Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
June 6, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 675.
Home Page | Calendar | Subscribe | Back Issues | Reference
Bush Issues Spectrum Policy Memorandum

6/5. President Bush issued a memorandum titled "Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies" regarding "Spectrum Policy for the 21st Century". The White House press office also released a document titled "Fact Sheet".

The memorandum does not announce a spectrum policy, or make any legislative or regulatory proposals. Rather, it creates "Federal Government Spectrum Task Force" that is tasked to "focus on improving spectrum management policies and procedures".

The memorandum is not clear regarding who will actually make the recommendations -- the Task Force, or its chairman, the Secretary of Commerce. The Memorandum states both that "The functions of the Task Force ... shall include ... producing a detailed set of recommendations for improving spectrum management policies and procedures" and "The Department of Commerce shall prepare legislative and other recommendations ..."

Composition of the Task Force. The Task Force is to be made up of the heads of 13 executive branch entities, including the Departments of Commerce, State, Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, and others.

The membership of the Task Force will not include any representatives from service providers, equipment manufacturers, industry groups, standard setting organizations, or consumer groups. Nor, will the President appoint any engineers, technologists, or economists to the Task Force.

Nor will the membership include any representatives of state and local law enforcement entities, fire departments, or other first responders.

The Task Force will be made up of the heads of federal government agencies that are major users of spectrum. Their interests are frequently different from those of the companies and consumers who would like to see  spectrum used for new communications technologies.

Moreover, the Memorandum's list of Task Force members leaves out several key federal entities. For example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is not on the list. Not only does it possess considerable expertise on spectrum related technologies, but, as the entity tasked by statute with managing spectrum used by the private sector, it is most familiar with the interests and plans of the private sector for innovative uses of spectrum.

The President's Memorandum states merely that "The Federal Communications Commission is also encouraged to participate in these activities and to provide input to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration". The NTIA is a component of the Department of Commerce. It has authority for managing spectrum used by federal entities, such as the Department of Defense.

Similarly, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), which is increasingly negotiating trade agreements with other countries that address communications and technology issues, and works closely with industry, is not on the list of Task Force members.

However, the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior are on the list.

Delay. The Memorandum provides for a set of recommendations to be written, in one year. These recommendations will be released in June of 2004, just before the national political conventions, the beginning of the 2004 Presidential election season, and the 2004 Congressional elections. The 108th Congress is highly unlikely to pass any major spectrum reform legislation that is introduced in or after June of 2004.

Then, there will be a long recess between the 108th and 109th Congresses, followed by the inauguration of the President, and the formation of the 109th Congress. If President Bush is re-elected, the earliest that the Congress would be likely to consider his spectrum reform recommendations would be the Spring of 2005. If a Democrat is elected, the delay would be longer. Moreover, the announcement contained in the Memorandum is likely to diminish the likelihood that spectrum reform proposals offered by others will be taken up during the time that the Bush administration is studying the issue.

Hence, one major consequence of the President's announcement is the likely delay of consideration of any major spectrum reform proposals for several years.

Broadband. While wireless technologies may be used to provide broadband internet access to portable devices, and broadband last mile connections to homes and small businesses, the President's Memorandum does not discuss broadband issues or broadband deployment. The word "broadband" does not appear in the Memorandum. It is used in the "Fact Sheet", but only in connection with ultrawideband (UWB) technology.

President Bush's most definitive statement on broadband remains his August 13, 2002 speech in Waco, Texas. He said that "In order to make sure the economy grows, we must bring the promise of broadband technology to millions of Americans. My administration is promoting investment in broadband. We will continue to work to prevent new access taxes on broadband technology. If you want something to be used more, you don't tax it. And broadband technology is going to be incredibly important for us to stay on the cutting edge of innovation here in America. The Federal Communications Commission is focusing on policies to encourage high-speed Internet service for every home and every business in America. The private sector will deploy broadband. But government at all levels should remove hurdles that slow the pace of deployment." See, transcript.

