|U.S. Legislators Criticize EU Action Against
3/29. Numerous Senators and Representatives have publicly criticized the
European Commission's decision to penalize Microsoft, and to direct its software
design. For example, Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN),
the Senate Majority Leader stated that "I now fear that the United States and EU
are heading toward a new trade war -- and that the Commission's ruling against Microsoft
is the first shot."
Legislators labeled the EU's action as trade protectionism, interference with
U.S. regulation of the U.S. economy, usurpation of the U.S. judiciary,
anti-consumer, and anti-innovation.
On March 24, 2004, The European Commission announced, but did not release the text
of, a decision that imposes a record fine upon Microsoft of 497.2 Million Euros, orders
Microsoft to make changes to its software sold in Europe, and orders
Microsoft to disclose certain information to its competitors.
The EC issued a short
press release describing its yet to be released decision. See, stories
titled "European Commission Seeks 497 Million Euros and Code Removal from
Microsoft", "US Antitrust Chief Says EU's Microsoft Decision Could Harm
Innovation and Consumers", and "Microsoft Will Challenge EC Decision in
Court", in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 863, March 25, 2004.
Sen. Frist stated that "for some time now, the U.S. Congress has expressed
its frustration over the European Union's intransigence on international trade
issues that are vitally important to the U.S. economy. From overreaching
attempts to regulate e-commerce, to trade barriers against American beef and
other agricultural products, the EU has relentlessly pursued protectionist
policies that disproportionately harm American businesses and workers. I now
fear that the United States and EU are heading toward a new trade war--and that
the Commission's ruling against Microsoft is the first shot." See,
Congressional Record, March 24, 2004, at Page S3092.
"For the most part, economic growth across the European Union has been
meager during this decade", said Sen. Frist. He attributed this to public sector
debt, excessive taxation, and "excessive regulation from bureaucrats
sitting in Brussels."
"Now, as if destroying Europe's economy were not enough, the European
Commission has taken aim at Microsoft, a company whose products and technology
have been engines of global economic growth." Frist said the requirement that
Microsoft sell a version of its operating system without multimedia
functionality is "preposterous", and will provide a product that "no one wants
or needs". He said the decision is "anti-consumer, anti-innovation".
He added that the EU decision will have a "negative impact" on "American
jobs, American consumers, and the U.S. economy". Frist wants the Department of
State and the Department of Justice to stand up to the EU.
Sen. George Allen (R-VA) stated that
the EU "has extended its view of
competition and regulation beyond Europe and onto the United States -- to the
detriment of U.S. laws, industry and consumers." See, Congressional Record,
March 23, 2004, at Pages S2992-3.
Sen. Allen (at right)
also pointed out that "For many years, the European Union
and its member states have criticized the United States for adopting laws and
regulations that, in the view of European policymakers, have had an extraterritorial
reach. The European Commission in particular has consistently urged the United States
to ensure that its legal determinations do not intrude into European affairs. We now
have a clear example of the European Union not practicing what they preach."
He also accused the EU of undercutting the
Department of Justice. "There can be no
question that the U.S. Government was entitled to take the lead in this matter --
Microsoft is a U.S. company, many if not all of the complaining companies in the EU
case are American, and all of the relevant design decisions took place here. I would hope
that if the Commission were cognizant of America's legitimate interests in this
matter, it would act in a manner that complemented the U.S. settlement. I fear
the Commission has selected a path that places its resolution of this case in
direct conflict with ours."
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the ranking Democrat on the
Senate Finance Committee, which
has jurisdiction over trade issues, released a
statement [PDF]. He wrote that EU decisions "significantly undermine the
U.S. government's authority to regulate its
economy and may hamper innovation in the high-tech industry, a sector that has
been a significant source of job creation and economic growth for our country
for the past decade. The EU's imposition of a restrictive, unprecedented and
extraterritorial regulatory regime threatens not only to hamstring an American
company's ability to deliver future innovations for consumers and businesses
across the globe, but also sets back trade relations between the EU and U.S. --
at a time when we can ill afford that."
