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April 29, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 651.
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Powell Discusses History of FCC Regulation

4/28. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell gave a speech [PDF] in which he offered a critical interpretation of the history of regulation by the FCC. He said that the FCC has traditionally stifled innovation and competition. But, he said, changes in technology and regulation are underway.

He stated that the regulatory authority of the FCC "seems to grow larger each day, despite all the spirited talk of deregulation." He added that "if an electron or photon glances off something carrying information, there is a good chance we regulate it."

He gave this interpretation of the history of broadcast regulation. "Government seized complete control of the airwaves and, in turn, passed licenses out as it saw fit to the worthy -- in effect controlling the supply of this critical commodity and serving as the guarantor of the public interest. The ``scarcity创 of the spectrum became a justification for the government to demand that those who had it use it for the public interest. This has continually included some government meddling in broadcast content, a fate that newspapers thankfully have avoided."

He said that "Incumbents fight to retain their privileged place and special interest groups fight to maintain a regulatory system that gives them onestop shopping to force socially desirable outcomes. This ``clamoring supplicants approach创 has riddled communications policy with political interests that masquerade as the public interest."

He continued that this "has led the government consistently to stifle change that would probably accrue to the enormous benefit of our citizens, but upset the time-honored rules of the game. Like the golf club at Augusta, new members were unwelcome for they might upset the unique chemistry of the place."

Powell then argued that this model of regulation is changing. "A digital migration has begun taking us from the old world -- marked by analog technologies, narrowband infrastructure, and the monopoly regulation model -- to the new world; marked by digital technologies, broadband infrastructure and a broader minded view of regulation, informed by listening to technology more than lobbyists. The changes brought forth by digital life will finally force a change in the decades old outlook of communications policy."

He added that "Just as the industry needs venture capital to finance this migration. We need venture policy to govern it -- one that is focused on building innovation platforms and empowering the consumer and citizens of our society."

Powell concluded with the observations that "Policy is made or affected by politicians. Yet the political system is optimal for giving voice to anxiety. A politician tends to respond to the worries and anxieties of the large incumbents, as well as the confusions and frustration of consumers. All of which will churn as we move down the path that technology has set out for us. We must try and make the transition smooth, but we must have the courage to stay the course and not throw regulations all over the emerging technology space in an effort to quell short-term anxiety, for like a wet blanket, it could smother the creative fire of this tech revolution."

Powell spoke to the Associated Press Annual Meeting and General Session of the National Newspaper Association Annual Convention.

The "Digital Broadband Migration" is a theme that Powell has addressed on several occasions. See especially, speech of December 8, 2000, titled "The Great Digital Broadband Migration", and speech of October 23, 2001, titled "Digital Broadband Migration Part II".

Export Regulation Official Addresses Hong Kong Technology Trade

4/28. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) chief export controls official, Kenneth Juster, gave a speech in Washington DC. He first addressed globalization, terrorism, and communications technology. He also reviewed the U.S. export controls regime as it pertain to Hong Kong. He said that "Hong Kong must continue to ensure that the integrity and autonomy of its customs territory" in order to continue to receive preferential treatment.

Kenneth JusterJuster (at right) is the Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. He is the head of the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is still known by its former, and more descriptive, name, Bureau of Export Administration (BXA). He spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies' conference titled "Asian Security and Hong Kong's Role in the War on Global Terrorism".

Terrorism and Technology. He said that "globalization brings with it not just potential benefits, but also significant threats and vulnerabilities. It is now clear that problems, which may once have been contained to a single country or region of the world, can today spread rapidly throughout the world -- whether by electronic and financial networks, by an integrated global transportation system, or by our increasingly efficient trading system."

He added that "The challenge of confronting and preventing terrorism in today's world is made all the more difficult by the very attributes of our societies -- our openness, the integrated nature of our transportation systems and information networks, and the widespread availability of technology. The same technology and communication networks that are essential for modern trade and commerce are also used by global terrorist networks to advance their nefarious goals worldwide."

Export Controls and Hong Kong. He said that the BIS (or BXA) "is responsible for administering and enforcing U.S. export controls on ``dual-use创 goods and technologies. ``Dual-use创 items are those that have both a legitimate commercial use and a use in the development or production of advanced conventional weapons or weapons of mass destruction."