Unlicensed Use and Spectrum Markets. The preamble language of Memorandum contains several statements that various advocates of spectrum reform may find encouraging. Proponents of greater use of unlicensed spectrum may note the Memorandum's statement that "increasingly, businesses and consumers are installing systems that use unlicensed spectrum to allow wireless data, called Wireless Fidelity (WiFi), on their premises".

The Memorandum also recites that "The existing legal and policy framework for spectrum management has not kept pace with the dramatic changes in technology and spectrum use. Under the existing framework, the Government generally reviews every change in spectrum use, a process that is often slow and inflexible, and can discourage the introduction of new technology."

On the other hand, the language in the Memorandum that provides instructions to the Task Force references "spectrum management". For example, it states that "The Department of Commerce shall prepare legislative and other recommendations to: (a) facilitate a modernized and improved spectrum management system".

Some advocates of spectrum reform, including the FCC's Spectrum Policy Task Force (SPTF), have argued for moving towards a system that allows for the sale and leasing of some spectrum. Other advocates go further and argue for a system of property rights in spectrum, and a free market in which spectrum rights can be freely exchanged.

The Memorandum's references to maintaining the "spectrum management system" and "spectrum management process" imply continued government command and control of who uses what spectrum for what purpose. These references are antithetical to notions of market based mechanisms.

Furthermore, nothing in the memorandum addresses the creation of property rights or a markets for spectrum rights. None of the words "rights", "property", "ownership", "market", "sale" or "sell" appear in the President's Memorandum. (The Memorandum does state that "This memorandum ... is not intended to, and does not, create any right ...")

The FCC, as demonstrated by the report of its SPTF, and the May 15, 2003, announcement of its Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) allowing certain FCC spectrum licensees to enter into leasing arrangements with third parties, is gradually moving towards greater use of market based mechanisms, as opposed to government management. See, TLJ story titled " FCC Adopts Order Allowing Some Secondary Leasing of Spectrum", also published in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 663, May 16, 2003.

However, the FCC faces a statutory obstacle. Section 310(d) of the Communications Act, codified at 47 U.S.C. § 310, provides: "No construction permit or station license, or any rights thereunder, shall be transferred, assigned, or disposed of in any manner, voluntarily or involuntarily, directly or indirectly, or by transfer of control of any corporation holding such permit or license, to any person except upon application to the Commission and upon finding by the Commission that the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served thereby. Any such application shall be disposed of as if the proposed transferee or assignee were making application under section 308 of this title for the permit or license in question; but in acting thereon the Commission may not consider whether the public interest, convenience, and necessity might be served by the transfer, assignment, or disposal of the permit or license to a person other than the proposed transferee or assignee."

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who dissented from the FCC adoption of the NPRM on secondary leasing, elaborated on this issue. He wrote in his dissenting statement [3 pages in PDF] that "I keep running into the same problem and I cannot make it go away. I do not see how the law allows us to effectuate these policies. I must therefore respectfully dissent. Congress enacted Section 310(d) of the Communications Act and we must abide by it. That section makes it clear that no ``station license or any rights thereunder shall be transferred, assigned or disposed of in any manner ... except upon application to the Commission and upon finding by the Commission that the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served thereby.´´ But today we allow licensees to transfer a significant right -- the right to control the spectrum on a day-to-day basis -- without applying to the Commission and without the requirement of any Commission public interest finding. How can this be legal under Section 310(d)?" (Emphasis in original.)

Copps also said that "From a policy perspective, I could support many of the ideas in today's Order." See also, story titled "Copps Disputes FCC's Authority to Allow Secondary Leasing of Spectrum" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 663, May 16, 2003.

The President's Memorandum likely puts off for several years any legislation that would address the limitations of Section 310(d). Also, the Memorandum's references to continuing "spectrum management", taken literally, would preclude revision of Section 310 to facilitate market based mechanisms.

