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September 4, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 732.
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3rd Circuit Stays FCC's Media Ownership Rule Changes

9/3. The U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) issued an order [3 page PDF scan] in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC, staying the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) new media ownership rules, pending resolution of the proceeding. The Appeals Court granted this preliminary relief without making any finding of likelihood of success on the merits.

On June 2, 2003, the FCC announced its Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [257 pages in PDF] amending its media ownership rules. See, story titled "FCC Announces Revisions to Media Ownership Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 672, June 3, 2003. The FCC released the text of the order on July 2, 2003. Numerous petitions for review of various parts of the order have been filed, mostly in the District of Columbia. On August 19, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all of the petitions in the Third Circuit. The Appeals Court's case number assigned to Prometheus Radio Project's (PRP) petition is No. 03-3388.

The PRP stated in its August 13, 2003 Petition for Review [3 pages in PDF] that it is "an unincorporated collective of radio activists which has been committed to expanding opportunities for the public to build, operate and hear low power FM radio stations."

The PRP argued that the order is "arbitrary and capricious" and "violates both the Communications Act and Administrative Procedure Act's public notice requirements." It requested that the Court "reverse and remand the FCC’s Order to the extent that it unlawfully repeals the prior ownership rules and adopts new ownership regulations, reinstate the prior ownership rules, and grant all other relief as may be just and proper."

The PRP's Motion for Stay Pending Judicial Review [21 pages in PDF] set out its arguments in more detail. It asserted that "if the Court fails to issue a stay, massive consolidation of the broadcast industry will occur before judicial review can be completed. This will cause irreparable harm to Petitioner and to the American public, whose right to receive information is ``paramount.´´"

The FCC argued in its Opposition to Motions for Stay Pending Judicial Review [22 pages in PDF] that the "Court should deny the motions for stay pending judicial review because movants have failed to make the necessary showing of irreparable harm and a likelihood of success on the merits."

On the question of irreparable harm, the FCC argued that "While the new ownership rules set forth the general principles that will guide the exercise of the Commission’s discretion, they by themselves approve no new transactions; under the Communications Act, a party seeking to acquire a radio or television broadcast station must still obtain Commission approval for each license transfer."

Appeals Court Order. The Appeals Court, with Judges Scirica, Ambro and Fuentes presiding, heard oral argument on the motion for stay on Wednesday, September 3. Later in the day it issued a very brief per curiam order.

The order recites that "Before the Court is Petitioner's motion to stay the effective date of Respondent Federal Communication Commission's new ownership rules, 2002 Biennial Regulatory Review, 68 Fed. Reg. 46,286 (Aug. 5, 2003), pending judicial review. Extensive oral argument was hear on September 3, 2003." (Footnotes omitted.)

The Court then identified the legal standard for issuing a stay. "We consider four factors in determining whether to grant the motion to stay: (1) the movant's likelihood of success on the merits; (2) whether the movant will suffer irreparable harm if the request is denied; (3) whether third parties will be harmed by the stay; and (4) whether granting the stay will serve the public interest. E.g., Susquenita Sch. Dist. v. Raelee, 96 F.3d 78, 80 (3d Cir. 1996); In re Penn Cent. Transp. Co., 457 F.2d 381, 384-85 (3d Cir. 1972)." However, the Court subsequently omitted the first element, likelihood of success on the merits, from its requirements.

The Court continued that "At issue in this litigation are changes adopted by the FCC that would significantly alter the agency's ownership rules for multiple media properties, including national television networks, local broadcast affiliates, radio stations, and newspapers. Petitioner has alleged harms from industry consolidation contending they would be widespread and irreversible if they occurred. The harm to petitioners absent a stay would be the likely loss of an adequate remedy should the new ownership rules be declared invalid in whole or in part. In contrast to this irreparable harm, there is little indication that a stay pending appeal will result in substantial harm to the Commission or to other interested parties. Washington Metro. Area Transit Comm'n v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F.2d 841, 843 (D.C. Cir. 1977). Granting the stay pending judicial review would maintain the status quo in order to permit appellate review after briefing on the merits."

The Court then wrote that "While it is difficult to predict the likelihood of success on the merits at this stage of the proceedings,3 these harms could outweigh the effect of a stay on Respondent and relevant third parties. Given the magnitude of this matter and the public's interest in reaching the proper resolution, a stay is warranted pending thorough and efficient judicial review."