He continued that "Under the U.S. ``dual-use创 export control regime, Hong Kong enjoys a special status. This derives from Hong Kong having been a British dependent territory prior to its unification with China in 1997. Today, under the ``one country, two systems创 model established in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 and formally recognized under both U.S. and Chinese law, many items that are controlled for export to China -- such as high performance computers, certain telecommunications equipment, and certain semiconductor testing equipment and materials -- do not require a license for export to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This special treatment for Hong Kong is based on the continued autonomy of Hong Kong抯 customs territory from China, as well as the strong support of the United States for the values that Hong Kong represents in Asia -- open markets, free trade, and the rule of law."

He cautioned Hong Kong that "To maintain this favorable and preferential status in the U.S. export control system, Hong Kong must continue to ensure that the integrity and autonomy of its customs territory is not compromised and that its actions do not undermine the reality or the perception that Hong Kong is separate from Mainland China. This will be especially challenging in light of Hong Kong's plans for increased economic integration with China, for streamlining border controls with China and co-locating customs facilities, and for negotiating a free trade agreement with China. Any weakening of Hong Kong抯 autonomy would cast doubt on the rationale for its special status under the U.S. export control system."

He noted that, "Much to its credit, Hong Kong has put in place a world-class system of export controls relating to strategic trade, and has repeatedly emphasized its commitment to maintaining the effectiveness of this system."

However, he added that "A world-class export control system by itself, however, is not sufficient. In order to prevent the diversion of sensitive goods and technologies, export control laws and regulations must be vigorously enforced. Hong Kong has long cooperated with the United States on export enforcement matters, and we want to continue and enhance that cooperation."

Commerce Department Official Discusses Policies Affecting Broadband Deployment

4/28. Bruce Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy, gave a speech on broadband policy at the NARUC/NECA conference being held in Washington DC on April 28th and 29th.

This was a variation of a speech that Mehlman has delivered on many occasions. He discussed broadband's potential uses, its economic benefits, and the bipartisan support for its deployment in Washington DC. He also stated that "the broadband revolution is alive and well", but that many "factors limit the growth of broadband or threaten its ability to fully transform society", including the regulatory environment, and limited consumer demand.

Bruce MehlmanMehlman (at right) said that "The telecom sector remains mired in debt, with excess long-haul capacity and regulatory uncertainty. While the recent FCC broadband ruling offers hope, many expect at least another decade of battles between those seeking lower prices for consumers and those seeking greater resources for the carriers who invest in networks. That will make for further tough sledding for regulators."

He added that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "has put tremendous effort toward improving regulatory certainty in the broadband realm, moving numerous proceedings since Chairman Powell assumed the lead. I was very encouraged by the technology industry抯 strong support for the most recent ruling, which purports to adhere to the high tech broadband coalition抯 recommendations entirely and which already seems to have motivated the biggest carrier (Verizon) to announce aggressive new deployment plans." (Parentheses in original.)

He then said that consumer demand is another reason of lack of ubiquitous use of broadband. He said that there is a "lack of perceived value based on the cost of broadband", "lack of perceived reliability", "lack of interest", and "lack of compelling content or killer applications".

He also repeated President Bush's statement that the U.S. needs to "be aggressive about the deployment of broadband", which is the only statement the President has made about broadband.

Mehlman also reviewed administration actions and policies that he stated promote broadband deployment, including fiscal policies, loan guarantees for broadband providers in more rural areas, increased spending on research and development by the government, support for making the R&D tax credit permanent, elimination of spectrum caps, support for making more spectrum available for unlicensed use, support for spectrum management policies that facilitate the development of Third Generation wireless services, working with the private sector to increase cyber security, and increased prosecution and civil enforcement of laws against ID theft, online fraud and piracy.

He also said that the federal government has not, and should not, "mandate technologies".

Mehlman spoke at a conference hosted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Exchange Carriers Association (NECA) titled "Second NARUC/NECA National Summit on Broadband Deployment: Accelerating the Transition". He gave his speech a long title: "The Broadband Revolution is Alive & Well ... And Coming Soon to a Home, Neighborhood, Office, School, Hotel, Airport, Airplane, Coffee House and College Campus Near You (If It抯 Not Already There)".

FRB Governor Offers Economic Analysis of Tech Investment

4/24. Federal Reserve Board Governor Ben Bernanke gave a speech titled "Will Business Investment Bounce Back?" to the Forecasters Club in New York City. He focused on, among other topics, investment in the technology and communications sectors. He concluded that "Moderately improved performance for 2003 in high-tech investment, concentrated in a pickup in the second half of the year, seems feasible and consistent with fundamentals ..."

