Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
May 14, 2002, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 431.
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Supreme Court Reverses Third Circuit in COPA Case
5/13. The Supreme Court of the U.S. issued its opinion [PDF] in Ashcroft v. ACLU, upholding the constitutionality of the community standards component of the Children's Online Protection Act (COPA). The Court remanded the case for further proceedings.
The Statute. The COPA prohibits any person from "knowingly and with knowledge of the character of the material, in interstate or foreign commerce by means of the World Wide Web, mak[ing] any communication for commercial purposes that is available to any minor and that includes any material that is harmful to minors".
Unlike the Communications Decency Act, which the Supreme Court held unconstitutional in Reno v. ACLU, the COPA only affects the web, only affects commercial communications, and only restricts material that is harmful to minors (rather than all indecency).
Proceedings Below. Promptly after enactement, the ACLU and others filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (EDPenn) against then Attorney General Janet Reno challenging the constitutionality of the act. The District Court issued a preliminary injunction on First Amendment grounds. The U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) affirmed. The Supreme Court then granted certiorari.
Holding. The Court wrote that "This case presents the narrow question whether the Child Online Protection Act's (COPA or Act) use of ``community standards´´ to identify ``material that is harmful to minors´´ violates the First Amendment. We hold that this aspect of COPA does not render the statute facially unconstitutional."
However, the Court added that "The scope of our decision today is quite limited. We hold only that COPA's reliance on community standards to identify ``material that is harmful to minors´´ does not by itself render the statute substantially overbroad for purposes of the First Amendment. We do not express any view as to whether COPA suffers from substantial overbreadth for other reasons, whether the statute is unconstitutionally vague, or whether the District Court correctly concluded that the statute likely will not survive strict scrutiny analysis once adjudication of the case is completed below. While respondents urge us to resolve these questions at this time, prudence dictates allowing the Court of Appeals to first examine these difficult issues."
The Court also noted that the Attorney General did "not ask us to vacate the preliminary injunction entered by the District Court, and in any event, we could not do so without addressing matters yet to be considered by the Court of Appeals. As a result, the Government remains enjoined from enforcing COPA absent further action by the Court of Appeals or the District Court."
The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Now, the lower courts are free to enjoin enforcement of the COPA on other grounds. And in the likely event that they do, this case will likely return to the Supreme Court.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion of the Court. O'Connor wrote a concurring opinion. Breyer wrote a concurring opinion in which he stated that "I believe that Congress intended the statutory word ``community´´ to refer to the Nation's adult community taken as a whole, not to geographically separate local areas." Kennedy wrote a separate concurrence in which Souter and Ginsburg joined.
Stevens dissented. He stated that he would have affirmed the Court of Appeals. He wrote that "In the context of the Internet, however, community standards become a sword, rather than a shield. If a prurient appeal is offensive in a puritan village, it may be a crime to post it on the World Wide Web."
Rep. Boucher Advocates Amending DMCA and Shifting Burden of Proof on Fair Use
5/10. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) gave a speech on copyright and fair use. He advocated legislation shifting the burden of proof on fair use from the defendants to plaintiffs and prosecutors. He also said that he will introduce a bill "within the next several weeks" to amend the DMCA to provide that it is "not criminal conduct under any circumstance to be active in furtherance of fair use rights".
Erosion of Fair Use Rights. Rep. Boucher stated that there has been "a consistent erosion over the last few years of the very precious fair use rights." He elaborated that "The fair use doctrine was in fact created by the courts as a way to give substance to First Amendment freedom of speech rights. Simply put, free speech does not mean very much if you have you to get the permission of a copyright owner in order to use words in a series that perhaps, coincidentally, are subject to a copyright. So the fair use doctrine was essential in the view of the American courts in order to give vitality to our precious First Amendment freedom of speech right."
"Today, however, that precious fair use right is under attack as it never has been before in the history of our country. The balance that we have always enjoyed in our law between the rights of the owners of the intellectual property, and the rights of the users of intellectual property is now fundamentally changed. That balance was changed by a number of steps."