Reaction to the President's Spectrum Memorandum

6/5. Several persons praised President Bush's Memorandum on spectrum policy. For example, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell released a statement [PDF] in which he wrote that "The radio spectrum is a key driver of economic growth, and supports an array of devices, applications and services Americans have come to depend upon -- from radars used in our national defense to tele-medicine, from mobile phones to the public safety radios used by our first responders".

Powell added that "President Bush's Executive Memorandum recognizes the importance of spectrum as an economic engine and underscores his commitment to putting spectrum to its highest and best use for the American people. I congratulate Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Deputy Secretary Sam Bodman and Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory on their vision and leadership in championing this groundbreaking initiative to reassess the federal government’s spectrum policy approach. I look forward to continuing to work with the Commerce Department and the rest of the Administration on these important issues".

Donald EvansSecretary of Commerce Donald Evans (at right) stated in a release that "The President’s Spectrum Initiative announced today establishes a Federal Government Spectrum Task Force charged with providing detailed recommendations for spectrum policies. These policies include modernizing and improving spectrum management, ensuring that spectrum is more efficiently used, and making spectrum available for innovative products and services while ensuring that the needs of public safety and national security are met. The radio frequency spectrum is a vital and limited natural resource and is crucial to our economic growth and national defense. I am honored the President has called on me to direct the work of this Initiative." See also, NTIA release.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, stated in a release that "President Bush's spectrum initiative is the exactly the right prescription at the right time for our nation. Modernizing our spectrum policies is good for the economy, good for homeland security, good for public safety, good for our defense capabilities, and good for the development of new technologies -- all of which is great for the American people. Secretary Evans is the perfect person to lead the President’s team on this."

He added that "Having worked with hand-in-glove with the Administration on spectrum management reform in the form of my spectrum trust fund legislation, I look forward to continuing our work together as the Telecommunication and Internet Subcommittee continues its work on spectrum management modernization."

Tom Wheeler, P/CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), stated in a release "We welcome the President's continued leadership in this important area ... The tools we have for formulating spectrum policy are broken, and we look forward to working with the task force under Secretary Evans' leadership to ensure this national resource is fully utilized as a national safety and economic growth asset."

The CTIA release further states that "The task force will not revisit the granting of 90 MHz of spectrum to the wireless industry, for which service rules are currently being developed by the FCC." Although, the President's Memorandum does not address this point, and the "Fact Sheet" merely states that "In July 2002, the Department of Commerce released a plan in concert with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Defense to make 90 MHz of spectrum available in the future for 3G wireless services while accommodating critically important spectrum requirements for national security."

Senators Introduce Global Internet Freedom Act

6/4. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S 1183, the "Global Internet Freedom Act of 2003". This bill is similar to S 3093 (107th), introduced in the previous Congress by Senators Kyl and Wyden, as well as HR 48 (108th) and HR 5524 (107th), introduced by Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA), Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), and others.

The bill states in its findings that "The governments of Burma, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, the People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Vietnam, among others, are taking active measures to keep their citizens from freely accessing the Internet and obtaining international political, religious, and economic news and information."

It also states that "Intergovernmental, nongovernmental, and media organizations have reported the widespread and increasing pattern by authoritarian governments to block, jam, and monitor Internet access and content using methods that include", including "firewalls", "surveillance of e-mail messages and message boards", and "the denial of access to the Internet".

The bill would create an "International Broadcasting Bureau the Office of Global Internet Freedom" to be "headed by a Director who shall develop and implement a comprehensive global strategy to combat state-sponsored and state-directed jamming of the Internet and persecution of those who use the Internet." The bill would also authorize the appropriation of $30 Million for each of the fiscal years 2004 and 2005.

The bill also states that "It is the sense of Congress that the United States should ... publicly, prominently, and consistently denounce governments that restrict, censor, ban, and block access to information on the Internet".

Finally, the bill states that it is the sense of Congress that the U.S. should "deploy, at the earliest practicable date, technologies aimed at defeating state-directed Internet censorship and the persecution of those who use the Internet."

