Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
May 16, 2002, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 432.
TLJ Home Page | Calendar | Subscribe | Back Issues
Notice from the Publisher
TLJ apologizes that there was no Daily E-Mail Alert on Wednesday, May 15. High winds in Washington DC knocked over an oak tree that cut lines that serve TLJ. TLJ was without electrical power or Internet access for much of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Court Stays Surveillance Order in Paramount v. ReplayTV
5/15. The U.S. District Court (CDCal), Judge Florence Marie Cooper presiding, granted SONICblue's request for a temporary stay of the its April 26 ruling in Paramount Pictures v. ReplayTV mandating surveillance of ReplayTV 4000 television users. The ReplayTV 4000, sold by SONICblue, is a personal video recorder that enables users to store television programming to hard disks. The Court also set June 3 for a hearing on SONICblue's motion to vacate.
On May 13, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and other groups filed an amicus curiae brief [PDF] with the District Court. They wrote that "Requiring disclosure of consumer viewing habits in the emerging digital environment raises far reaching privacy questions and implicates the design of new technology."
On May 14, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and other trade groups filed a second amicus curiae brief [PDF]. It was joined in the brief by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), and the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT).
These trade groups wrote that "Although framed as a simple discovery order, the Magistrate Judge's order of April 26, 2002 appears to be breathtaking in scope. Defendants must fundamentally alter the structure of their product and their customer relationship by creating and adding complex new software to monitor customers' individual use of the ReplayTV product. The order compels the design, development, and implementation of specific computer technologies to assist Plaintiffs in the collection of evidence. Simply put, the Magistrate Judge has ordered Defendants to create a new software work against their will, transmit it to user's homes without users' consent, and install it on consumers' property without their consent, in order to retrieve detailed information from them without their consent, to transmit it to third parties without their consent."
See also, EPIC release, CEA release, and SONICblue release.
House Judiciary Committee Postpones Hearings
5/15. The House Judiciary Committee postponed from Wednesday, May 15, to Thursday, May 16, its mark up of 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.
The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet postponed its oversight hearing titled "The Accuracy and Integrity of the WHOIS Database", which had been scheduled for Thursday, May 16. No new date has been set.
The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime postponed its 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, and then on May 17. No new date has been set.
Appeals Court Opinions
5/15. The U.S. Court of Appeals (6thCir) issued its opinion in Conwood v. U.S. Tobacco, an antitrust case involving smokeless tobacco. Conwood prevailed in the District Court on its Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C.  2, claim involving use of monopoly position to exclude competitors from the market. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
5/15. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion [MS Word] in Cooper Cameron v. Kvaerner Oilfield Products, a patent case. The case involves U.S. Patent 5,544,707 and U.S. Patent 6,039,119 which pertain to the oil business. Specifically, they are directed to subsea wellheads having a horizontal spool tree arrangement that protects the integrity of the well during workover activities for repair and maintenance. The Appeals Court's opinion addresses the doctrine of equivalents, invalidity for inadequate written description, and documents that qualify as "printed publications" under 35 U.S.C.  102.
5/15. The U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued an opinion [PDF] in Vizcaino v. Microsoft, the long running litigation between Microsoft and its freelance workers. This opinion pertains only to the amount of attorneys' fees awarded to class counsel. The District Court entered an order approving class counsel's fee request of $27,127,800, which was 28% of the cash settlement fund. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
More News
5/15. Robert Sachs, P/CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), gave a speech at the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) annual meeting in which he addressed the DTV transition. He stated that "HDTV will bolster cable's competitiveness and value proposition to consumers. This is why the cable industry two weeks ago pledged strong support for voluntary industry actions to speed the transition to digital television proposed by Chairman Powell." He also said that "Key to the creation of more HDTV programming are digital rights protections. The cable industry shares the broadcast industry's desire to protect copyrighted digital video content from being retransmitted for free over the Internet."
5/15. The USPTO published the May issue of the USPTO Pulse in its web site.
FCC Approves Georgia's and Louisiana's Long Distance Requests
5/15. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved BellSouth's Section 271 application to provide in region interLATA service originating in the states of Georgia and Louisiana. This is the first 271 approval for BellSouth.
Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), the Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, stated in a release that "I am delighted that Louisiana consumers will now reap the benefits of unfettered local and long distance telephone competition."
Duane Ackerman, Ch/CEO of BellSouth stated in a release that "We are pleased that the Federal Communications Commission, after a very lengthy and thorough examination of BellSouth's compliance with the Telecommunications Act's market opening requirements, has affirmed that we have in fact met our obligations to our competitors who currently serve over 4.2 million customer lines in our region ... With today's approval we will now move ahead with our plan to obtain long distance relief in all nine of our states."
This is FCC Docket No. WC 02-35. See also, FCC release.
Groups Oppose Hollings' Bill To Regulate Online Information Practices
5/15. The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) announced its opposition S 2201, the Online Personal Privacy Act. The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to mark up this bill on Thursday, May 16.
CCIA P/CEO Ed Black wrote in a letter to Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), the sponsor of the bill and Chairman of the Committee, that "this legislation will cause great harm to the Internet and e-commerce, discriminating against those who conduct business online."
Black continued that "We are particularly concerned with the proliferation of litigation that we anticipate would result from adoption of this legislation. Given the fragile economic state of many Internet based companies, the threat of massive litigation, coupled with costly and burdensome regulations mandating access requirements and onerous sign-on schemes would have a disastrous impact. We believe this legislation would also harm consumers as the free flow of services and information facilitated by the Internet and online commerce would be greatly curtailed." See also, CCIA release.
