Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
February 24, 2004, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 842.
Home Page | Calendar | Subscribe | Back Issues | Reference
Tom Ridge Addresses Technology, Critical Infrastructures, and Information Sharing

2/23. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge gave at wide ranging speech at George Washington University, in Washington DC, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

He addressed the events of September 11, 2001, the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and its accomplishments in its first year of operation. He addressed the interoperability of communications systems, and border and port security systems.

Tom RidgeHe also touched on the role of new technologies. He stated that "Every day we must operate with the knowledge that our enemies are changing based on how we change. As we shore up one vulnerability, they work to uncover another. This is why science and technology is key to winning this new kind of war. The work we do at Homeland Security, in partnership with the private sector, national laboratories, universities and research centers, help us push the scientific envelope. It helps drive the development and use of high technology to combat the weapons of high consequence. New tools of analysis, information sharing and detection help us counter terrorist attacks -- before they can happen -- and if they happen, minimize their impact."

The DHS also released a document titled "Homeland Security's Strategic Plan". It elaborates that "Through the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), the department will engage both small and large businesses to assist in filling technology gaps quickly."

He also addressed information sharing between governmental entities. He stated that "We will secure real-time nationwide connectivity between all 50 states and territories. This will mean multi-directional information sharing -- the first phase of which, cyber-connectivity, will be completed within the next three months. Most notably, this is a system driven from the bottom up ... and brought to us as a communication tool because our state and local partners developed it and wanted it."

He also covered information collection and sharing regarding critical infrastructures. He said that "vast, rich information sharing tools are critical to our ability to keeping our nation's critical infrastructure far from a terrorist's reach. And so, I'm announcing today that, by December of this year, together with our partners, we will create a unified, national critical infrastructure database that will enable us to identify our greatest points of vulnerability, existing levels of security and then add increased measures of protection where needed."

The DHS Strategic Plan adds that "To increase protections of the nation's critical infrastructure, the department is taking a systemized, risk based approach to this important challenge. By the end of this year, the department will create a master database of all existing critical infrastructure in the country which will be matched against current intelligence. This will allow the department to more easily and quickly identify the greatest points of vulnerability, assess existing levels of security and increase protections as necessary."

The Strategic Plan also describes the "Unified National Database of Critical Infrastructure". It states that "A national database of all physical critical infrastructure ranked by priority will be created by December 2004. The department will also develop the tools, processes, and methodologies for identifying new critical infrastructure so that the unified national database will remain current."

Amit YoranNeither Secretary Ridge, nor the Strategic Plan, specifically addressed protection of computer or communications systems. However, on Tuesday, February 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security will hold a hearing titled "Cyberterrorism". The scheduled witnesses include Amit Yoran (at right), Director of the DHS's National Cybersecurity Division. This hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM in Room 226 of the Dirksen Building.

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Video Pipeline v. Buena Vista

2/23. The Supreme Court denied certiorari, without opinion, in Video Pipeline v. Buena Vista, See, Order List [26 pages in PDF] at page 4. This is a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) in a copyright infringement case involving the online distribution of short clip previews of Disney movies. Buena Vista (a licensed distributor of Disney movies) prevailed below. The Appeals Court rejected Video Pipeline's fair use and copyright misuse defenses.

For a summary of the proceedings below, see story titled "3rd Circuit Addresses Fair Use and Copyright Misuse" published in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 727, August 27, 2003.

The August 26, 2003 Court of Appeals opinion [23 pages in PDF] is notable because of its analysis of the doctrine of copyright misuse. It expanded the scope of the doctrine from its origins in competition and antitrust analysis. It wrote that copyrights should not be enforceable where the enforcement undermines the Constitutional purpose of copyright protection -- "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". Specifically, the Court wrote that suppression of criticism may be inconsistent with the Constitutional purpose. See also, September 19, 2003 order [2 pages in PDF] amending opinion.

However, the Court held that the defense is inapplicable in this case. It wrote that "There is no evidence that the public will find it any more difficult to obtain criticism of Disney and its interests, or even that the public is considerably less likely to come across this criticism, if it is not displayed on the same site as the trailers."

The dispute in the case involves Video Pipeline's internet publication of approximately two minute long "clip reviews" of Disney movies, made by Video Pipeline. These clip reviews are different from the approximately two minute long "movie trailers", made by Disney, and published in Disney web sites, and licensed to other web site operators.