Sen. Baucus added that "This ruling undermines our ongoing efforts to promote a
cooperative and integrated approach to managing our competition laws and trading
regimes. At a time when the global economy is becoming more and more
interdependent, this decision signals the EU's desire to go it alone on trade
and antitrust issues. That's disappointing."
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), another
member of the Finance Committee, stated that "While Arkansas is not the
headquarters of the Microsoft Corp., we are keenly aware of the negative impact
that the European Union's protectionist trade actions have on American business
and our Nation's economic growth and job creation."
Sen. Lincoln (at right) continued
that "Time and time again, farmers and agribusiness in my
state have been denied the opportunity to compete in the European market. As a member
of the Senate Finance Committee, I am dedicated to ensuring a level playing field with
our trading partners. This goal cannot be accomplished alone. It will require a
multinational cooperative effort which developed countries like the United States and
Europe must lead."
She concluded that "The EU's actions, specifically the one taken yesterday,
are a significant step in the wrong direction" See, Congressional Record,
March 25, 2004, at Page S3175.
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), who represents
a district that is home to employees of both Microsoft and
Real Networks (which complained to the EU),
stated that "The reason we all ought to be concerned about this European Union decision
is it essentially breaches and disturbs, if not destroys, a carefully wrought-out
resolution of antitrust issues in the American judicial system." See, Congressional
Record, March 24, 2004, at Page H1376.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT),
historically an antagonist of Microsoft, also released a
neither praised nor condemned the EU decision. He stated that the EU has not
yet released the text of its order, but "The early indications are that there
may be good reason for the Senate Judiciary Committee to ponder the difficult
questions raised by what seems to be the emergence of a new world order of
antitrust enforcement." Sen. Leahy is the ranking Democrat on the Senate
|Treasury Secretary Snow Addresses
3/29. Secretary of the Treasury
John Snow gave a
Cincinnati, Ohio on March 29, and another
speech in Washington
DC on March 26, in which he discussed offshore outsourcing of jobs. He said that
free trade creates jobs, and that the U.S. should reject isolationism.
On March 29, in the state of Ohio, he said that "I know that some Ohioans
are worried about their jobs going overseas. The President and I share that concern.
Our economy is in transition in many ways, and that can be frightening but there are
ways to get through the transition that will mean a better future for everyone. Where
workers are trained for the new jobs of the 21st century."
Snow (at right) continued that
"Some prescribe a policy of isolationism instead. It's a pessimistic view that
our businesses and our workers can't compete. You and I know that's not true. We
need to embrace the global economy."
"Thousands of workers' jobs in Ohio depend on trade agreements that enable
Ohio-made products to compete in markets around the world. Since the enactment
of NAFTA in 1994, Ohio's exports to Mexico have tripled, and last year exports
totaled more than two billion dollars", said Snow. "Exports are vital to our
Nation's economic strength. The President often
points out that today America is selling computer chips to Japan, producing BMWs
for export to Germany, and exporting California wine to France."
He added that "It's clear that free trade helps create jobs at home by opening foreign
markets to American exports, and by encouraging foreign companies to set up
operations here in the U.S. It helps to lower prices and increase choices for
American consumers. Exports supported about 12 million jobs during the 1990s and
foreign-owned firms provide jobs to around 6.4 million workers today."
He made some of the same points in his
speech on March
26 in Washington DC. He also stated that "We have the best workforce in the
world, the most innovative businesses, and the most competitive companies. Our small
businesses can compete with anybody, given the chance."
|Leahy and Hatch Introduce Bill to Give DOJ
Authority to Bring Civil Actions for Copyright Infringement
3/25. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced
S 2237, the
"Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004".
