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February 27, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 613.
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USTR Testifies On Administration Trade Agenda
2/26. U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick testified before the House Ways and Means Committee about the administration's trade agenda. See, prepared testimony.

Zoellick addressed the rulings by the World Trade Organization (WTO) holding that the U.S. Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC), and replacement, tax regimes constitute illegal export subsidies. He wrote that "The United States should also live up to its obligations under WTO rules. In particular, the Administration needs the assistance of the Congress to come into compliance in cases dealing with the FSC / ETI law ..."

Also on February 26, the European Union, which has long complained about the FSC and ETI tax regimes, announced a revised draft list of products that could be subject to countermeasures -- that is, retaliatory tariffs. See, EU release.

Zoellick also addressed electronic commerce. He wrote that "The United States is actively engaged in the work program on electronic commerce, now being conducted under the auspices of the WTO's General Council. In 2002, two meetings were dedicated to e-commerce and focused on classification and fiscal implications of electronically transmitted products. As the work progresses, the United States will push for a set of objectives to form the basis for a positive statement from the WTO about the importance of free-trade principles and rules to the development of global e-commerce."

He also addressed PR China's compliance with its WTO commitments. He wrote that "Overall, during the first year of its WTO membership, China made significant progress in implementing its WTO commitments. It gained ground by making numerous required systemic changes and by implementing specific commitments, such as tariff reductions, the removal of numerous non-tariff barriers, and the issuance of regulations to increase market access for foreign firms in a variety of services sectors. Nevertheless, we have serious concerns about areas where implementation has not yet occurred or is inadequate -- particularly agriculture, intellectual property rights enforcement, and certain services sectors."

DOJ Withholds Support for SBC's Long Distance Application
2/26. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division issued its evaluation [25 pages in PDF] to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which it stated that it is unable to support SBC's application under Section 271 to provide in region interLATA services in the state of Michigan.

Hewitt Pate, acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, stated in a release that "SBC has made significant strides in opening its Michigan markets, as demonstrated by the levels of entry achieved to date ... Serious concerns remain in several areas that may affect whether the current state of competition is irreversible, however, and these concerns merit the FCC's careful attention."

The DOJ wrote in its evaluation that "in-region, interLATA entry by a regional BOC should be permitted only when the local markets in a state have been ``fully and irreversibly´´ opened to competition." The DOJ added that "The Department believes that SBC has made significant strides in opening its Michigan markets, as demonstrated by the levels of entry achieved to date. Nevertheless, serious concerns, suggesting that the progress made may not be irreversible, remain at this time. These concerns preclude the Department from supporting this application based on the current record. The Department does not, however, foreclose the possibility that the Commission may be able to determine that these concerns have been adequately addressed prior to the conclusion of its review."

One of the issues raised by the DOJ evaluation is line splitting and DSL service. It wrote that "AT&T raises several issues concerning SBC's provision of line-splitting service. Two of these issues merit the Commission's consideration. AT&T has entered into a partnership with Covad that could provide significant competition to the combination of voice and DSL services now offered by and through the incumbent local telephone companies. On the same split line AT&T provides voice service via UNE-platform, while Covad provides DSL service. AT&T has, however, encountered several obstacles to implementing the partnership’s combination of services in SBC’s Michigan service area." (Footnote omitted.)

SBC submitted this application on January 16, 2003. February 26 was the extended deadline for the DOJ's evaluation. The FCC must rule on the application within 90 days of January 16. This is WC Docket No. 03-16.

Mankiw to Replace Hubbard at Council of Economic Advisors
2/26. Glenn Hubbard, the current Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), announced his resignation. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Gregory Mankiw to be a Member of the CEA, and upon confirmation, to designate him as Chairman. He is currently a professor of economics at Harvard. He is also the author of several textbooks, including Macroeconomics (Amazon sales rank 65,947), Principles of Microeconomics, and Principles of Macroeconomics. He is also a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, an advisor to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and an advisor to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). See, White House release.

Mankiw wrote an opinion piece for Fortune Magazine (May 29, 2000) titled "The Sensible Way to Dismember Microsoft". He wrote that the "real-world remedy is to make Microsoft release the source code for Windows. If Windows were in the public domain (as Linux is), new companies could offer their own improved versions. Microsoft would lose the profits from its past innovations -- a penalty for its past sins. The company would remain intact, however, and could revise its version of Windows without restriction. Bill Gates would keep his highly touted ``right to innovate.´´ Of course, he and other Microsoft shareholders would be a lot poorer. But, heck, that's the cost of losing."

On the other hand, he wrote in another piece (May 15, 2000) that "Economists are divided about the merits of the Microsoft case. Some think the government is protecting upstarts like Netscape from a big, bad monopoly. Others (like me) think the government is taking the new economy away from the scientists and engineers who created the prosperity and handing it over to the nation's lawyers."

DOJ Seizes Web Site In Copyright Case
2/26. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it seized an internet domain name pursuant to a plea agreement with David Rocci. He had used the domain,, in connection with his violation of criminal copyright laws.