The Republican House Policy Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Cox, released a policy statement titled "Tear Down This Firewall" on September 19, 2002. It states that "Increasingly, non-democratic regimes around the world are denying their peoples unrestricted access to the Internet. Cuba, Laos, North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and Vietnam are the most notorious violators of Internet freedom. These governments, according to the U.S. State Department and such organizations as Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders, are using methods of control that include denying their citizens access to the Internet, censoring content, banning private ownership of computers, and even making e-mail accounts so expensive that ordinary people cannot use them. These countries use firewalls, filters, and other devices to block and censor the Internet."

Also, last year, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted a panel discussion on internet censorship by the People's Republic of China. See, story titled "AEI Panel Advocates ``Freeing the Chinese Internet´´", in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 416, April 23, 2002.

The Bush administration announced a similarly named initiative in March of this year. However, the administration's "Digital Freedom Initiative" involves foreign aid for developing countries to develop information and communication technology (ICT), the training by Peace Corps volunteers in ICT, and the involvement by U.S. technology companies, such as Cisco and HP. It does not involve any efforts to stop government censorship or control of internet speech or use. See, story titled "Bush Administration Announces Digital Freedom Initiative" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 617, March 5, 2003.

Senators Introduce Bill to Regulate Internet Cigarette Sales

6/3. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) introduced S 1177, the "Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act of 2003. The bill would amend the Jenkins Act of 1949, 15 U.S.C. §§ 375-378, to, among other things, expand the reporting requirements of the Act to cover internet sales of cigarettes.

The Jenkins Act requires that any person who sells and ships cigarettes across a state line to a buyer, other than a licensed distributor, to report the sale to the buyer's state tobacco tax administrator. The rule is significant, because some states impose vastly higher taxes on the sales of cigarettes than others. The Jenkins Act helps states enforce their cigarette tax laws.

Currently, many Internet based cigarette sellers are not reporting sales to state tax administrators. On August 13, 2002, the General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [60 pages in PDF] titled "Internet Cigarette Sales: Giving ATF Investigative Authority May Improve Reporting and Enforcement". This GAO report identified 147 web site addresses for Internet cigarette vendors based in the U.S. It also concluded that most do not comply with the Jenkins Act reporting requirements. See also, story titled "GAO Reports on Internet Cigarette Sales" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 491, August 14, 2002.

The PACT Act would require internet sellers to comply with the reporting requirements of the Jenkins Act. Specifically, the PACT Act would add that "The term 'delivery sale' means any sale of cigarettes to a consumer if ... the consumer submits the order for such sale by means of a telephone or other method of voice transmission, the mails, or the Internet or other online service ..."

Sen. Orrin HatchSen. Hatch (at right) stated in the Senate that "In its current form, the Jenkins Act requires tobacco vendors to register with each State tax administrator in which they sell cigarettes, as well as file a monthly report that provides shipment information within each State. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor. Compliance with this statute enables States to collect cigarette excise, sales and use taxes from consumers."

He added that his bill "strengthens the Act by increasing the reporting requirements first established under Jenkins, expressly including cigarette orders placed through the Internet, lowering the threshold for cigarettes to be treated as contraband from 60,000 to 10,000, increasing the criminal penalty for violating the Act to a felony and creating a substantial civil penalty."

He also discussed the GAO report. He stated that "According to a GAO report from last year on Internet cigarette sales, online cigarette sellers simply do not comply with the Jenkins Act requirements -- in fact most of them defiantly state that they do not comply with the Jenkins Act. Many State attorneys general realize that this practice is unfair not only to their individual States, but also to the brick and mortar retailers located in their state, placing these businesses at an unfair commercial disadvantage. Providing these state attorneys general with the ability to bring actions against these out-of-state Internet vendors for lost revenue is crucial in leveling the playing field and collecting the rightful revenue for states like Washington, California, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan and Rhode Island."