The defense of copyright misuse was raised in this case because Disney licensed its movie trailers subject to license terms that prohibit the licensees from using the movie trailers in a way that is "derogatory to or critical of the entertainment industry or of" Disney. That is, Disney uses the exclusive rights conferred upon it by the Copyright Act, not only to obtain a return for its creative efforts (which is consistent with the purposes of copyright protection), but also to suppress criticism (which is contrary to the purposes of copyright protection).

Whether or not anyone can distribute short movie clip reviews may not be of momentous importance. But, the doctrine misuse, if it were expanded as the Court of Appeals suggests, could have many significant applications in the context of digital works and online distribution. For a discussion of the history of the doctrine of misuse, and the possible implications of cases such as Video Pipleline, see story titled "3rd Circuit Breaks New Ground on Copyright Misuse", also published in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 727, September 27, 2003.

The case is Video Pipeline, Inc. v. Buena Vista, et al., Sup.Ct. No. 03-763, a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. The Appeals Court issued its opinion on August 26, 2003, and amended it on September 19, 2003. Judge Thomas Ambro wrote the unanimous opinion for the three judge panel; Judges Becker and Nygaard joined. The opinion is also reported at 342 F.3d 191. This is App. Ct. No. 02-2497. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued its opinion of March 28, 2002. It is published at 192 F. Supp. 2d 321. It is D.C. No. 00-cv-05236, Judge Jerome Simandle presiding.

Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Patent Cases

2/23. The Supreme Court denied certiorari, without opinions, in several notable patent cases, including Accuscan, Inc. v. Xerox Corp., DeKalb Genetics Corp. v. Bayer CropScience, and Deering Precision Instruments v. Vector Distribution Systems.

Accuscan, Inc. v. Xerox Corp. is a patent case involving the doctrine of equivalents. Accuscan obtained a judgment in the U.S. District Court (SDNY). The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) reversed in part. On June 3, 2002 the Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated and remanded (in one order) in light of the May 28, 2002 opinion [PDF] in Festo v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki. On September 17, 2003, on remand, the Appeals Court again held, in an unpublished opinion, that none of the accused products infringe the asserted claims either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. This is Sup. Ct. No. 03-869.

The Supreme Court also denied certiorari in DeKalb Genetics Corp. v. Bayer CropScience. See, Order List [26 pages in PDF] at page 6. This is a patent, trade secret, misappropriation and fraudulent inducement case involving the genetic material of plant seeds. This is Sup. Ct. No. 03-916. See, September 29, 2003 opinion of the Federal Circuit on remand, also reported at 345 F.3d 1366.

Finally, the Court denied certiorari in Deering Precision Instruments v. Vector Distribution Systems. See, Order List [26 pages in PDF] at page 7. This is a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) in a patent case involving the doctrine of equivalents. See, Appeals Court opinion. This is Sup.Ct. No. 03-958, Appeals Court Nos. 02-1013 and 02-1197, and D.C. No. 01-C-1118 (Northern District of Illinois). The patent in suit is U.S. Patent No. 4,744,428.

FCC Seeks Comment on National TV Ownership Cap

2/19. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Media Bureau issued a Public Notice [PDF] stating that it requests public comments on the recently enacted consolidated appropriations bill's provisions pertaining to the national TV ownership cap.

This item is DA 04-320 in MB Docket No. 02-277. Comments will be due 21 days after publication in the Federal Register. Reply comments will be due 31 days after publication in the Federal Register. The FCC had not yet published this notice in the Federal Register as of the February 24, 2004 issue.

On June 2, the FCC announced rules changes that maintain, but relax, several FCC media ownership rules. Among other things, the FCC raised the national TV ownership cap from 35% to 45%. See, June 2, 2003 Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [257 pages in PDF]. See also, stories titled "FCC Announces Revisions to Media Ownership Rules" and "Reaction to the FCC's Media Ownership Announcement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 672, June 3, 2003.

The Congress eventually passed legislation relating to this subject. President Bush signed HR 2673, a huge omnibus appropriations bill, on January 23, 2004. (It is now Public Law No. 108-199.) This act amends the Communications Act to provide a cap of 39 percent. Section 629 provides as follows:

"The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is amended as follows--
  (1) in section 202(c)(1)(B) by striking `35 percent' and inserting `39 percent';
  (2) in section 202(c) by adding the following new paragraphs at the end:
    `(3) DIVESTITURE- A person or entity that exceeds the 39 percent national audience reach limitation for television stations in paragraph (1)(B) through grant, transfer, or assignment of an additional license for a commercial television broadcast station shall have not more than 2 years after exceeding such limitation to come into compliance with such limitation. This divestiture requirement shall not apply to persons or entities that exceed the 39 percent national audience reach limitation through population growth.
    `(4) FORBEARANCE- Section 10 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 160) shall not apply to any person or entity that exceeds the 39 percent national audience reach limitation for television stations in paragraph (1)(B);'; and
  (3) in section 202(h) by striking `biennially' and inserting `quadrennially' and by adding the following new flush sentence at the end:
`This subsection does not apply to any rules relating to the 39 percent national audience reach limitation in subsection (c)(1)(B).'."