Footnote 3 states that "An order maintaining the status quo is appropriate when a serious legal question is presented, when little if any harm will befall other interested persons or the public and when denial of the order would inflict irreparable injury on the movant. There is substantial equity and need for judicial protection, whether or not movant has shown a mathematical probability of success. Holiday Tours, 559 F.2d at 844."

And finally, the Court concluded, "For the foregoing reasons, we will grant the Petitioner's motion to stay the effective date of the FCC's new ownership rules and order that the prior ownership rules remain in effect pending resolution of these proceedings."

Forum Shopping. On August 19, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued its Consolidation Order [PDF]. This order states that petitions for review of the FCC's order had been filed in four circuits -- the District of Columbia, Second, Third, and Ninth Circuits. It ruled that "The Panel has randomly selected the United Stated Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in which to consolidate these petitions for review."

Nine petitions had been filed; six of the nine had been filed in the District of Columbia; one each had been filed in the three other circuits.

While the PRP filed its Petition for Review in Third Circuit, it is represented by Andrew Schwartzman, P/CEO of the Media Access Project (MAP), an interest group based in the District of Columbia, at 1625 K Street. (MAP's website also lists former FCC Chairman William Kennard as a Director.)

Similarly, the party that filed the petition for review in the Ninth Circuit, the Media Alliance, is represented by the Georgetown Institute of Public Representation, which is a part of Georgetown University's law school, in the District of Columbia.

Reaction. The FCC's Office of Media Relations issued a release that states, in full, "The following is a statement to be attributed to an ``FCC spokesman´´ on the stay of the FCC broadcast ownership rules ordered today by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit: ``While we are disappointed by the decision by the court to stay the new rules, we will continue to vigorously defend them and look forward to a decision by the court on the merits.´´"

Bush Signs Chile and Singapore FTAs

9/3. President Bush signed HR 2738, the "United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act", and HR 2739, the "United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act".

Both free trade agreements (FTAs) contain provisions relating to protection of intellectual property rights, electronic commerce, and telecommunications. See, texts of the U.S. Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the U.S. Chile Free Trade Agreement.

President Bush also spoke at a signing ceremony. He stated that "When Congress passed trade promotion authority last year, I promised to use that tool aggressively to open up new markets for American exporters and to help create high paying jobs for American workers. And we moved."  See, transcript.

"The agreement with Chile also includes new projections for intellectual property", said Bush. He added that the Singapore FTA "contains state of the art protections for Internet commerce and intellectual property that will help drive growth and innovation in our technology sectors."

Secretary of Commerce Don Evans issued a statement in which he wrote that "President Bush today created greater job opportunities for American workers by signing free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore. The agreements are the first free trade agreements signed since the president achieved trade promotion authority. President Bush understands that free and fair trade expands opportunities abroad and creates better, higher-paying jobs here at home. The Chile and Singapore Free Trade Agreements are a start to building on our economy’s strengths and identifying to the world that America is serious about expanding free trade."

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over most trade issues, stated in a release that without trade promotion authority (TPA), "the United States fell behind on trade. But now we're back on track. Knocking down barriers to trade and allowing U.S. companies to compete on a level playing field around the world is the goal of TPA. So, with the signing of these trade agreements, we send a strong message to the world that the United States is back in the game. Just as TPA benefited our work on these agreements, I fully expect the power of TPA to have a positive impact on the upcoming World Trade Organization negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, next week. Because of TPA, Ambassador Zoellick goes to Cancun empowered to negotiate the best trade deal for America. I'll be watching the negotiations closely to make sure we achieve a strong result for our farmers and workers."

Treasury Secretary Addresses Trade With China

9/3. Secretary of the Treasury John Snow gave a speech in Beijing, China in which he addressed trade and intellectual property rights.

John SnowSnow (at right) stated that "Our trade with you makes your economy stronger. Your trade with us makes our economy stronger. As our economies are stronger, benefits are extended to the rest of our trading partners. So just as China benefits from our market, U.S. businesses and consumers should benefit from China's growth. Clearly, investments and technology from the United States help to sustain high growth in China."

