undertake a comprehensive examination of its rules and policies of local radio ownership (MM Docket No. 00-244); (3) a Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration concerning its periodic review of the progress of the conversion to digital television (MM Docket No. 00-39); (4) a NPRM concerning the establishment of national performance measurements and standards for unbundled network elements and interconnection (CC Docket Nos. 98-56, 98-147, 98-147, 96-98, and 98-141); and a Report and Order concerning its policies, rules and requirements for Cable Landing Licenses (IB Docket No. 00-106). See, FCC notice. Location: Commission Meeting Room, FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TWC305, Washington DC.
10:00 AM. The House Financial Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and the House Ways and Means Committee's Social Security Subcommittee will hold a joint hearing titled Preventing Identity Theft by Terrorists and Criminals. Location: Room 2128, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled an executive business meeting. Room 226, Dirksen Building.
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Global Telecom Development Committee will host a brown bag luncheon titled Telco Privatization: the Role of International Financial Institutions. The speakers will be David Satola (World Bank Group) and Janet Hernandez (Coudert Bros.). RSVP to Kent Bressie. Location: Wilkinson Barker & Knauer, 2300 N Street, Suite 700, Washington DC.
2:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will hold an oversight hearing titled Intellectual Property Litigation. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
Friday, Nov 9
8:30 AM - 1:30 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institute will jointly host a conference titled "Practical Steps to Spectrum Markets". See, online registration page. See, agenda at right. Location: Wohlstetter Conference Center, Twelfth Floor, 1150 17th Street, NW, Washington DC.
 • 8:30 AM. Breakfast address by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).
 • 9:00 AM. Panel I: "Enabling Bandwidth Markets". The speakers will be Thomas Hazlett (AEI), Gregory Rosston (Stanford), Michelle Farquhar (Hogan & Hartson), Evan Kwerel (FCC), and John Williams (FCC).
 • 10:45 AM. Panel II: "Unblocking Spectrum Allocation". The speakers will be Mike Chartier (Intel), Joe Mitola (Mitre), DeWayne Hendricks (Dandin Group), and Giancarlo Ibarguen (Francisco Marroquin Univ.).
 • 12:15 PM. Luncheon address by Nancy Victory (NTIA).
10:00 AM. The House Government Reform Committee's Government Efficiency, Financial Management, and Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled Have Federal Agencies Failed to Protect Their Computer Systems? Room 2154, Rayburn Building.