See also, story titled "Bush Signs Omnibus Appropriations Bill", and story titled "Summary of Technology Related Provisions of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill", both published in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 824, January 27, 2004.

On Thursday, February 19, 2004, the FCC issued a notice requesting public comment on this legislation. It references the passage of the appropriations bill. It then states that "Section 629(1) of the Appropriations Act amends Section 202(c) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 ("Telecom Act"), and directs the Commission to modify the national television ownership limit to 39 percent. Pending petitions for reconsideration ask the Commission to reconsider its decision to retain the UHF discount, urging its immediate elimination. We are opening a limited comment period in order to afford petitioners and commenters an opportunity to update the record as to the effect, if any, of the Appropriations Act on our authority and decision in this area. We invite comment as to whether the enactment of the 39% national cap affects our authority to modify or eliminate the UHF discount. For example, does passage of the 39% cap signify congressional approval, adoption, or ratification of the 50% UHF discount?"

FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein criticized the issuance of the notice requesting public comments. They stated in a joint release [PDF] on Monday, February 23 that "We were surprised to learn last Friday that agency staff had released a Public Notice seeking comment on the UHF Discount. With an issue of this import, it appears to us to be a highly unusual and irregular step for the staff to take without input from members of the Commission. The timing of this move -- coming little more than a week after the oral argument in this case coupled with an immediate communication from the FCC General Counsel to the Third Circuit seeking to hold the issue in abeyance based on the staff Public Notice -- may lead to questions of whether this is an attempt to avoid a substantive court decision on an apparent weakness and inconsistency in the June 2nd media ownership order."

SEC Commissioner Glassman Addresses ECNs

2/18. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Cynthia Glassman gave a speech in London, U.K. at the Eighth Annual Conference on The Practical Implications of SEC Regulation Outside the United States.

Cynthia GlassmanGlassman (at right) addressed a number of topics, including electronic communication networks.

She stated that "Advances in technology also require us to re-examine the fairness and effectiveness of our rules. Very shortly, the Commission is going to be considering a number of market structure proposals, including the controversial trade-through rule currently in effect in the listed markets. A broker is not supposed to execute a customer's order in one market when a better price is available in another market. But the emergence of automatic execution by electronic communication networks ("ECNs") competing with traditional manual markets has complicated the situation, to say the least."

She continued that "While the purpose of the rule was to protect limit orders, the problem is that the rule requires the ECN to wait the 30 seconds it takes the floor-based specialist to respond. That might not have seemed like a very long time in 1978 when the rule was adopted, but it's an eternity today. And if the market moves during that 30 seconds, the specialist may decide not to execute the order. Best execution has come to mean different things to different customers. Many customers value the split-second speed and certainty of execution offered by the ECNs over - not a certain better price, but simply the possibility of a better price -- on an exchange."

People and Appointments

2/23. Nancy Judy was named Director of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Office of Public Affairs. She has previously worked in public relations at Myvesta, ProMarc Agency, and the American Bankers Association. She replaces Cathy MacFarlane, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary (Public Affairs) at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. See, FTC release.

2/23. Lillie Coney joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) as a Senior Policy Analyst. She will focus on civil rights, privacy, and electronic voting issues. She will also be the Coordinator of the National Committee on Voting Integrity. She was previously the Public Policy Coordinator for the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). Before that, she worked for Rep. Sheila Lee (D-TX).

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Tuesday, February 24

The House will meet at 2:00 PM for legislative business. The House will consider several non-technology related items under suspension of the rules. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM. See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on voice over internet protocol (VOIP). The witnesses will be Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell, Jeffrey Citron (CH/CEO of Vonage), Glenn Britt (Ch/CEO of Time Warner Cable), Glen Post (Ch/CEO of CenturyTel), Stan Wise (President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners), and Kevin Werbach (Supernova Group). The Committee notice states that it "will hear testimony on the appropriate federal and state regulatory treatment of VOIP, including obligations related to intercarrier compensation, disability access, E-911, universal service, and assistance to law enforcement". Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security will hold a hearing on titled "Cyberterrorism". The scheduled witnesses are John Malcolm (Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section of the DOJ's Criminal Division), Keith Lourdeau (FBI Deputy Assistant Director), Amit Yoran (Director of the National Cybersecurity Division of the DHS), Dan Verton (author), Howard Schmidt (Chief information Security of EBay), and Michael Vatis (Task Force on National Security in the Information Age). Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) will preside. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