He added that "In recent years, China has made historic strides in reforming its economy and moving to a market-based system. We applaud that and urge continued progress."

Then, he stated that an "area of concern for me is that U.S. companies continue to lose billions of dollars because of the piracy of intellectual property. Enforcement of the good intellectual property laws which China has put in place is essential to our continued economic relationship."

Survey Estimates the 10 Million Americans Have Been Victims of ID Theft in Last Year

9/3. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a document [12 pages in PDF] titled "Report: Federal Trade Commission Overview of the Identity Theft Program: October 1998 -- September 2003". It reviews the activities of the FTC to date relating to identity theft. The FTC also released a report [93 pages in PDF] titled "Federal Trade Commission: Identity Theft Survey Report", that was prepared for the FTC by Synovate, a market research firm. It contains survey results that estimate, for example, that "almost 10 million Americans have discovered that they were the victim of some form of ID Theft within the last year".

Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated in a release that "For several years we have been seeing anecdotal evidence that identity theft is a significant problem that is on the rise. Now we know. It is affecting millions of consumers and costing billions of dollars. This information can serve to galvanize federal, state, and local law enforcers, the business community, and consumers to work together to combat this menace."

The Synovate report states that "1.5 percent of survey participants reported that in the last year they had discovered that their personal information had been misused to open new credit accounts, take out new loans, or engage in other types of fraud, such as misuse of the victim’s name and identifying information when someone is charged with a crime, when renting an apartment, or when obtaining medical care."

The report refers to this as "New Accounts & Other Frauds' ID Theft". It adds that "This result suggests that almost 3.25 million Americans discovered that their personal information had been misused in this kind of fraud in the past year."

The Synovate report also states that "2.4 percent of survey participants reported misuse of their information in the last year that was limited to the misuse of one or more of their existing credit cards or credit card account numbers". Also, "0.7 percent of participants reported misuse of one or more of their existing accounts other than credit cards -- for example checking or savings accounts or telephone accounts".

It also states that "Including all types of ID Theft, a total of 4.6 percent of survey participants indicated that they had discovered they were victims of ID Theft in the past year. This result suggests that almost 10 million Americans have discovered that they were the victim of some form of ID Theft within the last year."

The report also addresses losses. "On average, victims of ``New Accounts & Other Frauds´´ ID Theft indicated that the person or persons who misused the victim’s personal information had obtained money or goods and services valued at $10,200 using the victim's information. This result suggests that the total loss to businesses, including financial institutions, from this type of ID Theft was $33 billion in the last year."

Wayne Abernathy, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions, said in a written statement that the Bush administration "has called for legislation that, among other provisions, would establish a national fraud alert system, improve the accuracy of credit reports, identify the tell tale signs -- or red flags -- to alert lenders so they can thwart identity theft attempts, and put more information in the hands of consumers -- including annual free copies of their credit reports.  The proposals would also make it easier for victims to restore their credit histories and impose penalties if a company puts false information on credit records."

Abernathy added that "The problem is so great, and its impact on consumers so terrible, that we should not delay giving consumers and law enforcers these important new tools to fight identity theft."

FCC Announces Agenda for September 10 Meeting

9/3. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published in its web site the agenda [3 pages in PDF] for its September 10 meeting.

The FCC will consider a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to examine ways of amending spectrum regulations and policies in order to promote the rapid and efficient deployment of quality spectrum based services in rural areas. This is WT Docket No. 02-381 and WT Docket No. 01-14.

The FCC will consider a NPRM concerning modifications to Parts 2 and 15 of its rules regarding the design and authorization of unlicensed devices.

The FCC's International Bureau (IB) will report on the first in a series of annual reports on the commercial satellite industry.

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and the National Coordination Committee (NCC) Chair will report on the NCC's recommendations for interoperable public safety use of the 700 MHz band.

The FCC will consider a NPRM regarding the conditions under which 47 U.S.C. § 251(c) and § 271 should be deemed to be "fully implemented" under Section 10(d) of the Communications Act.

The FCC will consider a NPRM to review the FCC's cost-based pricing rules for unbundled network elements.

Finally, the FCC will consider a Second Report and Order regarding regulations to facilitate the connection of customer premises equipment purchased from retail outlets to multichannel video programming distibutor systems. This is CS Docket No. 97-80 and PP Docket No. 00-67.

