|Commerce Department Official Predicts Few
Bills Related to Digital Content Will Pass in 2003
|2/4. The Department of
Commerce's (DOC) Bruce Mehlman gave a
speech at a
Precursor Group conference titled "Protecting Digital Value" in Washington DC.
He predicted that little legislation regarding digital content will pass in
He said that there are three fundamental trends -- growing broadband access
and use, proliferation of consumer electronics that improve consumers’ access to
and use of digital content, and increasing consumer interest in digital content.
He also said that there are three "outside elements" that may have
an impact in 2003 -- the Verizon case, the success of independents, and the
He stated that as a result of the Verizon case, "expect RIAA and MPAA to
adopt the BSA business model major and bring private lawsuits against
corporations, universities or even individuals unwittingly serving as piracy
supernodes. Fear of liability could put a downward drag on free but illegal file
sharing, by inducing greater network self-regulation among businesses and
colleges (which is also good for network management and security)." (Parentheses
On January 21, the
U.S. District Court (DC) issued its
RIAA v. Verizon, ruling that copyright holders can obtain
subpoenas pursuant to
17 U.S.C. § 512(h) that require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to reveal
the identities of their customers who infringe copyrights on peer to peer filing
sharing systems. See also, TLJ story titled
Court Rules DMCA Subpoenas Available for P2P Infringers.
Mehlman also said, "Watch to see whether independent services gain equal access to the labels’
catalogues and full rights to offer desired consumer services ..."
Finally, he addressed legislation. He said, "I would not expect to see much if any legislation move all the way through
in 2003. Technology mandates, peer-to-peer restrictions, eased anti-hacker rules
for content counter strikes, and expanded fair use exemptions just aren't likely
to pass this year. Progress might be made on a narrowly tailored broadcast flag
law, if it’s needed (as opposed to FCC action alone), and assuming the warring
factions can come to reasonable consensus. A lot of time and money will be spent
lobbying without legislative result, ..." (Parentheses in original.)
Mehlman is the DOC's Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy.
|Grand Jury Returns DMCA Indictments
|2/11. The U.S. Attorneys Office (USAO) for the Central
District of California issued
a release regarding
the prosecution of seventeen persons involved in theft of satellite television
signals from DirecTV and EchoStar. The release discloses, among other things, the
unsealing of four indictments that a grand jury of the
U.S. District Court (CDCal) returned
in January against six persons alleging violation of the anti-circumvention
provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in connection with
The release states that satellite broadcasters use encryption and conditional
access technology on a smart card to restrict access, and that defendants are
software developers and hardware developers involved in making equipment that
allows theft of programming from satellite broadcast signals.
The release states that a total of seventeen persons have been charged with
§ 1204, 18 U.S.C. § 371,
and/or 47 U.S.C. § 605.
Six of these have been charged with violation of Section 1204 (DMCA). Some
defendants have already plead guilty.
17 U.S.C. § 1204
contains the criminal prohibition of violation of 17 U.S.C. § 1201,
which, in turn prohibits the circumvention of technological measures that
effectively controls access to a work protection under Title 17 (which includes
the Copyright Act), and trafficking in circumvention devices.
18 U.S.C. § 371
is the criminal conspiracy provision in the Criminal Code.
47 U.S.C. § 605
is the criminal prohibition in the Communications Act of making or trafficking
in devices that are "of assistance in the unauthorized decryption of satellite
cable programming, or direct-to-home satellite services".
This is the second set of criminal prosecutions under the DMCA. The first was
the Skylarov case in the U.S. District Court (NDCal).