The bill has two provisions. First, it would authorize the
Justice (DOJ) to bring civil actions for copyright infringement for conduct that
already constitutes criminal copyright infringement under
17 U.S.C. § 506.
This would accomplish two things. It would make it easier to prevail,
because, among other things, the civil action would have a lower burden of
proof. It would also provide a less punitive action for youthful P2P music
The bill provides that "The Attorney General may commence a civil action in
the appropriate United States district court against any person who engages in
conduct constituting an offense under section 506. Upon proof of such conduct by
a preponderance of the evidence, such person shall be subject to a civil penalty
under section 504 which shall be in an amount equal to the amount which would be
awarded under section 3663(a)(1)(B) of title 18 and restitution to the copyright
owner aggrieved by the conduct."
Second, the bill would establish a training program (and authorize funding of
$2,000,000) to educate DOJ and U.S. Attorneys Office personnel in copyright
Sen. Leahy explained that "For too
long, Federal prosecutors have been
hindered in their pursuit of pirates, by the fact that they were limited to
bringing criminal charges with high burdens of proof. In the world of copyright,
a criminal charge is unusually difficult to prove because the defendant must
have known that his conduct was illegal and he must have willfully engaged in
the conduct anyway. For this reason prosecutors can rarely justify bringing
criminal charges, and copyright owners have been left alone to fend for
themselves, defending their rights only where they can afford to do so. In a
world in which a computer and an Internet connection are all the tools you need
to engage in massive piracy, this is an intolerable predicament." See,
Congressional Record, March 25, 2004, at Page S3189.
Sen. Leahy added that "This new authority does not supplant either the
criminal provisions of the Copyright Act, or the remedies available to the copyright
owner in a private suit. Rather, it allows the government to bring its resources to
bear on this immense problem, and to ensure that more creative works are made available
online, that those works are more affordable, and that the people who work to
bring them to us are paid for their efforts."
Sen. Hatch also addressed the bill. He stated that the it "does not expand the scope of
the existing powers of the Department of Justice to prosecute persons who
infringe copyrights. Instead, our proposal will assist the Department in
exercising existing enforcement powers through a civil enforcement mechanism.
After considerable study, we have concluded that this is the most appropriate
mechanism." See, Congressional Record, March 25, 2004, at Pages S3190-1.
He elaborated that "Peer-to-peer file sharing software has created a dilemma
for law-enforcement agencies. Millions of otherwise law-abiding American citizens
are using this software to create and redistribute infringing copies of popular music,
movies, computer games and software. Some who copy these works do not fully understand
the illegality, or perhaps the serious consequences, of their infringing activities.
This group of filesharers should not be the focus of federal law-enforcement efforts. Quite
frankly, the distributors of most filesharing software have failed to adequately
educate the children and young people who use their software about its legal and
"A second group of filesharers consists of those who copy and redistribute
copyrighted works even though they do know that doing so violates federal law.
In many cases, these are college students or young people who think that they
will not get caught. Many of these filesharers are engaging in acts that could
now subject them to federal criminal prosecution for copyright piracy", said
Sen. Hatch and Sen. Leahy are the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the
Senate Judiciary Committee,
which has jurisdiction over this bill.
|Sen. Biden Introduces Anticounterfeiting
3/23. Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE),
Ernest Hollings (D-SC), Sen. Patti Murray (D-WA),
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), and
Sen. George Allen (R-VA) introduced
the "Anticounterfeiting Act of 2004",
a bill pertaining to trafficking in counterfeit labels, illicit authentication
features, or counterfeit documentation or packaging.
The bill amends 18
U.S.C. § 2318, regarding trafficking in counterfeit labels and
documentation. The bill would criminalize "illicit authentication features", and
create a private right of action for copyright owners.