The Hatch Kohl PACT Act is not directed solely towards internet sales. It also contains provisions intended to help states catch and prosecute criminal gangs that transport cigarettes in bulk across state lines, and forge tax stamps. He stated that one such criminal gang was "using their illegal profits to aid Hezbollah". The Department of State's Foreign Terrorist Organizations list includes Hezbollah, or Hizballah.

See also, Sen. Hatch's release and text of floor statement.

This is not the first time that legislation has been introduced regarding internet cigarette sales. Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) sponsored legislation in the 106th Congress to regulate internet tobacco sales.

HR 3007 (106th) would have provided that "It shall be unlawful for any manufacturer, importer, or retailer of cigarettes to sell or advertise cigarettes through the Internet unless the cigarette packages of the cigarettes so sold and the image used on the Internet in the sale or advertising of the cigarettes contain the warning labels required by section 4(a)(1) of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (15 U.S.C. 1333(a)(1))." However, it did not become law. See also, TLJ story titled "Rep. Meehan Introduces Bill to Ban Internet Sales of Tobacco to Minors", September 27, 1999.

Rep. Langevin Complains About FCC Delay in Releasing Triennial Review Order

6/4. Rep. James Langevin (D-RI) spoke in the House regarding the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) triennial review order, which it announced in February, but has yet to release.

He stated that "The next revolution is broadband. We will be able to do so much and do it more efficiently. But we can only do it if we have the infrastructure to do it with. The FCC ruled in February that DSL, telephone company-provided broadband connections, should not be subject to certain rules imposed on local voice telephone networks. This is a good beginning and it should start some companies on the road to more broadband deployment. Verizon, the largest phone company in my State, plans to make broadband available to 10 million more residences and small businesses nationwide in 2003 alone."

He added that "The problem is that the FCC has not issued its February order. That order will detail the new rules that companies know how broadband will be regulated and guides investment decisions. Until it is released, however, these companies cannot move forward. I urge the FCC to issue its order as quickly as possible so that millions of Americans can begin to experience the new opportunities that broadband will provide." See, Congressional Record, June 4, 2003, at page H4880.

See also, stories titled "Representatives Address FCC's Failure to Produce Triennial Review Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 668, May 23, 2003, and "Rep. Upton Criticizes FCC for Failure to Release Triennial Review Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 666, May 21, 2003.

Friday, June 6

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Akamai Technology v. Cable & Wireless, No. 03-1007. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Custom Computer v. Paychex Properties, No. 03-1148. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Wireless Telecommunications Practice Committee will host a luncheon. The topic will be "State Issues in Wireless Regulation". The speakers will include Dane Snowden (FCC), Steve Berry (CTIA), Jeff Kramer (AARP), and Jessica Zufola (NARUC). The price to attend is $15. RSVP to Wendy Parish at by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, June 4. Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street, NW.

Monday, June 9

The Supreme Court will return from a one week recess.

5:00 PM. The House Rules Committee will meet to adopt a rule for consideration of HR 2143, the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act".

Tuesday, June 10

8:00 AM - 5:30 PM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a conference titled "Promoting Creativity: Copyright in the Internet Age". The speakers will include Brad Brown (George Mason University Tech Center), James Burger (Dow Lohnes & Albertson), Richard Epstein (University of Chicago), Mike Godwin (Public Knowledge), Scott Kieff (Washington University), Edmund Kitch (University of Virginia), Stanley Liebowitz (University of Texas at Dallas), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), James Delong (PFF), Michael Abramowicz (GMU School of Law), Greg Aharonian (Patent News), Michael Einhorn, Bruce Kobayashi (GMU School of Law), Katherine Lawrence (University of Michigan Business School), Adam Mossoff (Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit), Harold Furchgott-Roth, Solveig Singleton (CEI), and William Adkinson (PFF). RSVP to Brooke Emmerick at 202 289-8928 or Location: J.W. Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will meet. The agenda includes a discussion of the status of the work of its workforce education and information technology manufacturing competitiveness subcommittees, a discussion of draft report from the subcommittee on the science and technology of combating terrorism, and a discussion of its review of the federal National Nanotechnology Initiative. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 29, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 103, at pages 32037 - 32038. Location: Washington Room (roof level), Hotel Washington, 15th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