The USAO release names the six persons charges with criminal violation of the
DMCA. It states that Jason Hughes "has agreed to plead guilty to violating the
DMCA for developing and distributing software designed to circumvent smart cards
for DirecTV." Edward Vanderziel "was indicted on charges of conspiracy,
manufacturing signal theft devices and violating the DMCA." Michael Whitehead
"was indicted for conspiracy, manufacturing satellite signal theft devices and
violating the DMCA for his nationwide distribution of devices to circumvent the
conditional access technologies in smart cards." Peter DeForest was "indicted on
charges of manufacturing satellite signal theft devices and charges under the
DMCA for manufacturing ``unloopers´´ used to circumvent the smart card
technology." Linh Ly "agreed to plead guilty to violating the DMCA and
distributing decryption hardware". Finally, the USAO release states that Richard
Seamans "who was indicted on charges of violating the DMCA and distributing
|FBI Asks People Not To Hack Iraq
|2/11. The Federal Bureau of
Protection Center (NIPC) issued an
regarding patriotic hacking.
While NIPC advisories typically warn readers about cyber threats, this advisory
also requests readers not to engage in "patriotic hacking" of systems in Iraq, or
operated by supporters of Iraq.
The advisory states that "Recent experience has shown that
during a time of increased international tension, illegal cyber activity:
spamming, web defacements, denial of service attacks, etc., often escalates.
This activity can originate within another country, which is party to the
tension. It can be state sponsored or encouraged, or come from domestic
organizations or individuals independently. Additionally, sympathetic
individuals and organizations worldwide tend to conduct hacking activity, which
they view as somehow contributing to the cause. As tensions rise, it is prudent
to be aware of, and prepare for this type of illegal activity."
The advisory continues that "Attacks may have one of several
motivations", including "Political activism targeting Iraq or those sympathetic
to Iraq by self described ``patriot´´ hackers" and "Political activism or
disruptive attacks targeting United States systems by those opposed to any
potential conflict with Iraq".
The advisory warns such persons that "such activity is illegal
and punishable as a felony. The U.S. Government does not condone so-called
``patriotic hacking´´ on its behalf. Further, even ``patriotic hackers´´ can be
fooled into launching attacks against their own interests by exploiting
malicious code that purports to attack the other side when in fact it is
designed to attack the interests of the side sending it. In this and other ways
``patriotic hackers´´ risk becoming tools of their enemy."
|House Homeland Security Committee Members
|2/12. Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA),
Chairman of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, and
Rep. Jim Turner (D-TX), the ranking
Democrat, announced the membership of the Committee. See,
The other Republican members are Bill Young (FL), Christopher Shays (CT), Curt
Weldon (PA), Dave Camp (MI), David Dreier
(CA), Don Young (AK), Duncan Hunter (CA), Ernest Istook (OK), James
Sensenbrenner (WI), Harold Rogers (KY),
Jennifer Dunn (WA), Jim Gibbons (NV), John Linder (GA), John Shadegg (AZ),
John Sweeney (NY), Kay Granger (TX),
Lamar Smith (TX), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL), Mac Thornberry (TX), Mark Souder
(IN), Pete Sessions (TX), Peter King (NY), Porter Goss (R-FL),
Bob Goodlatte (VA), Sherwood
Boehlert (NY), and Billy Tauzin (LA).
The other Democratic members are Robert Andrews (NJ), Benjamin Cardin (MD), Donna
Christensen (VI), Peter DeFazio (OR), Norman Dicks (WA), Bob Etheridge (NC),
Barney Frank (MA), Charles Gonzalez (TX),
Jane Harman (CA), Sheila Lee (TX), James Langevin (RI),
Zoe Lofgren (CA), Nita Lowey (NY),
Ken Lucas (KY), Ed Markey (MA), Karen
McCarthy (MO), Kendrick Meek (FL), Eleanor Norton (DC), Bill Pascrell (NJ),
Loretta Sanchez (CA), Louise Slaughter (NY), and Bennie Thompson (MS).
of the members have been active in information technology, cyber security and
communications related debates. Rep. Cox (at right) has long been a leading
proponent of an untaxed and unregulated internet. Rep. Dunn represents a
district that includes many Microsoft workers. Rep. Smith has been active in
passing cyber crime legislation. Rep. Goodlatte is a co-chair of the Internet
Caucus, and, along with Rep. Lofgren, led the effort in previous Congresses to
defend encryption rights. Both have also been involved in other tech related
issues. Rep. Lofgren represents a Silicon Valley district. Rep. Markey is the
ranking Democrat on the Telecom and Internet Subcommittee, and a leading
proponent in the House of privacy rights. Rep. Harman has been active in cyber
|NTIA Director Writes State Department Re
|2/12. Nancy Victory,
Director of National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA), wrote a
the Department of State's (DOS)
Gross, recommending that the DOS be more active at the
Telecommunications Union (ITU) on the ENUM
right) is the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy in
the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State.
