Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
December 17, 2001, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 329.
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Rep. Smith Introduces Cyber Crime Bill
12/13. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) introduced HR 3482, a bill pertaining to cyber crimes. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, of which Rep. Smith is a member.
Rep. Smith, who is the Chairman of the Crime Subcommittee, issued a release which states that the bill "strengthens cyber crime and cyber terrorism laws by providing better coordination and resources for law enforcement. The bill recommends that the U.S. Sentencing Commission amend its guidelines to strengthen cyber crime penalties to better reflect the seriousness of the offence."
He also stated that the bill "provides liability protection to Internet Service Providers who make a good faith effort to assist law enforcement and establishes an Office of Science and Technology at the Department of Justice that will coordinate the development and technical assistance for new law enforcement technologies.
House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on DMCA  104 Report
12/12-13. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held two days of hearings titled "The Digital Millenium Copyright Act: Section 104 Report."
The Copyright Office (CO) was directed by  104 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to provide a report evaluating the effects of the amendments made by Title I of the DMCA and the development of electronic commerce and associated technology on the operation of 17 U.S.C. 109 and 117, and the relationship between existing and emergent technology and the operation of 109 and 117. The CO Report recommended that the first sale doctrine not be extended to digital transmissions. However, the CO did recommend creating an exemption from liability for infringement of a copyright owner's reproduction right for temporary buffer copies that are incidental to a licensed digital transmission of a public performance of a sound recording -- that is, buffer copies made during audio streaming over the Internet.
See, Marybeth Peters' (Register of Copyrights) prepared testimony of December 12. See also, opening statement of Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), the Chairman of the Subcommittee, and opening statement of Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee. See also, prepared testimony of witnesses on December 12: Carey Ramos (National Music Publishers Association), Cary Sherman (Recording Industry Association of America), and Emery Simon (Business Software Alliance).
See, statements and testimony of December 13 hearing: Rep. Coble, Rep. Berman, Marybeth Peters, Marvin Berenson (Broadcast Music Inc.), Jonathan Potter (Digital Media Association), and Gary Klein (Consumer Electronics Assoc.).
People and Appointments
12/14. The law firm of Fenwick & West announced a new management structure. The principal feature of the new structure is the formation of an Executive Committee, made up of the two Managing Partners and five other members, to develop and implement strategic plans. The two Managing Partners will be responsible for day to day management of the firm. The initial members of the new Executive Committee are Gordon Davidson, who has been re-elected as chair of the firm, managing partners John McNelis and Laird Simons, and corporate partner Dennis DeBroeck, intellectual property partner David Hayes, tax partner Ronald Schrotenboer and litigation partner Claude Stern. In addition, Matthew Quilter was elected chair of the firm's corporate group, and Timothy Roake was elected chair of the litigation group. David Hayes will continue as chair of the intellectual property group, and James Fuller will continue as chair of the tax group. See, F&W release.
12/10. Larry Cockell was named SVP and chief security officer of AOL Time Warner, effective January 14, 2002. He is currently Deputy Director of the U.S. Secret Service. See, AOL release.
Christmas Schedule
The Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert will not be published on Monday, December 24, Tuesday, December 25, or Wednesday, December 26.
Federal Circuit Opinions
12/12. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its divided opinion in Smith v. Ethicon, a patent claim construction case involving affixing sutures within bones. Plaintiffs, Smith & Nephew and John Hayhurst, the holder U.S. Patent No. 5,601,557, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DOr) against Ethicon alleging patent infringement. The District Court granted summary judgment of non-infringement, both literal and under the doctrine of equivalents. Judge Newman wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals vacating and remanding, in which Judge Gajarsa joined. Judge Michel wrote a lengthy dissent.
12/13. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in In Re Thrifty, affirming the decision of the TTAB. The TTAB had sustained the Examining Attorney's refusal to register the mark proposed in the service mark application on the grounds that it failed to provide an acceptable description of the mark. The applicant sought a mark "in the color blue" placed on the wall of a building.