1:00 PM. The House Ways and Means Committee's Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "Implementation of U.S. Bilateral Free Trade Agreements with Chile and Singapore". Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

Wednesday, June 11

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on several pending nominations, including that of William Pryor to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "The Spectrum Needs of Our Nation's First Responders". The hearing will be webcast. See, notice. Press contact: Ken Johnson or Jon Tripp at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The The House Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled "Reauthorization of the Federal Trade Commission: Positioning the Commission for the Twenty-First Century". See, notice. Press contact: Ken Johnson or Jon Tripp at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a program titled "Taxing the Internet: Questions for Governors and Legislators". Lunch will follow the program. Bill Owens, Governor of Colorado, will speak. See, Cato notice. Location: 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on "P2P file sharing networks, focusing on personal and national security risks". Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee of Competition, Foreign Commerce, and Infrastructure will hold a hearing on reauthorization of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

2:30 PM. The House International Relations Committee's Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will hold a hearing on Radio and Television Marti. Location: Room 2200, Rayburn Building.

Thursday, June 12

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Online Communications Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speaker will be Vinton Cerf. RSVP to Christine Peyton at Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding, 1750 K St., NW, 10th Floor, Room 10E.

Friday, June 13

12:00 NOON. The Cato Institute will host a panel discussion titled "Canning Spam: Can We Shift the Cost of Unsolicited E-mail Back to Spammers?". The speakers will be Orson Swindle (Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission), Wayne Crews (Cato), and Dave Baker (Earthlink). See, notice and online registration page. Lunch will be served. Location: Room B-369, Rayburn Building.

2:00 - 3:00 PM. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) will host a webcast program titled "The Do's and Don'ts of Workplace Email and Web Monitoring". The presenters will be Cathy Bissoon, (Reed Smith) and Susan Getgood (Surf Control). See, notice and registration information.

CANCELLED. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Network Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC) will hold a meeting. The NRIC will next meet on September 15, 2003 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM. See, notice of cancellation [PDF].

People and Appointments

6/5. Microsoft named Marshall Phelps to be its new Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for intellectual property. Previously, Phelps worked for IBM for 28 years. See, Microsoft release.

6/5. The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) announced the election of officers for 2003-2004: Scott Ford of ALLTEL (Chairman), Terry Addington of First Cellular of Southern Illinois (Vice Chairman), Len Lauer of Sprint PCS (Secretary), and Michael Kalogris of Triton PCS (Treasurer). See, CTIA release.

More News

6/5. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Department of Justice (DOJ). See, prepared testimony of Attorney General John Ashcroft.

6/3. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) released a study that found that "The global piracy rate for commercial software has decreased 10 points over the last eight years, supported by piracy declines in all regions of the world." See, BSA release.

6/4. The House delayed its consideration of HR 2143, the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act". The House Rules Committee will meet on Monday, June 9, at 5:00 PM to adopt a rule for its consideration.

6/4. Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) spoke in the House regarding HR 2143, the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act". He stated that "the offshore casino industry would like us to think that Internet gambling is a harmless activity that can be tamed by Federal regulation. The problem is, it cannot happen." He added that "Internet gambling is illegal according to the Department of Justice and the FBI. However, there is no effective way to regulate it. The only way to stop it is to cut off the financial flow through the legal Internet casino industry, and that is what H.R. 2143 does." See, Congressional Record, June 4, 2003, at page H4880.

6/5. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will host a three day event titled "Worldwide Symposium on Geographical Indications" on July 9-11, 2003, in San Francisco, California. See, USPTO release and WIPO agenda and registration pages.

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 subscribers with multiple recipients. Free one month trial subscriptions are available. Also, free subscriptions are available for journalists, federal elected officials, and employees of the Congress, courts, and executive branch. The TLJ web site is free access. However, copies of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert 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 - 2003 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.