He cited several changes, including enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), the increased use of copy protected CDs and DVDs, the introduction of S 2048 by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), and the experiences of Professor Felton and the ElcomSoft corporation.
CTEA. Rep. Boucher addressed the Copyright Term Extension Act. He stated that "I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court is now examining, to determine whether that latest copyright term is extension is consistent with the limitations on the copyright interest that is stated in the U.S. Constitution. And I am concerned that this shift in the historical balance in favor of the owners of intellectual property will broadly diminish what you are here to discuss today, and that is the public commons of information that is so essential for progress in our society." See, TLJ summary of Eldred v. Ashcroft, a constitutional challenge to the CTEA, now pending before the Supreme Court.
DMCA. Rep. Boucher also spoke at length about the DMCA. He stated that the "Congress in passing the DMCA granted unprecedented rights to the owners of intellectual property, which unless changed, will cede to the intellectual property owner total control over the work. The new rights go well beyond the what is necessary to ensure fair compensation to the intellectual property owner. These new rights go well beyond what is necessary to thwart piracy."
See, full text of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a 94 pages PDF document, or 18 page summary by the Library of Congress in PDF.
He continued that "These new rights forecast a time when what is available for free on the library shelf today, and for limited copying for personal use purposes, for free today, will be converted into material available only on a pay per use basis in the future. Total control over the work in ceded through this law to copyright owner. And, we see the copyright owners beginning to exercise that greater degree of control at the present time."
"But the day will come, and granted by the power of this law, when what is available for free today on a library shelf will be available only for pay for use in the future. And that is, I think, one of the great tragedies and harms of this law."
Hollings Bill. Rep. Boucher said, "let me suggest one other thing that troubles me a great deal, and that is the introduction in the Senate of a bill that would serve broadly to restrict fair use rights." See, S 2048, the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act, introduced by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and others on on March 21, 2002.
Rep. Boucher added that the Hollings bill "would do a number of other things. It would require that all digital receivers, recorders, and players come equipped with a technology standard that would enable that device to respond to content that contains this government technology standard. Only that content could be played on the device. There is no assurance that even if the device works, which is subject to question, you would be able to convey that content to multiple devices around the home. There is nothing in the legislation to assure that. You have to make individual copies whenever that happens, and this bill basically allows one copy to be made. So, the device wouldn't allow the portability of content to be lawfully acquired for devices within the home."
Rep. Boucher concluded that "The legislation is unnecessary. And, let me just say that it is not going anywhere. Senator Leahy, who has jurisdiction over this matter in his Judiciary Committee, has already said that the bill is not going to pass. And so, we can put our minds at ease that this particular measure is not going to pass, at least for now. But it does bespeak an intent on the part of those who suggested its introduction that technology be saddled with measures that would broadly inhibit what we have all come to understand as basic fair use rights."
Rep. Boucher's Two Legislative Proposals. He stated that "I think that it is time that Congress re-examine the DMCA. And, within the next several weeks, I am going to be introducing a bill that will achieve that purpose." He elaborated that "This bill is going to take a fairly surgical approach. It is going to say that it is not criminal conduct under any circumstance to be active in furtherance of fair use rights."
Rep. Boucher stated that in the longer run he would like to see legislation that shifts the burden of proof on fair use. He said this: "In order to structure a somewhat broader measure, that would create an affirmative right of fair use, and say that individuals have this basic right, extended by the virtue of federal law. A lawyer would say that we are really doing is shifting the burden of proof, one way or the other. But, that burden of proof is important. It is better to have to make whoever is prosecuting or suing you, establish as a part of the case in chief, that you are not exercising a fair use right, than for you to have to offer fair use as a defense. Lawyers will appreciate the difference." See, codification of the affirmative defense of fair use: 17 U.S.C. § 107.
Rep. Boucher was the keynote speaker at a conference titled "Protecting the Information Commons: Asserting the Public Interest In Copyright Law and Digital Infrastructure". It was co-hosted by the New America Foundation and Public Knowledge.