Ben BernankeBernanke (at right) began with the observation that "a strong and well-balanced recovery will require a greater contribution from the business sector, in the form of increased capital investment and hiring". But before addressing the prospects for increased investment in the future, he reviewed in detail the boom of the 1990s and the recession that began in 2000.

1990s Tech Boom. He first noted that "a disproportionate part of the investment boom of the nineties can be attributed to investment in computers, software, and communications equipment, so that an important step toward explaining the overall boom in investment is explaining the surge in these high-tech categories."

He reviewed a paper by Stacey Tevlin and Karl Whelan titled "Explaining the Investment Boom of the 1990s". Bernanke said that it "identified two factors that gave a strong impetus particularly to investment in computers during this period. First, the costs of computing power fell sharply in the late 1990s, arguably reflecting a pickup in the pace of technological advance as well as an intensification of competition among the major chip makers. As a result, the user cost of capital for computers and related equipment declined even more rapidly than earlier in the decade. Together with strong overall business conditions, these low and falling costs of computing power induced many firms to make major investments in information technologies. Second, generally speaking, computers exhibit high rates of economic depreciation; for example, new applications requiring greater speed or more memory sometimes make existing computers effectively obsolete within a few years. High rates of economic depreciation imply rapid replacement cycles, and hence high rates of gross investment in computers. Tevlin and Whelan showed that these two factors -- low and falling prices of computing power and high economic depreciation rates -- can explain much of the high rates of gross investment in computers during the nineties; and that these high rates of investment in computers in turn help to explain a substantial part of the overall investment boom."

Bernanke also discussed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He said that it "was intended to increase competition in the telecom sector. Many firms apparently believed that the dominant market share would go to companies with the biggest networks and the most ``cutting-edge创 technologies; consequently, investment boomed in the telecom sector."

He added that "Outside the legislative arena, rapidly increasing access to the Internet raised the possibility of a huge new on-line demand for products and services, which spurred a wave of new dot-com startup companies hoping to be the first to meet that anticipated demand. Established firms, from booksellers to clothing retailers, responded with their own on-line marketing outlets, which further boosted the demand for servers, software, and other components. In addition, concerns about the potential effects of the Y2K date change led many firms to accelerate their replacement cycles and order new software and computing equipment."

He summed up the boom of the 1990s: "during the latter part of the nineties, strong economic fundamentals conjoined with what, in retrospect in least, seems to have been a less well grounded increase in general optimism about the long-term potential of new technologies. (I say ``seems创 in all seriousness. We are not in the long run yet.)" (Parentheses in original.)

2000-02 Tech Recession. Then, he addressed the current recession. He said that "the year 2000 was one of re-evaluation, particularly for high-tech investment. Though the evidence is strong that high-tech investments have greatly enhanced productivity in the economy, by 2000 many managers had apparently become concerned that the long-term profit potential of their investments in computers and communications equipment was smaller than they had expected. In some cases the difficulties were technological, sometimes (as in the case of on-line retailing) the expected level of consumer demand did not materialize, sometimes the business plans were faulty, sometimes economic or regulatory conditions were not as had been expected, and sometimes the productivity enhancements were less than anticipated." (Parentheses in original.)

As a consequence, said Bernanke, "Replacement cycles for high-tech equipment apparently slowed, as firms became more skeptical of the business case for next-generation computers and software -- particularly since they had just upgraded their information technology in preparation for the Y2K date change. Moreover no ``killer apps创 that required further system upgrades seemed to be on the horizon. The failures of scores of dot-coms and telecom startups reduced competitive pressure and the perceived urgency of maintaining technological leadership. Both financial markets and the general economy were becoming decidedly less hospitable to firms oriented toward new technologies. In short, a major shift in management expectations about the profit potential of new investments, particularly high-tech investments, is key to explaining the investment bust of 2000-02."

Capital Overhang. Bernanke noted that "some observers have ... argued that investment during the late 1990s was so great that actual capital stocks rose substantially above long-run desired levels, creating a ``capital overhang.创"

He conceded that "Telecommunications companies no doubt invested too much in long-haul fiber networks, as firms competed to establish the largest and most complete networks", but nevertheless argued that "For high-technology equipment, in my view, overhang effects are probably by this time not of great quantitative importance. In communications, for example, though little additional long-haul fiber is needed at this point, there is probably scope for investment in the sophisticated equipment that transmits signals over the fiber, in the ``last mile创 of fiber network to customers' doorsteps, and in new wireless technologies and their applications."