People and Appointments

8/29. MCI WorldCom appointed five new members to its Board of Directors: Eric Holder, Laurence Harris, Grant Gregory, Judith Haberkorn, and David Matlin. Holder is a partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling. He was Deputy Attorney General, and before that, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, during the Clinton administration. Harris has been a partner in the law and lobbying firm of Patton Boggs since 2001. Before that, he was SVP and General Counsel of Teligent. He also previously worked for MCI. Gregory is a former Touche Ross Chairman. Haberkorn is a retired Bell Atlantic executive. Matlin is CEO of MatlinPatterson Global Advisers. See, release.

9/3. President Bush nominated Gordon England to be Secretary of the Navy. This is a reappointment. He had previously been Secretary of the Navy, but was briefly appointed to the Department of Homeland Security to assist in its establishment. See, White House release.

9/3. President Bush nominated Michael Wynne to be Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (ATL). He replaces Edward Aldridge. Wynne is currently Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for ATL. He previously spent 23 years working for General Dynamics. See, White House release and release. See also, website for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for ATL. This Office oversees, among other things, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is involved in numerous information technology related projects.

9/3. President Bush nominated Paul Atkins to be a Member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a term expiring June 5, 2008. This is a reappointment. See, White House release.

9/3. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Jeffrey Rosen to be General Counsel of the Department of Transportation. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. See, White House release.

9/3. President Bush announced his intent to appoint Karen Evans to be Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). She is currently Chief Information Officer at the Department of Energy. See, White House release.

9/3. Edward Merlis was named Senior Vice President, Law and Policy, for the U.S. Telecom Association (USTA). See, USTA release.

FTC Will Not Enforce GLB Rule Against Attorneys Pending Resolution of Court Challenge

9/3. The U.S. District Court (DC) held a status hearing in New York State Bar Association v. FTC. This suit, and a related action brought by the American Bar Association (ABA), challenge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule that applies the financial privacy provisions of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) to practicing attorneys.

The FTC stated that it will file a letter in which it states that it will not investigate, or enforce its rule against, attorneys pending resolution of this challenge.

The Congress passed the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, Pub. L. No. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338 (1999), which is better known as the Gramm Leach Bliley Act or GLB, to enable financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies, to associate. Since this process provides financial institutions with increased access to the personal financial information of customers, the Congress included provisions intended to protect financial privacy.

The GLB Act's privacy provisions apply only to "financial institutions". The definition does not reference law firms or lawyers. The entire legislative history is almost devoid of reference to lawyers. Moreover, lawyers are already subject to client confidentiality rules. Nevertheless, the FTC and other agencies adopted rules extending the GLB privacy provisions to practicing lawyers.

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and the ABA both filed complaints against the FTC in the District Court, and many state bar associations have file amicus curiae briefs in support.

See, NYSBA complaint [34 page PDF scan]. See also, TLJ story titled "Court Hears Arguments on Bar Associations' Challenges to FTC's Financial Privacy Rules", June 2, 2003.

The Court also set the schedule for further briefing on cross motions for summary judgment, which will wrap up with final replies in late November.

Thursday, September 4

Items that have been added to this calendar since the last issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert are highlighted in red.

9:30 AM The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold an executive business meeting. See, notice. The agenda includes consideration of several judicial nominees, including Henry Saad (to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit), Larry Alan Burns (Southern District of California), Glen Conrad (Western District of Virginia), Henry Floyd (District of South Carolina), Kim Gibson (Western District of Pennsylvania), Michael Mosman (District of Oregon), and Dana Sabraw (Southern District of California). This committee frequently changes the time and agenda of its meetings without notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The House will meet for legislative business. It may consider HR 2989, the Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004. See, Republican Whip Notice.

10:00 AM. The House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing on the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate (IAIPD). Location: Room 2359, Rayburn Building.

1:30 PM. The House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science and Research and Development, and Subcommittee on Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security will hold a joint hearing titled "Implications of Power Blackouts on America’s Cyber Networks and Critical Infrastructure". The scheduled witnesses include Cofer Black (Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Department Of State), Larry Mefford (Executive Assistant Director, FBI Counterterrorism), Paul Gilbert (former chair, National Council Panel on Energy Facilities, Cities, and Fixed Infrastructure), Peter Orzag (Brookings Institute), John McCarthy (Executive Director, Critical Infrastructure Protection Project, George Mason University), Karl Rauscher (President, Wireless Emergency Response Team), and Kenneth Watson (President, Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security). See, notice. Location: Room 2237, Rayburn Building.