Sen. Biden sponsored a similar bill in the 107th Congress. See,
S 2395, the
"Anticounterfeiting Amendments of 2002". The bill was approved by the
Judiciary Committee, but the full Senate did not act on the bill. However, by
re-introducing this bill in late March of a Presidential election year, it will
be difficult to obtain passage in this Congress.
titled "Biden Bill Would Ban Illicit Authentication Features" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 423, May 2, 2002; "Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Anti
Counterfeiting Bill" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 473, July 19, 2002; and "Sen. Allen Opposes Sen. Biden's
Anticounterfeiting Bill" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 503, September 6, 2002.
Sen. Biden (at right)
explained the problem that his bill addresses. He said that
"Counterfeiters of software, music CDs and motion pictures are now tampering
with authentication features. Holograms, certificates of authenticity,
watermarks and other security features allow the copyright owners to distinguish
genuine works from counterfeits. But now, highly sophisticated counterfeiters
have found ways to tamper with these features to make counterfeit products
appear genuine and to increase the selling price of genuine products and
licenses. Put another way, not only do crooks illegally copy American
intellectual property, they also now illegally fake or steal the very features
property owners use to prevent that theft." See, Congressional Record,
March 23, 2004, at Pages S3001-2
He elaborated that "The criminal code has not kept up with the
counterfeiting operations of today's high-tech pirates, and it's time to make sure
that it does. The Anticounterfeiting Act of 2004 updates
and strengthens the Federal criminal code, which currently makes it a crime to
traffic in counterfeit labels or copies of certain forms of intellectual
property, but not authentication features. For example, we can currently
prosecute someone for trafficking in fake labels for a computer program, but we
cannot go after them for faking the hologram that the software maker uses to
ensure that copies of the software are genuine."
He also explained the private right of action. "In addition, many
actions that violate current law go unprosecuted in this day and age when priorities,
such as the fight against terrorism and life-threatening crimes, necessarily take
priority over crimes of property, be they intellectual or physical. Moreover, the
victims of this theft often do not have a way to recover their losses from this crime.
For this reason, the Anticounterfeiting Act of 2004 also provides a private cause of
action, to permit the victims of these crimes to pursue the criminals themselves and
recover damages in federal court.
He added that "Current law criminalizes trafficking in counterfeit documentation and
packaging, but only for software programs. The Anticounterfeiting Act of 2003
updates and expands these provisions to include documentation and packaging for
phonorecords, motion pictures, other audiovisual works, and copies of other
He also stated that "The existing provision with regard to counterfeiting
addresses certain items of intellectual property, including motion pictures, software,
and phonorecords. The Anticounterfeiting Act of 2004 updates the coverage of this
statute to include other copyrighted works, such as books. As published books
and ebooks begin to be subject to the piracy already witnessed by motion
picture, software and recording industries, they need the same protection."
|Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on
3/25. The Senate Commerce
Committee held a hearing titled "Escalating Cable Rates: Causes and
Solutions". Sen. John McCain (R-AZ),
the Chairman of the Committee, wrote in a
prepared statement that "When it comes to purchasing cable channels beyond
the basic tier today, consumers have all the ``choice´´ of a Soviet election
ballot. One option -- take it or leave it. You want ESPN? You must buy 40-plus
channels of expanded basic."
(at right) added that "This dearth of choice comes from an industry that has
proclaimed its indignation at the injustice of being forced to carry ``unwanted´´
broadcast stations. The cable industry challenged the so-called ``must carry´´
rules of the 1992 Cable Act to the Supreme Court. Today it is arguing at the FCC
about the gross inequity that would result from cable systems being forced to
carry unwanted digital channels under a ``multicast must carry´´ regime. Well, the
current ``must purchase´´ regime for consumers is equally unfair."
Mark Goldstein presented the
[25 pages in PDF] of the General
Accounting Office titled "Telecommunications: Subscriber Rates and
Competition in the Cable Television Industry".