The DOJ has now published a notice at this web address that states, in part, as follows: "The domain and web site were surrendered to U.S. law enforcement pursuant to a federal prosecution and felony plea agreement for conspiracy to violate criminal copyright laws."

The notice continues that "David Rocci, a.k.a ``krazy8,´´ pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on December 19, 2002, to conspiring with others to violate federal copyright laws by illegally importing, marketing, and selling modification, or ``mod,´´ chips. Mod chips illegally circumvent built-in security protections and allow individuals to play pirated games on game consoles, such as the Microsoft Xbox and the Sony Playstation2. Rocci and his co-conspirators used as the exclusive outlet to market and sell their mod chips to individuals in the illegal warez scene. As a result, the iSONEWS website is now the property of the United States government. Individuals involved in this conduct face up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000 for each count charged." See also, DOJ release.

People and Appointments
2/25. Richard Burk, P/CEO of nii Communications, was re-elected as Chairman of the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel). Jerry James, President of Grande Communications, was re-elected as Vice Chairman. Joseph Ambersley, EVP of Business Development for PaeTec, was re-elected as Vice Chairman/Treasurer. See, CompTel release.
More News
2/26. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held a hearing titled "Peer to Peer Piracy on University Campuses". Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the new Chairman of the Subcommittee, presided. He wrote in his prepared statement that "The ready access to file-sharing sites and the ease with which files can be downloaded by broadband connections has emboldened American university students to engage in piracy. This is a serious problem that seeks to undermine the protections provided by the Constitution." Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) remains the ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee. See also, prepared testimony of witnesses: Hilary Rosen (Ch/CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America), Graham Spanier (President of Pennsylvania State University), Molly Broad (President of the University of North Carolina), and John Hale (Center for Computer Security, University of Tulsa).

2/26. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced its list of the top ten patenting universities in the U.S. in 2002. The top ten are: University of California (all campuses combined), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Texas, Johns Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin, State University of New York, Pennsylvania State University, and Michigan State University.

2/26. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice [9 pages in PDF] in its web site titled "Claiming the Benefit of a Prior-Filed Application under 35 U.S.C. §§ 119(e), 120, 121, and 365(c)".

2/26. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced in a release that WIPO Director General Kamil Idris and Spanish Vice-Minister for Education, Culture and Sport Mariano Zabía Lasala signed of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding intellectual property rights. The WIPO stated that the two "agreed on the growing economic and cultural importance of copyright and related rights industries. They further stressed the need to generate greater public awareness of and respect for copyright and related rights at a time when digital technologies have boosted cross-border exploitation of protected works."

2/26. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) published a notice in the Federal Register reminding interested parties that the deadline to submit comments in its proceeding regarding exceptions to the E-SIGN Act is March 31, 2003. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN) Act provides, at Section 101, for the acceptance of electronic signatures in interstate commerce, with certain enumerated exceptions. The Act also requires the NTIA to review, evaluate and report to Congress on each of the exceptions. See, Federal Register, February 26, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 38, at Pages 8877.

2/26. The U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) issued its opinion [PDF] in Montgomery County v. Microvote, a dispute involving the sale of direct recording electronic voting machines, a central computer system, computer software, and support services. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court.

Thursday, February 27
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business.

Day two of a three day conference hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) titled "Third Annual Privacy Summit: Implementing and Managing Privacy in a Complex Environment". At 8:15 AM, there will be a panel titled "International Privacy"; the speakers will be Malcolm Crompton (Privacy Commissioner of Australia), Peter Hustinx (Netherlands Data Protection Authority), and George Radwanski (Privacy Commissioner of Canada). At 9:00 AM, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) is scheduled to speak. At 9:30 AM, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Orson Swindle is scheduled to speak. At 10:00 AM, there will be a panel that includes William Braithwaite (Price Waterhouse), Nuala Kelly (Chief Counsel for Technology, Department of Commerce), David Stampley (New York State Attorney General’s Office, Internet Bureau), Zoe Strickland (CPO, USPS), and John Bentivoglio (Arnold & Porter). See, schedule. Location: Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW.

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an business meeting. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Z Tel Communications v. FCC, No. 01-1461. Judges Ginsburg, Sentelle and Randolph will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The House Science Committee will hold an organizational meeting. Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a hearing pertaining to its "review of broadcast ownership regulation". See, FCC notice [MS Word] and agenda [MS Word]. Press contact: Rosemary Kimball at 202 418-0511 or Location: Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. Third Street, Ballroom Building, Level 1, Meeting Room 15AB, Richmond, VA.

11:00 AM. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on several nominations, including Janet Hale (to be Under Secretary for Management, Department of Homeland Security), and Clark Ervin (to be Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security). Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

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 Location: George Washington University Law School, Faculty Conference Center, Burns Building, 5th Floor, 720 20th Street, NW. This event had been scheduled for February 18, but was postponed due to snow.