Supreme Court Upholds FCC Pricing Rules
5/13. The Supreme Court of the U.S. issued its opinion [104 pages in PDF] in Verizon v. FCC, upholding the FCC's rules regarding how incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) charge interexchange carriers (IXCs) and competitors local exchange carriers (CLECs) for access to their facilities; it reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals (8thCir).
The Supreme Court held, in a 5-3 decision, that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is authorized under the Communications Act to require state utility commissions to set the rates charged by the incumbents for leased elements on a forward looking basis untied to the incumbents' investment, and to require incumbents to combine such elements at the entrants' request when they lease them to the entrants.
The Court noted that "knowing that incumbents and prospective entrants would sometimes disagree on prices for facilities or services, Congress directed the FCC to prescribe methods for state commissions to use in setting rates that would subject both incumbents and entrants to the risks and incentives that a competitive market would produce."
The Court wrote that "the incumbent local exchange carriers claim error in the Eighth Circuit's holding that a ``forward looking cost´´ methodology (as opposed to the use of ``historical´´ cost) is consistent with §252(d)(1), and its conclusion that the use of the TELRIC forward looking cost methodology presents no ``ripe´´ takings claim. The FCC and the entrants, on the other side, seek review of the Eighth Circuit's invalidation of the TELRIC methodology and the additional combination rules. We ... now affirm on the issues raised by the incumbents, and reverse on those raised by the FCC and the entrants."
Justice Souter wrote the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, Stevens, Kennedy, and Ginsburg joined. Scalia and Thomas joined in parts of the opinion. Breyer wrote a separate opinion. O'Connor recused herself.
FCC Chairman Michael Powell stated in a release that "I'm pleased that the Supreme Court has affirmed the Commission's implementation of the 1996 Telecom Act. This decision brings much needed additional certainty to the legal landscape and should advance the Commission's efforts to carry out the statute's competition goals. I thank the Solicitor General for his vigorous efforts in representing the Commission before the Court."
IXCs and CLECs were pleased with the decision. AT&T VP/Law Mark Rosenblum stated in a release that "We're obviously delighted that the Supreme Court today has again validated the Telecom Act's purpose of establishing local phone competition." WorldCom General Counsel Michael Salsbury stated in a release that the decision is "a tremendous victory for consumer and business customers and the competitive carriers such as WorldCom that serve them. This ruling finally ends six years of uncertainty created by Bell legal challenges and other stonewalling." CompTel President Russell Frisby stated in a release that "The Supreme Court is right on target with its assessment of TELRIC as the appropriate method for pricing the vital elements that competitors need access to in order to serve their customers." He added that "We hope the FCC keeps this ruling in mind as it considers its Triennial Review of UNEs."
In contrast, the ILECs were disappointed. USTA P/CEO Walter McCormick stated in a release that "Today’s ruling on TELRIC pricing is unfortunate. The decision upholds the unjust status quo that requires local telephone companies to give competitors access to their networks at prices below cost. These extreme requirements sharply discourage both incumbents and competitors from making new investments in infrastructure."
BellSouth stated in a release that "Today's decision maintains an unfortunate status quo: BellSouth must continue to provide pieces of its network to competitors at below cost prices. This status quo discourages investment by both us and our competitors, resulting in poorer choices for customers. We hope the FCC will correct this incorrect pricing policy and eliminate its unnecessary requirements to provide certain network pieces in dockets now pending before it." See, also Verizon release.
Jeff Eisenach of the Progress and Freedom Foundation stated in a release that the decision makes bad economics. He wrote that "There is nearly unanimous agreement among economists that rules which require incumbent facilities to be sold at below cost prices reduce the incentives for both incumbents and new entrants to invest. But you don't have to be an economist to know the current rules have failed: Just look at the mess they have made in the telecom marketplace, where investors are in the process of losing literally hundreds of billions of dollars. As a matter of economic policy, the current rules are not just unreasonable -- they define unreasonableness."