He wrote that "Competition leads to lower cable rates and improved
quality." He also wrote that "Adopting an a la carte approach, where subscribers
could choose to pay for only those networks they desire, would provide consumers with
more individual choice, but could require additional technology and could alter the
current business model of the cable network industry wherein cable networks obtain
roughly half of their overall revenues from advertising. A move to an a la carte
approach could result in reduced advertising revenues and might result in higher
per-channel rates and less diversity in program choice." He concluded that it
is "difficult to ascertain how many consumers would be better off and how many would be
worse off under an a la carte approach."
See also, prepared testimony of
Robbins (P/CEO of Cox Communications),
Bodenheimer (President of ESPN and ABC Sports),
Gene Kimmelman (Director
of the Consumers Union),
Marilyn Praisner (Montgomery County Council) and
Johnson (P/CEO of Knology).
|People and Appointments
3/29. Lisa Dean was named Privacy Officer at the Department of
Homeland Security's (DHS) Transportation Security
Administration (TSA). She previously worked at the Free Congress Foundation.
3/26. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) published in its web site the transcript of, and comments received for,
its February 17, 2004 round table on Inter Partes Reexamination Proceedings.
page with hyperlinks to comments and transcript.
3/25. Comcast Corporation announced in a
that it has "signed an agreement with Vulcan Programming Inc. to acquire TechTV,
Inc. Upon closing, Comcast will merge TechTV with G4, the Comcast-owned
television network devoted to video games and the gamer lifestyle."
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Tuesday, March 30
The House will meet at 10:30 AM for morning hour and
at 12:00 PM for legislative business. The House will consider several items
under suspension of the rules, including
the Department of Justice
Appropriations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2004 through 2006. See,
Republican Whip Notice.
8:45 AM - 4:30 PM. The
American Television Systems Committee (ATSC)
will host a day long convention titled "Delivering DTV". Technology
Administration (TA) Under Secretary
Phil Bond will participate on a panel at
1:30 PM. See, agenda.
Location: Hotel Washington, 15th
& Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
9:00 AM. The
President's Council of Advisors on
Science and Technology (PCAST) will hold a meeting. The agenda includes "(1)
Discuss a draft report from its workforce-education subcommittee; and (2) continue
its discussion of nanotechnology and its review of the federal National Nanotechnology
Initiative ... " See,
notice in the Federal Register, March 17, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 52, at Page
12694. Location: Crystal Ballroom, St. Regis Hotel, 923 16th Street, NW.
10:00 AM. The
House Homeland Security Committee's
Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science and Research & Development will hold a
hearing titled "Homeland Cybersecurity and DHS Enterprise Architecture
Budget Hearing for Fiscal Year 2005". The witnesses will be Robert
Liscouski (Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, DHS) and Steven
Cooper (Chief Information Officer, DHS). See,
contact: Liz Tobias or Jennifer Page at 202-226-9600. Location: Room 2325,
10:00 AM. The
House Appropriations Committee's
Subcommittee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing on the proposed budget
for the Science and Technology directorate at the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
McQueary, Under Secretary for Science and Technology, is scheduled to
testify. Location: Room B-308, Rayburn Building.
? 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The
House Science Committee's
Subcommittee on Research will hold a hearing on, and markup of,
the "Congressional Medal for Outstanding Contributions in Math and Science
Education Act". Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The
Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Network Reliability and Interoperability Council will meet. See,
notice [PDF] and
agenda [PDF]. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305), 445 12th
11:00 AM. The
Heritage Foundation will host a panel discussion titled "Leveraging
Cutting-Edge Commercial Technology For
Defense". Joseph Mait (Center for Technology and National Security
Policy), Stephen Prior (Potomac Institute for Policy Studies), Robert Bott
(Boeing Company), James Jay Carafano (Heritage), and Jack Spencer (Heritage).
Location: Heritage, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE.
12:00 NOON. Deadline to submit written comments to the
U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) Trade
Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) regarding negotiating objectives for the
proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the U.S. and four Andean countries
(Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia). See,
notice in the Federal Register, February 17, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 31, at
Pages 7532 - 7534.