Victory wrote that "We currently have the opportunity to participate or ``opt
in´´ to the new global domain set aside for electronic numbering (ENUM),
e164.arpa. Because of the potential benefits of ENUM, the Department of Commerce
through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
believes that the United States should seize this opportunity and take steps to
participate in e164.arpa, consistent with the highest standards of security,
competition, and privacy."
She elaborated that "As a mapping protocol that links the Internet and
telephony platforms through a single identifier, ENUM has the potential to
facilitate convergence of communications networks by linking e-mail addresses,
telephone numbers, fax numbers, and cell phone numbers for individuals or
|FRB Vice Chairman Reviews Y2K Remediation
|2/12. Federal Reserve Board
(FRB) Vice Chairman
Roger Ferguson gave a
speech in Athens, Georgia titled "Rules and Flexibility in Monetary Policy"
in which he reviewed the recent history of monetary policy. He included a review
of the year 2000 conversion in the banking sector.
He said that "concerns were widespread during 1999 that computer systems
controlling everything from cash registers to power grids could fail because of
Y2K bugs in computer code. Given the pervasiveness of automated systems in the
financial sector, concerns about fixing the Y2K bug in that sector were
particularly severe. Despite intensive and careful preparations, market
participants and others remained concerned that computer failures could result
in problems for individual firms and, conceivably, even for the economy. Firms,
for example, were extremely reluctant to be exposed to the risk that on January
1, 2000, they would be unable to roll over their debt, and banks similarly were
concerned about their own access to funding."
Ferguson stated that "the Federal Reserve put in place a number of
contingency measures to ensure the availability of adequate liquidity to the
economy. Moreover, to minimize the risk that monetary policy would inadvertently
trigger problems, the monetary tightening process was put on hold at the
December 21, 1999, meeting to minimize the uncertainty when everyone was
concerned about the century date change. As it turned out, the careful planning
and massive investment in updated and more robust information technology paid
off -- computers functioned smoothly. Again, our approach to monetary policy in
the run-up to Y2K would have been very difficult to capture in a simple rule, or
in a complicated one for that matter."
|2/12. The House passed
The Do-Not-Call Implementation Act, on a roll call vote of 418-7. See,
Roll Call No. 26. The sponsor of the bill,
Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), stated in a
release that "The bill provides a five year authorization for the FTC to collect
fees from telemarketers to operate, maintain, and enforce the national
do-not-call registry, which will cost $16 million annually. Now that the House
has passed this legislation, the Senate must move quickly so that the registry
can be put into motion this year."
2/12. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) released its annual
[47 pages in PDF] on the number of telephone subscribers. It found, once again, that most people have phones. That is, over
95 percent of all households in the U.S. had
telephone service as of July 2002. Access rates vary across income groups, with
low income households having less access than high income
households. The report was written by Alexander Belinfante of the
Industry Analysis and Technology Division of the
FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau. See also,
release [1 page in PDF].
2/12. The Department of Justice's (DOJ)
Antitrust Division filed its
"Certificate of Complicance with Tunney Act and Motion for Entry of Final
Judgments" with the U.S. District Court
(EDVa) in the case U.S.A. v. MathWorks and Wind River Systems. On June 21,
2002, the DOJ filed its complaint against
Systems alleging violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The complaint
alleged that MathWorks and Wind River were competitors in the development and
sale of dynamic control system design software tools, and that they entered into
an agreement that gave MathWorks the exclusive right to sell Wind River's
MATRIXx products and required Wind River to stop its own development and
21, 2002 release. The DOJ settled with the defendants last year. See,
August 15, 2002 release. See also,
notice in the Federal Register regarding the Proposed Final Judgment and
Competitive Impact Statement, October 21, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 203, at Pages 64657
2/12. The Department of Justice's (DOJ)
Antitrust Division published a
notice in the Federal Register of its
Judgment and Competitive Impact Statement in U.S.A. v. Village Voice
Media and NT Media. See, Federal Register, February 12, 2003, Vol. 68, No.