Friday, February 28
9:00 AM - 1:30 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host an conference titled "Prospects and Politics of a U.S.-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement". The scheduled speakers include Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), William Kristol, Deanna Okun, and Therese Shaheen.

12:15 PM. The FCBA's Mass Media Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speaker will be Ken Ferree, Chief of the FCC's Media Bureau. RSVP to Wendy Parish at Location: NAB, Conference Room, 1771 N Street, NW.

2:00 NOON. Deadline to submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) regarding the operation and implementation of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). See, notice in the Federal Register, February 3, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 22, at Pages 5327-5328.

Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) regarding the Report [73 pages in PDF] of the FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force (SPTF). The report recommends that "spectrum policy must evolve towards more flexible and market oriented regulatory models." See, original notice [PDF] and notice of extension [PDF].

Day three of a three day conference hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) titled "Third Annual Privacy Summit: Implementing and Managing Privacy in a Complex Environment". See, schedule. Location: Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW.

EXTENDED TO MARCH 11. Deadline to submit reply 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. See also, notice of extension.

Deadline to submit to the Copyright Office (CO) claims to royalty payments for digital audio recording devices and digital audio recording media, collected during 2002. Such claims are made in accordance with Chapter 10 of the U.S. Copyright Law and Part 259 of the Copyright Office regulations. See, CO notice with links to online claim submission forms.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its Agreement Containing Consent Order with Educational Research Center of America, Inc. (ERCA). On January 29 the FTC announced that it filed an administrative complaint against ERCA alleging violation of the FTC Act. The complaint states that the ERCA "collected personal information from high school and middle and junior high school students through surveys ..." It further states that it "represented, expressly or by implication, that information collected from students through the Surveys is shared only with colleges, universities, and other entities providing education-related services. ... In truth and in fact, information collected from students through the Surveys is shared ... also with commercial entities for marketing purposes." See, FTC release and notice in Federal Register, February 4, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 23, at Pages 5640-5642.

Monday, March 3
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will hold a meeting. The agenda includes Presentation of R&D Subcommittee Draft Report on Technology Transfer and Discussion of PCAST’s Nanotechnology Work Plan. Pre-clearance is required to attend. Part of the meeting will be closed. See, PCAST notice and notice in the Federal Register, February 24, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 36, at Page 8608. Location: Indian Treaty Room, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Intellectual Property Development v. UA Columbia Cablevision, No. 02-1248, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (SDNY) in a patent case. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

Deadline to file FCC Form 477 with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All providers of local telephone service that serve 10,000 or more voice grade equivalent lines, or wireless channels, in a given state must file this form. Also, facilities based providers that serve at least 250 one-way or two-way broadband (defined here as in excess of 200 kilobits per second) service lines, or wireless channels, in a given state (or have at least 250 customers for such service in a given state) must also file. This form provides the FCC with the data that it uses for its twice per year report on the growth in use of broadband services. See, FCC notice [MS Word].

Deadline to submit comments to the Copyright Office (CO) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) relating to proposed regulations that set rates and terms for the use of sound recordings by preexisting subscription services for the period January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2007. For more information, contact David Carson (General Counsel) or Tanya Sandros (Senior Attorney, Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel) at 202 707-8380. See, notice in the Federal Register, January 30, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 20, at Page 4744-4747.

Tuesday, March 4
Day one of a three day conference titled "Securing Your Cyber Frontier Through Awareness, Training and Education" hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Information Systems Security Educators' Association (FISSEA). See, conference web site. Location: The Hilton Hotel, 8727 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD.

9:00 AM. The Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee will hold a partly open and partly closed meeting. The agenda includes a discussion of encryption regulation recommendations. See, notice in the February 18, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 32, at Page 7765. Location: Room 3884, Hoover Building, 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues, NW.

12:30 PM. The House Homeland Security Committee will hold its organizational meeting. Press contact: Kate Whitman at 202 225-5611. Location: Room 2172, Rayburn Building.

Deadline to submit comments to the General Services Administration (GSA) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Section 211 of the E-Government Act of 2002. Section 211 authorizes the Administrator of GSA to provide for the use by States or local governments of its Federal Supply Schedule for "automated data processing equipment (including firmware), software, supplies, support equipment, and services ...'' See, Federal Register, January 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 3220, at Pages 3220-3225.

Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding SBC's Section 271 application to provide in-region interLATA service in the state of Michigan. This is WC Docket No. 03-16. See, FCC notice.

Wednesday, March 5
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Copyright Office (CO) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the form, content, and manner of service of notices of termination under Section 203 of the Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. § 203 pertains to the termination of transfers and licenses granted by the author. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 20, 2002 Vol. 67, No. 245, at Pages 77951 - 77955. For more information, contact David Carson, CO General Counsel, at 202 707-8380.

Day two of a three day conference titled "Securing Your Cyber Frontier Through Awareness, Training and Education" hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Information Systems Security Educators' Association (FISSEA). See, conference web site. Location: The Hilton Hotel, 8727 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD.

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