He added that "Computer equipment purchased before the millennium date change is now four to five years old and may now or soon be in need of replacement. Indeed, investment in high-tech equipment grew at more than 8 percent in real terms in 2002; investments in computers and software led this gain, but even investment in communications contributed a small part. Continued growth in the high-tech equipment sector will be important in any investment recovery."

Prospects for Recovery. Finally, he got to the question of what may happen in 2003 and 2004. He said that "The fundamental factors affecting investment are ... broadly supportive of continuing recovery. The user cost of capital is low and, dominated by continuing reductions in the quality-adjusted prices of high-tech equipment and historically low interest rates, will likely continue to decline. The partial expensing provision passed by the Congress in 2001 provides a significant incentive for firms to purchase equipment and certain types of software before the provision expires in the third quarter of 2004."

He added that "Moderately improved performance for 2003 in high-tech investment, concentrated in a pickup in the second half of the year, seems feasible and consistent with fundamentals, particularly the continued decline in relative prices and growing replacement demand."

Supreme Court Requests Brief from Solicitor General in Cable Franchise Transfer Case

4/28. The Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to file a brief in Charter Communications v. Santa Cruz County, No. 02-1267. See, Order List [9 pages in PDF] at page 1. This case involves the authority of local franchising authorities over cable franchise transfers.

Santa Cruz County refused to consent to the transfer of a cable franchise. Charter Communications then filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (NDCal), and prevailed. (See, 133 F.Supp. 2d 1184.) Santa Cruz County appealed. On September 20, 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [13 pages in PDF] reversing the District Court. Charter Communications petitioned for writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court requests a brief regarding whether or not to grant certiorari.

Charter Communications is represented by Michael Waldman of the law firm of Fried Frank. The National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has also filed an amicus brief. See also, Supreme Court docket sheet.

Tuesday, April 29

The House will return from its two week recess at 2:00 PM. It will consider several non tech related items under suspension of the rules. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM. See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) E911 Coordination Initiative will hold a meeting. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW.

10:00 AM. The House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census will hold a hearing on federal grants management, including the E-Grants and E-Government initiatives. Press contact: Bob Dix at 202 225-6751. Location: Room 2203, Rayburn Building.

12:30 PM. Tom Ridge, Secretary of the Homeland Security, will give a luncheon speech. For reservations call 202 662-7501. Location: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

2:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime will hold a hearing on HR 21, the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act", and HR 1223, the "Internet Gambling Licensing and Regulation Commission Act". Location: Room 2237, Rayburn Building.

6:30 PM. Tom Ridge, Secretary of the Homeland Security will speak at the Northern Virginia Technology Council's (NVTC) Spring Banquet. Press contact: 703-946-0318. Location: McLean Hilton, 7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA.

Day two of a two day convention hosted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Exchange Carriers Association (NECA) titled "Second NARUC/NECA National Summit on Broadband Deployment: Accelerating the Transition". At 12:15 PM Nancy Victory will speak on "Accelerating the Transition to Broadband". At 3:30 - 5:00 PM, FCC Commissioners Kathleen Abernathy, Jonathan Adelstein, Michael Copps, and Kevin Martin are scheduled to participate in a roundtable discussion. See, agenda [PDF]. The price to attend ranges from $495 to $795. Location: Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2729 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA.

Day one of a two day convention of the Association for Local Telecommunications Services (ALTS). See, agenda. Location: Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA.

Day two of a two day convention hosted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Exchange Carriers Association (NECA) titled "Second NARUC/NECA National Summit on Broadband Deployment: Accelerating the Transition". See, agenda. The price to attend ranges from $495 to $795. Location: Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2729 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA.

Day two of a two day conference titled "2003 Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI". The theme of this year's conference "VLSI in the Nanometer Era". VLSI refers to very large scale integration in microprocessors. See, conference website. Location: Radisson Barcelo Hotel, 2121 P Street NW.

Wednesday, April 30

The House will meet at 10:00 AM.