29, at Pages 7132-7147. See also, story titled "DOJ Files Antitrust Complaint Against
Newspaper and Web Site Publishers for Allocation of Markets" in TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 592, January 28, 2003.
|Thursday, February 13
|The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business.
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM. The American Enterprise
Institute (AEI) will host a conference titled "Tax,
Trade, and Cowboy Capitalism in the United States and Europe".
Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA),
Chairman of the House Ways and Means
Committee, will give a keynote address at 9:00 AM. There will be three
panel discussions. Finally, Sen. Max
Baucus (D-MT), the ranking Democrat on the
Senate Finance Committee, will
give the luncheon address at 1:00 PM. Location: AEI, 1150 Seventeenth St., NW.
9:15 AM. The Senate Commerce
Committee will hold its organizational meeting for the 108th Congress.
notice. Press contact: Pia Pialorsi (McCain) at 202 224-2670. Location:
Room 253, Russell Building.
POSTPONED TO FEBRUARY 20.
AM. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. See,
Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).
9:30 - 11:30 AM. The Federal
(FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology
(OET) will sponsor several technology demonstrations of ultra-wideband
devices. One of the participants will be
Xtreme Spectrum (XS), which will
demonstrate a wireless broadcast of two high definition television (HDTV)
streams to two separate large screen displays using XS's ultra-wideband
chipset Trinity. The FCC stated in a release that FCC staff will "be available
to the media at the beginning of the event to address regulatory actions taken
by the FCC in this area". Press contacts: David Fiske (FCC) at 202 418-0500 or
Diane Orr (XS) at 408 377-0308. See,
notice [PDF]. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room
(TW-C305), 445 12th St., SW.
9:30 AM (or 11:00 AM?). The Senate Judiciary
Committee will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes
consideration of several judicial nominees:
Deborah Cook (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit), John Roberts
(U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia), Jeffrey Sutton
(U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit), Jay Bybee (U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit), Ralph Erickson (U.S.D.C., North Dakota),
William Quarles (U.S.D.C., Maryland), Gregory Frost (U.S.D.C., Southern
District of Ohio). The agenda also includes consideration of
S 113, a
bill to exclude United States persons from the definition of "foreign power"
under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). See,
Location: Room SDG 50, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. The House Science
Committee will hold a hearing on the research and development
components of President Bush's FY 2004 proposed budget. The scheduled
witnesses are John Marburger (Director of the
Office of Science and Technology Policy), Rita Colwell (Director of the
National Science Foundation), Samuel Bodman (Deputy Secretary of the
Department of Commerce), and Robert Card (Under Secretary of Energy for
Energy, Science and Environment). Press contact: Heidi Tringe at
or 202 225-4275. Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.
2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce
Committee will hold a hearing on "infrastructure
needs of minority serving institutions". See,
the Digital & Wireless Network Technology Program Act of 2003,
a bill to create a grant program for minority serving institutions, sponsored
by Sen. George Allen (R-VA). Press
contact: Pia Pialorsi (McCain) at 202 224-2670. See,
Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
3:00 PM. The House Ways and Means
Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing titled "Free
Electronic Filing and National Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report". Location:
Room 1100, Longworth Building.
6:00-8:00 PM. The FCBA will host a reception
for Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Adelstein. Tickets to attend must be purchased by February 10. See,
purchase form. Location:
Mayflower Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 1127 Connecticut Ave., NW.
|Friday, February 14
|9:30 AM. The
Senate Governmental Affairs
Committee will hold a hearing to examine the President's proposal to
create a terrorist threat integration center, including consolidating
intelligence analysis. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.
11:00 AM. The Library of Congress (LOC) will announce a plan titled
"National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program" (NDIIPP).