Also on May 15, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the Committee to reject the bill. The Chamber's Bruce Josten stated in a release that "If enacted, this bill would derail the growth of online commerce and could actually increase identity thefts by making it easier to obtain personal information."
Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Webcasting
5/15. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled "Copyright Royalties: Where is the Right Spot On The Dial For Webcasting?" See, prepared statements of Committee members: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). See also, prepared statements of witnesses: Hilary Rosen (Recording Industry Association of America), Jon Potter (Digital Media Association), Bill Rose (Arbitron), Frank Schliemann (Onion River Radio), Billy Straus (Websound.com), and Dan Navarro (American Federation Of Television and Radio Artists).
FCC Meeting Agenda
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scheduled to consider the following items at its May 16 meeting.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning section 272(f)(l), the sunset of the BOC separate affiliate and related matters.
A Report and Order allowing private cable operators to use frequencies in the 12 GHz band of the Cable Television Relay Service (CARS). (CS Docket No. 99-250; RM-9257).
An Order concerning extension of the October 5, 2001, digital television construction deadline; and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on remedial steps for failure to comply with the DTV construction schedule.
A Second Report and Order concerning regulations for spread spectrum systems. (ET Docket No. 99-231).
A Report and Order concerning service rules for the 216-220 MHz, 1390-1395 MHz, 1427-1432 MHz, 1670-1675 MHz, 2385-2390 MHz and the paired 1392-1395 MHz and 1432-1435 MHz Bands. (WT Docket No. 02-8; RM-9267, RM-9692, RM-9797, RM-9854, RM-9882).
People and Appointments
5/15. President Bush nominated Kevin Ryan to be the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California for the term of four years. Ryan has been a Judge on the Superior Court of California since 1999. Before that he was a Judge on the San Francisco Municipal Court. And before that, he was Deputy District Attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. See, White House release.
About Tech Law Journal
Tech Law Journal publishes a free access web site and subscription e-mail alert. The basic rate for a subscription to the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert is $250 per year. However, there are discounts for entities with multiple subscribers. Free one month trial subscriptions are available. Also, free subscriptions are available for law students, journalists, elected officials, and employees of the Congress, courts, and executive branch, and state officials. The TLJ web site is free access. However, copies of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert and news items are not published in the web site until one month after writing. See, subscription information page.

Contact: 202-364-8882; E-mail.
P.O. Box 4851, Washington DC, 20008.
Privacy Policy
Notices & Disclaimers
Copyright 1998 - 2002 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.
Thursday, May 16
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business.
The Supreme Court is on recess until May 20.
9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a meeting to mark up several bills. The agenda includes: S 2037, a bill providing for the establishment of a national emergency technology guard; 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; S 630, the Can Spam Act; S 2201, a bill pertaining to information privacy online; S 414, a bill to amend the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act to establish a digital network technology program. 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 Street, SW, Commission Meeting Room.
POSTPONED. 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. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492.
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, second floor, Crystal Park 2, Room 200, 2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of S 848, the Social Security Number Misuse Prevention Act of 2001, sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), and S 1742, the Restore Your Identity Act of 2001, sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The agenda also includes votes on several pending judicial nominations, including Brooks Smith (U.S.C.A., 3rd Circuit), Richard Clifton (U.S.C.A., 9th Circuit), Christopher Conner (U.S.D.C, Middle District of Pennsylvania), Joy Conti (U.S.D.C. Western District of Pennsylvania), and John Jones (U.S.D.C., Middle District of Pennsylvania. 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 (MSRC) 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 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 @pff.org. See, notice. Location: Room B369, Rayburn Building.
Saturday, May 18
Day one of a five day annual conference of the INTA. 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 Ext. 3005 or spandy @napawash.org Location: Hilton Crystal City, Arlington, VA. 
Monday, May 20
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day public workshop hosted by the FTC to explore issues relating to the security of consumers' computers and the personal information stored in them or in company databases. See, notice to be published in the Federal Register. The FTC previously announced that this event would be held on May 16 and 17. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
Day two of a three day conference titled "Personal Privacy in the Digital Age: The Challenge for State and Local Governments".
Day three of a five day annual conference of the INTA. See, agenda. Location: Washington Convention Center.
Tuesday, May 21
President Bush will leave the country for visits to Germany, France and Russia. He will return on May 27.
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Day two of a two day public workshop hosted by the FTC to explore issues relating to the security of consumers' computers and the personal information stored in them or in company databases. See, notice to be published in the Federal Register. The FTC previously announced that this event would be held on May 16 and 17. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM. Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, will give the closing keynote address at the conference titled "Personal Privacy in the Digital Age: The Challenge for State and Local Governments". Location: Hilton Crystal City, Arlington, VA.
12:15 PM. The FCBA's Young Lawyers Committee will host a brown bag lunch. Steve Berry (VP for Government Affairs at the CTIA) will address Wireless Issues on the Hill. Location: Hogan & Hartson, Conference Room 9E-407, 555 13th Street, NW (east tower).
2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's U.S. International Telecommunication Advisory Committee will meet to debrief the just completed International Telecommunication Union Council meeting. Persons intending to attend the meeting should send a fax to the State Department with security related information. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: Room 1408, State Dept.
Day three of a three day conference titled "Personal Privacy in the Digital Age: The Challenge for State and Local Governments".
Day four of a five day annual conference of the INTA. See, agenda. Location: Washington Convention Center.