11:30 AM. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, DHS Under Secretary Frank Libutti, and Washington DC Mayor Anthony Williams will speak at at event. They will address the expansion of the DHS "computer based counterterrorism communications system to all 50 states, five territories, Washington, DC, and 50 major urban areas". This communications capability is built on the Joint Regional Information Exchange System (JRIES) platform. The DHS adds that "Press wishing to attend this event must present valid credentials and arrive no later than 11:00 AM EST for PRESET. Final access will be 11:15 AM EST". Press contact: 202 282-8010. Location: Joint Operations Command Center, 5th Floor, Metropolitan Police Department, 300 Indiana Ave., NW.

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM. Michael Gallagher, Acting Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will speak on broadcast issues at the Media Institute Communications Forum Monthly Luncheon. For more information, contact Clyde Ensslin (NTIA) at 202 482-7002. Location: Four Seasons Hotel.

4:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will hold a hearing titled "Reauthorization of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act". The hearing will be webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

Day three of a three day conference hosted by the National Emergency Numbering Association (NENA) titled "9-1-1 Goes to Washington". The scheduled speakers include FCC Chairman Michael Powell, NTIA Administrator Michael Gallagher, and members of the Congressional E911 Caucus. For more information, contact Dale Curtis or Susie Beamon at 202 715-1537 or Nena_media@yahoo.com. Location: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H Street, NW.

Wednesday, February 25

The House will meet at 10:00 AM. See, Republican Whip Notice.

8:45 AM - 3:00 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host an event titled "The Advantages of High Productivity Growth". The speakers will include Barry Bosworth (Brookings Institute), Jared Bernstein (Economic Policy Institute), Elaine Chao (Secretary of Labor), Bruce Mehlman (Computer Systems Policy Project), Marvin Kosters (AEI), Adam Posen (Institute for International Economics), and Kathleen Utgoff (Bureau of Labor Statistics). See, notice. Location: AEI, 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

10:00 AM. The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Economic Outlook and Current Fiscal Issues". The witness will be Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan. Location: Room 210, Cannon Building.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Conflict Between Science and Security in Visa Policy: Status and Next Steps". Press contact: Heidi Tringe at 202 225-4275. Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The President's Export Council's Subcommittee on Export Administration (PECSEA) will hold a partially closed meeting. The PECSEA provides advice on encouraging trade with countries with which the U.S. has diplomatic or trading relations and of controlling trade for national security and foreign policy reasons. The agenda includes a presentation by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). See, notice in the Federal Register, February 3, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 22, at Page 5125. Location: Department of Commerce, Room 4832, 14th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues, NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on President Bush's budget proposals for the Department of Homeland Security. Secretary Tom Ridge will testify. Location: Room 608, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Roger Benitez to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Online Communications Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The topic will be "VoIP Deployment Overview". The speakers will be Rick Whitt (MCI), Melissa Newman (Qwest), Elana Shapochinikov (Net2Phone). RSVP to Evelyn Opany at 202 689-7163. Location: Piper Rudnick, 1200 19th St., NW.

1:00 PM. The House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science and Research & Development will hold a hearing titled "Homeland Security Science and Technology Budget Hearing for Fiscal Year 2005". The witness will be Charles McQueary, Under Secretary for Science and Technology. See, notice. Location: Room 2325, Rayburn Building.

Thursday, February 26

The House will meet at 10:00 AM. See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:30 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold another hearing on HR 3717, the "Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004". The hearing will be webcast. See, notice. Press contact: Jon Tripp at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

9:30 AM. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearings to examine public diplomacy and international free press. The witnesses will be Margaret Tutwiler (Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs), Gene Mater (The Freedom Forum), Adam Powell (Annenberg School of Communications), and Kurt Wimmer (Covington & Burling). Location: Room 419, Dirksen Building.

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC) will meet in open session. Under Secretary for Science and Technology Charles McQueary will speak at 11:00 AM. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 13, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 30, at Page 7245. Location: The Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD.

12:00 NOON -1:30 PM. The Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics will host a luncheon. The speaker will be Phil Bond, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology. He will release a report titled "Innovation, Demand, and Investment in Telehealth". RSVP to Neal Neuberger at Nealn@hlthtech.com or 703 790-4933. See, notice. Location: Room 402, Dirksen Building.