Treasury Official Says Info Tech Enables Small Banks to Survive
5/13. Under Secretary of the Treasury Peter Fisher gave a speech to the Independent Community Bankers of America in which he argued that information and communications technologies will enable community banks to survive amid consolidation of large financial institutions.
He stated that "I am skeptical of the view that the future of financial services will be all about financial conglomeration. I expect that small and nimble financial institutions will compete effectively in the coming years and, thus, I expect that well managed community banks will prosper."
He elaborated that "Community banks have options and advantages that can counter balance large banks' built-in diversification advantage."
Fisher stated that one of these advantages is that "advances in information and communication technology offset some of the scale and diversification advantages that large banks may have. The theory that supports large firms and conglomerates is that it is cheaper to move information inside a single corporation than between and among different corporations. The communications revolution that we have lived through in the last twenty years challenges this theory."
He continued that "Today technology permits small firms to outsource many functions and thereby recapture some of the advantages previously associated only with economies of scale. In fact, small banks increasingly have been employing technological and financial innovations to improve efficiency and diversify operating and balance sheet risks. More of you are turning to nonbank technology providers as a means of outsourcing administrative and payments functions and other activities. Eighty percent of community banks now have web sites, up from 21 percent in 1997."
People and Appointments
5/13. The Senate confirmed Paul Cassell to be a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Utah, by a vote of 67-20.
More News
5/13. Business Software Alliance (BSA) P/CEO Robert Holleyman wrote a letter to Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) in which he advocated passage of trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation. He wrote that "Free trade is essential for the future of the high tech industry". He added that "TPA will give the United States the ability to break down the trade barriers and lower the tariffs that increasingly threaten our ability to lead and compete in the global marketplace. Passing TPA will guarantee us a seat at the table to help protect our economy and our jobs. As Senate Leaders, the high tech industry is looking to you to exercise your full leadership skills to get TPA legislation passed and sent to the President for enactment."
5/13. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, International Municipal Lawyers Association, and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisers announced that they filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) of an Federal Communications Commission (FCC) classification of cable modem service as an information service. These groups state that they will collect fewer fees from operators as a result.
5/13. The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and U.S. Telecom Association (USTA) issued releases in which they stated that they wrote something that pertains to the "protection of the nation's critical infrastructure", which they delivered to Nancy Victory (Director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration), and Richard Clarke (Chairman of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board). See, substantially identical CTIA release, ITAA release, and TIA release.
5/13. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in its web site regarding computer security. It states that "If you receive an email purporting to be from the address, please delete it." It may have a file attached to it that contains a malicious worm or virus.
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Tuesday, May 14
The House will meet at 12:30 PM for morning hour, and 2:00 PM for legislative business. No votes are expected before 6:30 PM. The House will consider a number of measures under suspension of the rules.
The Supreme Court is on recess until May 20.
8:45 AM - 3:45 PM. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Advanced Technology Program (ATP) Advisory Committee will hold a meeting that will be open in part, and closed in part. The agenda includes a discussion on universities and R&D technology issues, a presentation on In-Q-Tel (the CIA's Silicon Valley venture capital group), an update on the ATP competition, and a presentation on a study on the ATP Computer Based Software Focus Program. Pre-registration by May 9 is required for attendance; submit your name, time of arrival, e-mail address and phone number to Carolyn Stull at carolyn.stull or 301 975-5607. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: NIST, Administration Building, Lecture Room A, Gaithersburg, MD.
9:00 - 11:00 AM. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), Ernst & Young, and the Internet Education Foundation (IEF) will co-host a forum on online privacy and the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) will make opening remarks. There will be two panels. The first panel will address online privacy issues; the speakers will be Joe Rubin (USCC), Shane Ham (Progressive Policy Institute), and Ari Schwartz (CDT). The second panel will address P3P; the speakers will be Martin Marshall (IBM), Marc Berejka (Microsoft), Brian Tretick (Ernst & Young), and Brian Zwit (AOL). See, notice. RSVP by e-mail to rsvp, or call Joshua Freed (IEF) at 202 638-4370. Coffee and snacks will be provided. Location: Herman Lay Room, USCC, 1615 H Street, NW.