8:30 AM - 5:30 PM. Day one of a three day conference hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) titled "Spam Forum". The event will address the proliferation of unsolicited commercial e-mail and explore the technical, legal, and financial issues associated with it. For more information, contact Brian Huseman at 202 326-3320 or Lisa Tobin 202 326-3218. See, agenda and notice in the Federal Register, February 10, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 27, at Pages 6747-6748. The FTC states that "Members of the press unable to attend the forum may call in". Dial: 1-866-783-5359; confirmation number: 16237484. Location: FTC, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW.

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled "Nominations". See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

9:30 - 11:30 AM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a panel discussion titled "The Mission of the Postal Service and the Universal Service Obligation".  This panel will focus on the mission of the USPS, and how modern communications technology has affected this mission, and the meaning of universal service. See, AEI notice. Location: AEI, 1150 17th Street NW, 12th Floor.

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee will meet to mark up several bills, including HR 1320, the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act. See, notice. The hearing will be webcast. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan will testify before the House Financial Services Committee. Press contact: Peggy Peterson at 202 226-0471. Location: Room 2128, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing. Tom Ridge, Secretary of the Homeland Security, will testify. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.

12:30 PM. Howard Beales, Director of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection, and Christine Gregoire, Attorney General of the state of Washington, will hold a press conference to announce "a federal, state, and local law enforcement crackdown on internet auction scams". See, FTC release. The FTC states that "Reporters unable to attend the press conference may call in". Dial 1-800-720-5846; confirmation Number: 16652804. Location: FTC, Room 432, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

Last day of scheduled oral arguments before the Supreme Court for the October 2002 term.

RESCHEDULED. 9:30 AM. The Copyright Office (CO) will hold the third of four hearings in Washington DC regarding the exemption of certain classes of works from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 54, at Pages 13652 - 13653. See also, CO web page on rulemakings on anticircumvention, the relevant statutory sections at 17 U.S.C. Ё 2101-2105, and story titled "Copyright Office to Hold Hearings on DMCA Anti Circumvention Exemptions", TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 628, March 21, 2003.

The FCC will hold Auction No. 46. This is the 1670-1675 MHz band auction. It had previously been scheduled for October 30, 2002. See, notice of postponement in Federal Register, October 10, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 197, at Pages 63095 - 63096.

Day two of a two day convention of the Association for Local Telecommunications Services (ALTS). See, agenda. Location: Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA.

Thursday, May 1

The House will meet at 10:00 AM.

Day one of a two day conference hosted by the Computer Law Association (CLA) titled the "2003 World Computer and Internet Law Congress". See, brochure [12 pages in PDF] for schedule, prices, and registration information. Location: Fairmont Washington Hotel.

8:30 AM - 5:30 PM. Day two of a three day conference hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) titled "Spam Forum". The event will address the proliferation of unsolicited commercial e-mail and explore the technical, legal, and financial issues associated with it. For more information, contact Brian Huseman at 202 326-3320 or Lisa Tobin 202 326-3218. See, agenda and notice in the Federal Register, February 10, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 27, at Pages 6747-6748. The FTC states that "Members of the press unable to attend the forum may call in". Dial 1-866-783-5359; confirmation number: 16237484. Location: FTC, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The House Science Committee will meet to mark up HR 766, the Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003. Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled "Investing in Homeland Security: Streamlining and Enhancing Homeland Security Grant Programs". Tom Ridge, Secretary of the Homeland Security, will testify. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) will hold a meeting. The meeting is closed to the public. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 21, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 55, at Page 13967.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM. The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a Democratic think tank, will host a panel discussion titled "Next Steps for Reinventing Government". The speakers will be Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Will Marshall (PPI), and Robert Atkinson (PPI). The discussion will focus on transforming "bureaucratic government into network governance". Atkinson will also release a report titled "Network Government for the Digital Age". See, PPI notice. For more information, contact Brian Newkirk at 202 547-0001 or techproject@dlcppi.org. Location: Room 122,  Cannon Building.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) International Committee will host a brown bag lunch. Jonathan McHale, Ken Schagrin, and Rhonda Schnare of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will discuss the USTR's proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding telecommunications services. Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding, 1750 K Street, NW, 5th Floor. For more information contact Laurie Sherman at 703 216-3150 or laurabsherman@hotmail.com.

12:45 - 1:50 PM. Former Rep. Richard Armey (R-TX) will be the luncheon speaker at the Computer Law Association conference. He will address "Formulating Public Policy for Technology Markets: Balancing Competing Demands In Today's Global Economy".