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM. The
DC Bar Association's Sections on Intellectual
Property and International Law will host a luncheon titled "Developments
in IPR Enforcement at the Border". The speakers will be George McCray
(U.S. Customs and Border Protection), William Hubbard (Food and Drug Administration),
Alice Kipel (Steptoe & Johnson), and Geoffrey Goodale (Gardner Carton &
Douglas). Prices vary. For more information, call 202-626-3463. Location: D.C.
Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.
1:30 - 2:30 PM. The
Information Technology Association of America
(ITAA) will hold a press conference to release an econometric study titled "Global
Sourcing and the U.S. Economy". The participants will include Harris
Miller (ITAA), Lawrence Klein, and Nariman Behravesh. There will be a
live audio webcast. Location:
National Press Club, 13th Floor, Holeman
Lounge, 529 14th Street, NW.
2:00 PM. The House
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related
Agencies will hold a hearing on the proposed budget for the Departments of
Commerce, Justice and State. The purpose of this hearing is to allow
Members of Congress to testify. Location: Room H-309, Capitol Building.
2:30 PM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing an several pending nominations, including
that of Theodore Kassinger to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Location:
Room 253, Russell Building.
|Wednesday, March 31
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative
business. See, Republican
8:45 AM - 5:15 PM. The
DC Bar Association's Section on Intellectual
Property will host a program titled "Practical Tips on Intellectual
Property". The speakers will include U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Alan
Lourie. Prices vary. For more information, call 312-988-6517. Location:
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade
Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
10:00 AM. The House Commerce
Committee will hold a hearing titled "U.S.-China Trade: Preparations for
the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade". The witnesses will be Charles
Freeman (Deputy U.S. Trade Representative), Fritz Attaway (Motion Picture Association
of America), Bill Primosch (National Association of Manufacturers), Alan Tonelson (U.S.
Business & Industry Council Educational Foundation), Joe Papovich (Recording Industry
Association of America), Douglas Lowenstein (Entertainment Software Association), and Mark
Levinson (UNITE). Press contact: Larry Neal or Jon Tripp at 202 225-5735. The hearing
will be webcast. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn
10:00 AM. The House Appropriations
Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related
Agencies will hold a hearing on the proposed budget for the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
FCC Chairman Michael Powell
is scheduled to testify. Location: Room H-309, Capitol Building.
10:00 AM. The
Senate Judiciary Committee
will hold a hearing on several judicial nominees, including William Duane
Benton (to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit),
Robert Bryan Harwell (District of South Carolina), and George Schiavelli
(Central District of California). See,
Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
12:15 PM - 2:00 PM. The
DC Bar Association's Sections on Antitrust
and Computer and Telecommunications Law will host a brown bag lunch titled "The
on Restrictions on Telephone Calls, Faxes and Spam". The speakers will include
Kurt Schroeder (FCC Enforcement Bureau), Erica McMahon (FCC Consumer and Governmental
Affairs Bureau), Lisa Hone (FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection), Michael Goodman (FTC
Bureau of Consumer Protection), Barry Cutler (Baker & Hostetler), and Emmitt
Carlton (FCC Enforcement Bureau). For more information, call 202 626-3463. Location:
D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.
1:30 AM. The
Relations Committee will meet to mark up numerous items, including HRes
576, a resolution urging the People's Republic of China to improve its
protection of intellectual property rights. Location: Room 2172, Rayburn
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar
Association's (FCBA) Online Communications Practice Committee will host a
brown bag lunch titled "Digital Rights Management". The speakers will
be Mark Cooper (Consumer Federation of America),
and Paul Glist (Cole Raywid & Braverman).
RSVP to Evelyn Opany at 202-689-7163. Location: Cole, Raywid & Braverman, 1919
Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 200.