TIME CHANGE. 9:00 AM. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hold a hearing on proposed regulations relating to tax treatment of incentive stock options and options granted under employee stock purchase plan. See, original notice in the Federal Register. See also, supplemental notice rescheduling hearing time, Federal Register. Location: Auditorium, Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW.
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM. George Washington University (Ashburn Campus) and the CCIA will co-host a pair of panels discussions. The first panel will address last mile broadband deployment. The second panel will address how to protect audio and video property rights. See, notice. For more information, contact Sandy Rose at 703 726-8310 or sandyr Location: 20101 Academic Way, Ashburn, VA. (This is east of Leesburg on the north side of Route 7, west of Route 28.)
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM. The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FTC will hold another in their series of hearings on antitrust and intellectual property. This event is titled "Antitrust Analysis of Licensing Practices". At 9:00 AM there will be a panel titled "Antitrust Analysis of Specific Intellectual Property Licensing Practices". At 1:30 PM there will be a panel titled "Practical Issues Encountered in Antitrust Analysis of Licensing Practices". The DOJ requires that attendees provide their name and date of birth 24 hours in advance to Kathleen Leicht at kathleen.leicht or 202 514-7018. For more information, contact Gina Talamona in the Office of Public Affairs at 202 514-2007, or Frances Marshall in the Antitrust Division at 202 305-2520. Location: Great Hall, DOJ Main Building, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
10:00 AM. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a joint hearings on communications issues in Indian country.
10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on the Annual National Export Strategy Report of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee. The scheduled witnesses include: Donald Evans (Secretary of Commerce), Eduardo Aguirre (Export Import Bank), Hector Barreto (SBA), Peter Watson (Overseas Private Investment Corp.), and Thelma Askey (U.S. Trade and Development Agency). Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.
1:30 PM. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, and other groups will hold a press conference to announce the filing of a petition for review of the FCC's classification of cable modem service. For more information, contact Lina Garcia at 202 861-6719. Location, Zenger Room, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
Deadline to submit oppositions and responses to the FCC in its AT&T Comcast merger review proceeding. This proceeding is titled "In the Matter of Applications for Consent to the Transfer of Control of Licenses, Comcast Corporation and AT&T Corp., Transferors, To AT&T Comcast Corporation, Transferee". See, FCC notice.
Wednesday, May 15
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business.
8:45 - 9:30 AM. FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle will give the opening keynote address titled "The Urgency of Security In A Networked World" at the Information Integrity World Summit. See, notice. Location: Wyndham Washington, 1400 M Street NW.
9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine copyright royalties and webcasting. Press contact: Mimi Devlin 202 224-9437. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The U.S. International Telecommunication Advisory Committee, which advises the Department of State on policy and technical issues with respect to the International Telecommunication Union, will meet to prepare for the June 2002 meeting of the Telecommunication Sector Advisory Group. Location: TIA, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Suite 350.
POSTPONED. 11:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a panel discussion titled "Digital Copy Protection: Mandate It? Ban It? Or Let the Market Decide?" The speakers will be Rick Lane (News Corp.), Jonathan Potter (DiMA), Sarah Deutsch (Verizon), and Steve DelBianco (ACT).
10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a meeting to mark up several bills, including HR 4623, the Child Obscenity and Pormography Prevention Act of 2002 (which pertains to computer generated images), and HR 3215, the Combatting Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act (Goodlatte Internet gambling bill). HR 4623 was amended and approved by the Crime Subcommittee on May 9; it is on the fast track for approval by the full House. HR 3215 has been scheduled for mark up, but held over, on several previous occasions. Audio webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
10:15 AM. The House International Relations Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Administration’s National Export Strategy: Promoting Trade and Development in Key Emerging Markets". See, notice. Location: Room 2172, Rayburn Building.