2:00 PM. The Copyright Office (CO) will hold a hearing regarding the exemption of certain classes of works from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. See, original notice in the Federal Register, March 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 54, at Pages 13652 - 13653, and revised notice in the Federal Register, April 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 78, at Pages 19966 - 19967 (changing the dates, times and locations). See also, CO web page on rulemakings on anticircumvention, the relevant statutory sections at 17 U.S.C. Ё 2101-2105, and story titled "Copyright Office to Hold Hearings on DMCA Anti Circumvention Exemptions", TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 628, March 21, 2003. Location: Postal Rate Commission, 1333 H Street, NW., Third Floor.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on nanotechnology. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

7:00 PM. Marybeth Peters, the Register of Copyrights, with be the dinner speaker at the Computer Law Association Conference.

Friday, May 2

8:30 AM - 5:30 PM. Day three of a three day conference hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) titled "Spam Forum". The event will address the proliferation of unsolicited commercial e-mail and explore the technical, legal, and financial issues associated with it. For more information, contact Brian Huseman at 202 326-3320 or Lisa Tobin 202 326-3218. See, agenda and notice in the Federal Register, February 10, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 27, at Pages 6747-6748. The FTC states that "Members of the press unable to attend the forum may call in", Dial 1-888-532-9659; confirmation number: 16237492. Location: FTC, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW.

9:30 AM. The Copyright Office (CO) will hold full day hearing regarding the exemption of certain classes of works from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 54, at Pages 13652 - 13653, and revised notice in the Federal Register, April 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 78, at Pages 19966 - 19967 (changing the dates, times and locations). See also, CO web page on rulemakings on anticircumvention, the relevant statutory sections at 17 U.S.C. Ё 2101-2105, and story titled "Copyright Office to Hold Hearings on DMCA Anti Circumvention Exemptions", TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 628, March 21, 2003. Location: Postal Rate Commission, 1333 H Street, NW., Third Floor.

Day two of a two day conference hosted by the Computer Law Association (CLA) titled the "2003 World Computer and Internet Law Congress". See, brochure [12 pages in PDF] for schedule, prices, and registration information. Location: Fairmont Washington Hotel.

Deadline to submit applications for grants to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) under its FY2003 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program. See, notice in Federal Register, March 3, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 41, at Page 9973.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding its second draft [2.60 MB in PDF] of Special Publication 800-50 titled "Building an Information Technology Security Awareness and Training Program". Submit comments to Mark Wilson at sp800-50@nist.gov.

Monday, May 5

The Supreme Court will begin a recess. It will return on Monday, May 19.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Beery Systems v. Thomson Consumer Electronics, No. 03-1009. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

Day one of a three day meeting of the American Cable Association titled "10th Annual Washington Summit & 2nd Quarter Board of Directors' Meeting". Location: Wyndam Hotel.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding AOL Time Warner's petition [58 pages in PDF] requesting relief from the FCC's January 22, 2001 Memorandum Opinion and Order (MOO) approving the merger of AOL and Time Warner, and imposing conditions upon AOL Time Warner regarding instant messaging services. Specifically, AOL Time Warner seeks relief from the condition restricting its ability to offer internet users streaming video advanced Instant Messaging based high speed services (AIHS) via AOL Time Warner broadband facilities.

People and Appointments

4/28. President Bush nominated Frank Libutti to be Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Joe Whitley to be General Counsel of the DHS, and Gregory Mankiw to be a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers. See, White House release. President Bush had previously announced that he would make each of these nominations.

More News

4/28. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) announced that she intends to introduce a bill titled the "Restrict and Eliminate Delivery of Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (REDUCE) Spam Act". The bill would require marketers to label bulk commercial e-mail as 揂DV: and bulk adult spam as 揂DV:ADLT.  It would require marketers to establish a valid return e-mail address, and allow recipients to opt-out of receiving further e-mails. It would prohibit marketers from sending any further e-mail to persons who have opted out. It would ban misleading routing information or deceptive subject headings in bulk commercial e-mail. It would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) civil enforcement authority. See, Lofgren release.

4/28. The University of Southern California hosted an event titled "Media Consolidation Forum". Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael Copps attended and spoke at the event. See, Copps release [2 pages in PDF].

4/28. The Supreme Court denied certiorari in Advanced Communication Design v. Premier Retail Networks, No. 02-1254. See, Order List [9 pages in PDF] at page 2. This is a petition for writ of certiorari from the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) in a patent infringement case. See also, Supreme Court docket sheet.

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