1:30 PM. The
House Armed Services Committee's (HASC)
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional threats and Capabilities will hold a
hearing titled "Fiscal Year 2005 National Defense Authorization budget request
- Department of Defense's Business Transformation Efforts". Several of the
witnesses have IT, CIO or C4 (a military acronym for Command, Control,
Communications, and Computers) in their titles. Location: Room 2118, Rayburn
2:00 - 3:30 PM.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) World RadioCommunication 2007 (WRC-07)
Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group on Regulatory Issues will meet. The FCC
notice [PDF] states that "Non-U.S. citizens who wish to attend must preclear
24 hours in advance of the meeting by e-mailing their name, nationality and company
Location: The Boeing Company, 1200 Wilson Boulevard. The nearest metro stop is
4:00 PM. The
House Judiciary Committee's
Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will meet to
mark up HR __, the "Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004",
the "Anticounterfeiting Amendments of 2003", and
the "Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act", and, HR __,
the "Authorization of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension Act".
The hearing will be webcast by the Committee. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry
Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
(USTR) may conclude its review regarding the operation and effectiveness of,
and the implementation of and compliance with, the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Basic Telecommunications Agreement, other WTO agreements affecting market
opportunities for U.S. telecommunications products and services, the
telecommunications provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), Chile FTA and Singapore FTA, and other telecommunications trade
notice in the Federal Register, December 8, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 235, at
Pages 68444 - 68445.
6:00 PM. Deadline to submit applications to the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for
grants under the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP).
Deadline to submit reply 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,
notice [3 pages in PDF].
Deadline to submit comments to the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response
notice in the Federal Register requesting comments regarding a National Do
Not E-mail Registry. Section 9 of
S 877, the
"Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pormography and Marketing Act of
2003" (CAN-SPAM Act), requires the FTC to write a report to the Congress on
establishing a nationwide Do Not E-Mail Registry. It is due by June 16, 2004.
See, story titled "FTC Announces CAN-SPAM Act Rulemaking" in TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 855, March 15, 2004. The notice is published in the Federal
Register, March 11, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 48, at Pages 11775-11782. See also, FTC
|Thursday, April 1
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative
business. See, Republican
9:00 AM - 1:15 PM. The Department of Commerce's (DOC)
National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA), U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO), and Technology Administration (TA) will host a
forum titled "From RFID to Smart Dust: The Expanding Market for
Wireless Sensor Technologies". The participants will include
Kevin Martin (FCC
Dudas (acting Director of the USPTO),
Michael Gallagher (acting Administrator of the NTIA), Elizabeth Prostic
(Chief Privacy Officer), and
Benjamin Wu (Deputy Under Secretary for Technology). See, NTIA
notice in the Federal Register, March 1, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 40, at Page
9598. Location: DOC Auditorium, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW.
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court Appeals (DCCir)
will hear oral argument in Telcordia v. Telkom, No. 03-7099.
Judges Randolph, Rogers and Garland will preside. Location: Prettyman
Courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave.
10:00 AM. The House
Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Homeland Security will hold a
hearing on the proposed budget for the Information and Analysis and
Infrastructure Protection directorate of the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Location: TBA.
12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The Americans for a
Secure Internet (ASI) will host an event to announce its formation and to
discuss cyber security issues. The speakers will include Bob Dix (Staff
Director for the House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on
Technology & Information Policy), Steve DelBianco (Association for Competitive
Technology), Tom Santaniello (Computing Technology Industry Association),
Jonathan Zuck, (Association for Competitive Technology), Jim Dempsey (Center
for Democracy and Technology), and Wayne Crews (Cato Institute). Lunch will be
served. Location: Phoenix Park Hotel, 520 North Capitol Street, NW (First
2:00 PM. The
House Commerce Committee's
Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing on
HR __, a yet to be introduced bill reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewer
Improvement Act. See,
notice. The hearing will be webcast by the Committee. Press contact: Larry Neal or
Jon Tripp at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
2:00 PM. The
House Appropriations Committee's
Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and
Independent Agencies will hold a hearing on the proposed budget for the
National Science Foundation (NSF).