More News
12/14. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) released a statement in which he criticized NBC for its decision to air hard liquor ads on the NBC network. He said that "pitching hard liquor when under aged children are in the audience is shameful." Rep. Markey is the ranking Democrat on the House Commerce Committee's Telecom and Internet Subcommittee.
12/13. Covad issued a release in which it stated that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court (DDel) "approved the reorganization plan for Covad Communications Group, Inc. and Covad anticipates that it will exit from its pre-negotiated bankruptcy around December 20, 2001, the expected date the plan becomes effective.
12/14. World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Mike Moore gave a speech regarding organization changes in the WTO Secretariat, and staff appointments and changes.
12/14. Thomas Leahy was sentenced by the U.S. District Court (WDWash) to one week in jail for unlawfully manufacturing audio and video recordings of live musical concerts, without the consent of the performers, and then selling the CD and VHS video cassette recordings for commercial advantage or private financial gain. He also lost his computer. See, USAO release.
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Monday, Dec 17
The House will meet in pro forma session at 2:00 PM.
The Senate will meet at 12:30 PM. At 1:00 PM it will begin consideration of the ESEA Conference Report. It will also will resume consideration of the farm bill.
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration will host a workshop titled "Understanding Broadband Demand: Digital Content & Rights Management". Phillip Bond and Bruce Mehlman of the Technology Administration will moderate. The morning session (9:15 - 11:45 AM) will address public demand for digital media. The speakers will be Brendan Traw (Intel), Andy Moss (Microsoft), Jack Valenti (MPAA), Jeff Okkonen (Liquid Audio ), Peter Fannon (Panasonic), Robert Holleyman (BSA), Victor McCrary (NIST), Dave Winston (Winston Group), Scott Sander (SightSound), William Check (NCTA), Rhett Dawson (ITIC), David Cheriton (Cisco). The afternoon session (1:15 - 3:45 PM) will address barriers to digital media online. The speakers will be Preston Padden (Disney), Elizabeth Frazee (AOLTW), Manus Cooney (Napster), Rick White (TechNet), Rick Lane (NewsCorp), Eric Scheirer (Forrester), Mark Bohannon (SIIA), Jonathan Potter (DiMA), Tim Sheehy (IBM), Gary Klein (CEA), Mitch Glazier (RIAA), Matt Gerson (Vivendi), Jenny Toomey (Future of Music Coalition), Justin Lilley (Bertelsman), Joel Wiginton (SONY). Location: Department of Commerce, 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 4830.
Tuesday, Dec 18
The House will meet at 12:30 PM for morning hour and 2:00 PM for legislative business. No recorded votes are expected before 6:30 PM.
9:30 AM. The Senate Finance Committee will meet to consider amendments to HR 3005, the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2001. See, release [PDF]. The Committee met on December 12, and approved this bill. However, the meeting was rushed because Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) invoked an ancient Senate rule which had the effect of shutting down all committee meetings. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.
12:15 PM. The FCBA's Young Lawyers Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speakers will be Commissioner Michael Copps' Legal Advisors: Jordan Goldstein, Paul Margie, and Susanna Zwerling. For more information contact Chris Moore at 202 224-9584 or moorecva or Yaron Dori at 202 637-5458 or
1:30 PM. The U.S. International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will hold a meeting. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: State Department.
Wednesday, Dec 19
10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled Electronic Communications Networks in the Wake of September 11th. Rep. Stearns (R-FL) will preside. Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Advisory Committee for the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03 Advisory Committee) will hold a meeting. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305.
Deadline to submit oppositions and comments to the FCC in response to Cingular Wireless', Nextel's, and Verizon Wireless' petitions for reconsideration of certain provisions of the FCC's October 12 orders addressing and conditionally approving requests for waivers and approval of revised deployment plans for wireless Enhanced 911 (E911) services. See, FCC Notice. (CC Docket No. 94-102.)
Deadline to submit comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in response to its Request for Comments on Deployment of Broadband Networks and Advanced Telecommunications. See, notice.
Thursday, Dec 20
1:30 PM. The U.S. International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will hold a meeting regarding preparations for the 2002 World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC). See, notice in Federal Register.