12:30 PM. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), will speak at a luncheon hosted by the National Press Club (NPC). Location: NPC, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

2:30 - 5:30 PM. The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC) will meet in closed session. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 13, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 30, at Page 7245. Location: The Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) will hold a workshop on DRAFT Special Publication 800-60, titled "Guide for Mapping Types of Information and Information Systems to Security Categories". See, Volume I [PDF] and Volume II [PDF]. The workshop is open to government workers only. For more information, contact Elaine Frye at elaine.frye@nist.gov.

Friday, February 27

8:25 AM - 3:00 PM. The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC) will meet in closed session. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 13, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 30, at Page 7245. Location: The Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD.

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) will host an event titled "Spam Technology Workshop". The price to attend is $70. See, notice in the Federal Register, November 25, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 227, at Pages 66075 - 66076. Location: NIST, Administration Building (Building 101), Green Auditorium, Gaithersburg, MD.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) will hold a workshop on DRAFT Special Publication 800-60, titled "Guide for Mapping Types of Information and Information Systems to Security Categories". See, Volume I [PDF] and Volume II [PDF]. This is a repeat of the February 26 workshop. The workshop is open to government workers only. For more information, contact Elaine Frye at elaine.frye@nist.gov.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in response to its notice in the Federal Register requesting comments to assist it in developing recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the use of the 3650-3700 MHz band for unlicensed devices, such as 802.11 (WiFi) and BlueTooth. The FCC released its Notice of Inquiry [MS Word] on December 20, 2002. This is ET Docket No. 02-380. See, Federal Register, January 28, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 18, at Pages 4118 - 4120. See also, story titled "FCC Announces Notice of Inquiry Re More Spectrum for Unlicensed Use" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 566, December 12, 2002, and story titled "NTIA Seeks Comments on Use of 3650-3700 MHz Band By Unlicensed Devices" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 832, February 9, 2004.

Monday, March 1

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding Level 3 Communications' petition for forbearance requesting the FCC to forbear from application of 47 U.S.C. 251(g), the exception clause of  51.701(b)(1) of the FCC's rules, and  69.5(b) of the FCC's rules to the extent those provisions could be interpreted to permit local exchange carrier (LECs) to impose interstate or intrastate access charges on internet protocol (IP) traffic that originates or terminates on the public switched telephone network (PSTN), or on PSTN-PSTN traffic that is incidental thereto. This is WC Docket No. 03-266. See, FCC notice [3 pages in PDF].

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update the record concerning petitions for reconsideration of rules that the FCC adopted in the 1997 access charge reform docket. See, notice in the Federal Register, January 16, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 11, at Pages 2560 - 2561.

More News

2/23. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the House Republican Whip released the Whip Notice for the week of February 23, 2004. This lists bills and others items scheduled for consideration during the week of February 23. Notably, the notice does not include HR 1561, the "United States Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act of 2003".

Robert Zoellick2/23. U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick (at right) held a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland at which he discussed his travels over the past two weeks to Japan, China, Singapore, India, South Africa, and other countries. He stated that "there are encouraging signs that 2004 need not be a lost year for the Doha negotiations". See, transcript.

2/23. MCI WorldCom announced in a release that AT&T and MCI WorldCom "today jointly announced they have reached an out-of-court resolution of all claims the two companies have had against each other, both before and after MCI filed Chapter 11 petitions in July 2002. The agreement includes resolution of AT&T's call routing claims against MCI and MCI's dismissal of its contempt of court motion against AT&T." It added that "No other terms of the agreement were disclosed. The agreement has been submitted for approval to the federal Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York." See also, AT&T release.

2/20. Microsoft filed an answer [31 pages in PDF] with the U.S. District Court (NDCal) in RealNetworks v. Microsoft. RealNetworks filed a complaint on December 18, 2003 alleging violation of federal and state antitrust laws in connection with Microsoft's production of a digital media player. See, RealNetworks release of December 18, 2003. This case is RealNetworks, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, D.C. No. C 03-5717 (JW) (EAI)

2/23. The Copyright Office (CO) published a notice in the Federal Register that recites, discusses, and sets a comment deadline for, proposed rules governing the service of complaints, summonses, subpoenas and other legal process on the CO and its employees in their official capacities. Comments are due by March 24, 2004. See, Federal Register, February 23, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 35, at Pages 8120 - 8126.

2/23. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [83 pages in PDF] titled "Information Management: Update on Freedom of Information Act Implementation Status". It is a presentation outline prepared for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a defender of the Freedom of Information Act.

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 - 2004 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.