11:00 AM. The Digital Empowerment Campaign (DEC) will hold a press conference to advocate more federal spending for technology related grant programs, including the NTIA's Technology Opportunities Program and the Education Department's Community Technology Centers program. The DEC is a coalition that includes the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the National Urban League, and other groups. For more information, contact Cory Smith (LCCR) at 202 466-4281 or csmith, or Rosia Lawrence (PolicyLink) at 212 629-9570 ext. 204 or rosia See, DEC notice. Location: Senate Swamp (across the parking lot from the main Senate entrance).
12:30 PM? The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers will hold a luncheon meeting. For more information, contact Noel Luddy at luddyen or 301 299-2270.
7:30 PM. There will be a panel discussion titled "Tech Talk: Information Security and Information Warfare". The panelists will be Robert Norris (National Defense Univ.), Daniel Kuehl (National Defense Univ.), and Lance Hoffman (George Washington Univ.). The event is free, but reservations are required. Call 202 662-7501 or email pnelson for reservations. For more information, contact Laura Falacienski at 202 662-7564 or lauraf Location: National Press Club, Murrow Room, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
Deadline to submit comments to the USTR regarding the requests of 23 nations to join the WTO. See, notice in Federal Register.
Deadline to submit comments to the USPTO regarding its plan to disseminate all future editions of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure solely in electronic format. See, notice in Federal Register.
Thursday, May 16
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business.
9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a meeting to mark up bills. The agenda may include S 2037, a bill providing for the establishment of a national emergency technology guard, and S 2182, the Cyber Security Research and Development Act, a bill to authorize funding for computer and network security research and development and research fellowship programs. The agenda may also include S 630, the Can Spam Act. See, Sen. Burns release. Press contact: Andy Davis at 202 224-6654. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
9:30 AM. The FCC will hold a meeting. See, FCC notice [PDF]. Audio webcast. Press contact: Maureen Peratino or David Fiske at 202 418-0500. Location: FCC, 445 12th St., SW, Commission Meeting Room.
9:30 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet will hold an oversight hearing titled The Accuracy and Integrity of the WHOIS database. Howard Beales, Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau of the FTC will testify. Audio webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
9:30 AM. The USPTO will hold a public hearing on its proposed plan to eliminate the paper patent and trademark registration collections from its public search facilities, and to transition to electronic patent and trademark information collections. The USPTO is seeking public comment on issues related to this proposed plan. The USPTO is also seeking input on whether any governmental entity or non-profit organization is interested in acquiring the paper patent and trademark registration collections to be removed from the USPTO's public search facilities. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: Patent Theater, 2nd floor, Crystal Park 2, Room 200, 2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an executive business meeting. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
Friday, May 17
10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime will meet to conduct a hearing on, and mark up of, several bills, including HR 4640, a bill to provide criminal penalties for providing false information in registering a domain name on the Internet, and HR 4658, the Truth in Domain Names Act. Both of these bills had been scheduled for hearing and mark up on May 9, but were held over. Audio webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. Stuart Eisenstadt and John Weekes will speak on US EU Trade Relations. Eisenstadt is a Co-Chairman of the U.S. European Business Council. Weekes is a former Canadian Ambassador to the World Trade Organization. Location: Murrow Room, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
10:00 AM. The FCC's Media Security and Reliability Council will hold a meeting. See, FCC notice [PDF]. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Commission Meeting Room, TW-C305.
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a panel discussion titled The Telecom Meltdown: Causes and Cures. The speakers will be Thomas Lenard (PFF), Terry Barnich (New Paradigm Resources Group), Larry Darby (Darby Associates), Blair Levin (Legg Mason Equity Research), and Randolph May (PFF). RSVP to Brooke Emmerick at 202 289-8928 or bemmerick See, notice. Location: Room B369, Rayburn Building. 
Saturday, May 18
Day one of a five day annual conference of the International Trademark Association. See, agenda. Location: Washington Convention Center.
Sunday, May 19
Day one of a three day conference titled "Personal Privacy in the Digital Age: The Challenge for State and Local Governments". See, agenda. The price to attend is $345. For more information, contact 202 347-3190 x3005 or spandy Location: Hilton Crystal City, Arlington, VA.