The scheduled speakers will include James Billington (Librarian of Congress)
and Laura Campbell (Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives). For more
information, contact Guy Lamolinara at 202 707-9217 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Location: LOC, Mary Pickford
Theater, third floor, Madison Building, 1st St. & Independence Ave., SE.
TO BE DECIDED WITHOUT ORAL ARGUMENT.
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(DCCir) will hear oral argument in Moultrie Independent Telephone
Company v. FCC, No. 01-1506. Judges Tatel, Garland and Williams will
preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave., NW.
Deadline to submit comments to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit regarding the reappointment of Judge Arthur Weissbrodt, U.S.
Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.
His current term expires on December 2, 2003. See,
12:00 NOON. Deadline to submit comments to the
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
regarding countries that deny adequate and effective protection of
intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S.
persons who rely on intellectual property protection. The USTR is required by
Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974 to make designations, commonly referred
to as Special 301 designations, of countries that deny adequate
protection, or market access, for IPR. See,
19 U.S.C. § 2242.
notice in the Federal Register, December 30, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 250, at
Pages 79683 - 79684.
|Monday, February 17
|Presidents Day. The House will be in recess for the Presidents Day
District Work Period from February 17 through 21. The FCC will be closed on
|Tuesday, February 18
|9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(DCCir) will hear oral argument in AT&T v. FCC, No. 01-1485. Judges
Tatel, Garland and Williams will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave., NW.
4:00 PM. Michael
Meurer (Boston University School of Law) will present a paper titled
"Sharing Copyrighted Works". For more information, contact
Robert Brauneis at
202 994-6138 or
email@example.com. Location: George Washington University Law
School, Faculty Conference Center, Burns Building, 5th Floor, 720 20th Street,
Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in
response to its
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [15 pages in PDF] in its proceeding
titled "In the Matter of Digital Broadcast Copy Protection". This NPRM
proposes that the FCC promulgate a broadcast flag rule, and seeks comment on
this, and related questions. This is MB Docket No. 02-230. See,
FCC release [PDF] and
Order [PDF] of October 11, 2002 extending deadlines. See also,
Order [PDF] of January 3, 2003.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
in response to its
Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in the proceeding titled "In the matter of
Facilitating the Provision of Spectrum Based Services to Rural Areas and
Promoting Opportunities for Rural Telephone Companies To Provide Spectrum Based
Services". This is WT Docket No. 02-381. For more information, contact
Robert Krinsky at 202 418-0660. See also,
notice in the Federal Register, January 7, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 4, at Pages
723 - 730.
Extended deadline to submit comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, (FNPRM), released
last month, regarding whether providers of various services and devices not
currently within the scope of the FCC's 911 rules should be required to
provide access to emergency services. This is CC Docket No. 94-102 and IB
Docket No. 99-67. See,
notice in the Federal Register, January 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 15, at
Pages 3214 - 3220, and
|Wednesday, February 19
|10:00 AM. BellSouth Ch/CEO Duane
Ackerman will speak about the future of the telecommunications industry. For
more information, contact Bill McCloskey at 202 463-4129. Location: Zenger
Room, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee will host
a brown bag lunch. The topic will be "The Role of In House Counsel". For more
information, contact Yaron Dori at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Ryan Wallach at
email@example.com. Location: Conference Room of
Willkie Farr & Gallagher, 1875 K St.,
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Transactional Practice Committee
will host a brown bag lunch. The topic will be FCC antitrust merger reviews.
The speakers will include Jim Bird (head of the Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) Office of General Counsel's
(OGC) Transactional Team) and Jim
Barker (Latham & Watkins). For more
information, contact Lauren Kravetz at 202 418-7944 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Location: FCC, Room
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Copyright Office (CO) in response to
its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding the exemption of certain classes of works
from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that
control access to copyrighted works, pursuant to
17 U.S.C. § 1201.
See, CO summary of this
in the Federal Register: October 15, 2002, Vol. 67, No.199, at Pages 63578 -
comments already filed.
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