2:00 PM. The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet to mark up four appropriations bills for fiscal year 2004, including the Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary (CJS) appropriations bill. This includes appropriations for most of the technology related agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and other Department of Commerce entities. The Appropriations Committee will also mark up the District of Columbia, Transportation/Treasury, and VA/HUD/Independent Agencies bills. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.

2:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will hold an oversight hearing titled "Internet Domain Name Fraud -- the U.S. Government's Role in Ensuring Public Access to Accurate Whois Data". The hearing will be webcast. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space will hold a hearing titled "A New Kind of Science", which is also the title of a book by Stephen Wolfram, who will testify at the hearing. Wolfram states that he uses some simple computer experiments "to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science, from the origins of apparent randomness in physical systems, to the development of complexity in biology, the ultimate scope and limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory of physics, the interplay between free will and determinism, and the character of intelligence in the universe." However, not all readers share his enthusiasm for his book. See, reviews in Amazon. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) changes to its media ownership rules, announced on June 2, 2003, take effect. See, notice in the Federal Register that recites and describes the rules changes. See, Federal Register, August 5, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 150, at Pages 46285 - 46358.

Friday, September 5

9:00 AM. The House will meet for legislative business. It may consider HR 2989, the Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004. See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:30 - 11:30 AM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a seminar titled "The New World of E-Commerce Taxation". The speakers will be Michael Greve (AEI), Daniel Shaviro (NYU School of Law), and Kevin Hassett (AEI). See, notice. Location: 12th Floor, AEI, 1150 17th Street, NW.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Inquiry [21 pages in PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the Matter of Inquiry Regarding Carrier Current Systems, including Broadband over Power Line Systems". See, notice in the Federal Register, May 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 100, at Pages 28182 - 28186. See also, story titled "FCC Announces NOI Regarding Broadband Over Powerlines" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 628, April 24, 2003, and story titled "FCC Releases NOI on Broadband Over Power Lines" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 656, May 7, 2003.This is ET Docket No. 03-104. For more information, contact Anh Wride at 202 418-0577 or

12:00 NOON. Deadline to submit requests to testify orally at the September 18, 2003 hearing of the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) to assist it in preparing its annual report to the Congress on the People's Republic of China's compliance with the commitments that it made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). See, notice in the Federal Register, July 21, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 139, at Pages 43247 - 43248.

1:00 PM. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) will host a news conference to release its 2003 Privacy and Human Rights report. The topics to be addressed include Total Information Awareness, the Patriot Act,  biometric identification, and new technologies of surveillance. The event will be webcast. Location: First Amendment Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

Monday, September 8

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Consumer Federation of America v. FCC, No. 02-1337. Judges Edwards, Randolph and Garland will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave. NW.

10:00 AM. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in McConnell v. FEC, a constitutional challenge to the McCain Feingold campaign finance act. See, June 5, 2003 Order List [4 pages in PDF] at pages 3-4.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) [7 pages in PDF] regarding the draft Nationwide Agreement [28 pages in PDF] of the FCC, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, regarding undertakings for communications facilities, including communications towers and antennas, under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This proceeding is titled "In the matter of Nationwide Programmatic Agreement Regarding the Section 106 National Historic Preservation Act Review Process". It is WT Docket No. 03-128. For more information, contact Frank Stilwell at 202 418-1892 or See, story titled "FCC Announces NPRM Regarding Communications Facilities and the National Historic Preservation Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 677, June 10, 2003. See also, notice in the Federal Register, July 9, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 131, at Pages 40876 - 40887.

Tuesday, September 9

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The Executive Office of the President's (EOP) Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will meet. The agenda includes (1) discussion of  the status of the work of its workforce education subcommittee, (2) discussion of the preliminary draft findings of its information technology manufacturing competitiveness subcommittee, and (3) a continuation of its discussion of nanotechnology and its review of the federal National Nanotechnology Initiative. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 27, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 166, at Pages 51577 - 51578. Location: Room 100 of the National Academy of Sciences Building, 500 5th Street, NW.

11:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a panel discussion titled "Will Internet Telephony Bring about a Revolution in Telecom Policy?". The speakers will be Scott Marcus (Senior Advisor for Internet Technology at the FCC), Brad Ramsay (National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners), Link Hoewing (Verizon), Marilyn Cade (AT&T), and Jeff Pulver ( See, notice. Lunch will follow the program. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

1:00 PM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Trade and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing on HR 2221, the "Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act", sponsored by Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC), Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), and Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT). See, notice. It does not reference the internet or electronic commerce. However, if passed, it would remove some barriers to the sale of replacement contact lenses over the internet. See, story titled "Bill Would Facilitate Internet Sale of Replacement Contact Lenses" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 669, May 29, 2003. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

4:00 - 5:30 PM. The Brookings Institution will host a panel discussion titled "A Preview of the World Bank/IMF and World Trade Organization Meetings". See, notice. Location: Falk Auditorium, Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

Wednesday, September 10

9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. See, agenda [3 pages in PDF]. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).

10:00 AM. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hold a hearing on proposed regulations relating to the definition of toll telephone service for purposes of the communications excise tax. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 17, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 116, at Pages 35828 - 35829. Location: Room 4718, Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW.

10:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The U.S. International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to discuss the matters related to the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which will take place on December 10-12, 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 18, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 159, at Pages 49536 - 49537. Location: Historic National Academy of Science Building, 2100 C St., NW.

12:00 NOON. Deadline to submit written comments to the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) to assist it in preparing its annual report to the Congress on the People's Republic of China's compliance with the commitments that it made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). See, notice in the Federal Register, July 21, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 139, at Pages 43247 - 43248.

4:00 PM. Josef Drexl (Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition, and Tax Law) will give a lecture titled "The Role of International Private Law in Establishing a Competition-Oriented International Copyright System". For more information, contact Robert Brauneis at 202 994-6138 or Location: George Washington University Law School, Faculty Conference Center, 5th Floor, Burns Building, 716 20th Street, NW.

Thursday, September 11

9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host of meeting of its Nanotechnology Customer Partnership initiative. RSVP to Jill Warden at 703 308-4037 or See, notice. Location: Patent Theater, Crystal Park 2, 2nd Floor, 2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA.

9:30 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing on HR 2898, the "E-911 Implementation Act of 2003". See, notice. The event will be webcast. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Notice of Inquiry (NOI) that solicits "data and information on the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming for our tenth annual report".

Friday, September 12

Deadline for claimants to royalty fees collected for calendar year 2001 under the cable statutory license to submit comments and notices of intention to participate to the Copyright Office regarding whether a Phase I or Phase II controversy exists as to the distribution of those fees. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 13, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 156, at Pages 48415 - 48417.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) final rule amending its rules to separate the provisions for patent matters and trademark matters with respect to filing correspondence, requesting copies of documents, payment of fees, and general information takes effect. The USPTO is "amending its Rules of Practice in Patent Cases to delete all references to trademark matters, and amending its Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases to add new rules setting forth provisions for corresponding with and paying fees to the Office in trademark cases, and for requesting copies of trademark documents." See, notice in the Federal Register, August 13, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 156, at Pages 48286 - 48293.

Deadline for Members of Congress to sign a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell regarding network neutrality. The letter is being circulated by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).

More News

8/27. A collection of groups wrote a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge requesting that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) give the public an opportunity to comment on procedures implementing the Homeland Security Information Sharing Act (HSISA), which was enacted as Section VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The letter states that these procedures "may restrict the public dissemination of ``homeland security information,´´ including information that is ``sensitive but unclassified.´´" The signatories include the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and library and journalism groups.

9/2. AT&T filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (EDVa) against MCI WorldCom and Onvoy alleging fraud, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment, racketeering conspiracy and substantive racketeering through a pattern of multiple acts of mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with what AT&T describes as "orchestrating a scheme called the ``Canadian Gateway Project,´´ in which they worked with other telecommunications companies to reroute MCI customers' domestic phone calls through Canada to deceive and defraud AT&T into paying hefty termination fees for terminating calls to high-cost independent telephone companies in the U.S." See, AT&T release. See also, Onvoy responses to AT&T's allegations.

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