Location: Room 2359, Rayburn Building.
|Friday, April 2
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative
8:30 AM - 3:45 PM. There will be an event titled
"The 19th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference".
The speakers will include Rep. Lamar
Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the
House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee
on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. Prices vary. For more information,
call 312-988-5598. Location: Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court Appeals
(DCCir) will hear oral argument in Communications & Control Inc. v. FCC,
No. 03-1213. Judges Henderson, Randolph and Roberts will preside. Location:
Prettyman Courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will
host a panel discussion titled "Preemption in the
Rehnquist Court". See,
notice. Location: AEI, 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a lunch. The speakers will be
legal advisors on wireless issues to Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) Commissioners. The price to attend is $15. RSVP to Wendy Parish
at email@example.com by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, March 31.
Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street, NW, 6th
|Sunday, April 4
Daylight Saving Time begins.
|Monday, April 5
The House will be in recess from April 5 through April 16 for the Spring
recess. It will next meet on Monday, April 19.
The Supreme Court will begin
a recess. (It will return on April 19, 2004.)
10:00 AM. The
U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear
oral argument in Typeright v. Microsoft, No. O3-1197. Location: Courtroom 203,
717 Madison Place, NW.
Deadline to submit comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in
response to its
Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOI & NPRM) [31 pages
in PDF] regarding the interference temperature method of quantifying
and managing interference among different services. See,
notice in the Federal Register, January 21, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 13, at
Pages 2863 - 2870. This NOI/NPRM is FCC 03-289 in ET Docket No. 03-237. See
also, stories titled "FCC Announces NOI/NPRM on Interference Temperature
Model" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 779, November 14, 2003, and "FCC Releases NOI/NPRM
on Interference Temperature Approach" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 789, December 1, 2003.
Deadline to submit comments to the
National Archives and Records Administration's
Electronic Records Policy Working Group regarding implementation of Section
207(e)(1)(A) of the E-Government Act of 2002, regarding "Public Access to
Electronic Information". This section provides for "the adoption by
agencies of policies and procedures to ensure that chapters 21, 25, 27, 29,
and 31 of title 44, United States Code, are applied effectively and
comprehensively to Government information on the Internet and to other
electronic records.'' See,
notice in the Federal Register, March 8, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 45, at Page
|More Congressional Hearings
3/25. The House
Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State,
the Judiciary, and Related Agencies held a hearing on the proposed
budget for the U.S. Trade Representative
prepared testimony [20 pages in PDF] of USTR
House Armed Services Committee's
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities held a
hearing on President Bush's FY 2005 budget request for Department of Defense
science and technology policy programs. See especially,
prepared testimony of Anthony Tether (at right), Director of the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
He addressed, among other things, cognitive computing, MEMS (Microelectronics, photonics, and
microelectromechanical systems), and information technology.
3/25. The House Judiciary
Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, and the
House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee
on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, held a joint hearing titled "Progress
in Consolidating Terrorist Watchlists -- The Terrorist Screening Center".
See, prepared statement
of Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), Chairman of the
Subcommittee on Crime, and prepared
statement of Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA), Chairman
of the Homeland Security Committee. See also, prepared testimony of witnesses:
Donna Bucella (Director,
Terrorist Screening Center, FBI),
Charlie Bartoldus (Director, National Targeting Center, Customs and Border Protection,
DHS), James McMahon
(Director, Office of Public Security, New York), and
(Center for Democracy and Technology).
3/25. The House Judiciary
Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on
which expresses the sense of the House that judicial determinations regarding
the meaning of the laws of the U.S. should not be based on judgments, laws, or
pronouncements of foreign institutions. See,
prepared statement of
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), the Chairman of the
Subcommittee. See also, prepared testimony of witnesses:
Jeremy Rabkin (Cornell
University), Vicki Jackson
(Georgetown Law Center), Michael
Ramsey (University of San Diego Law School), and
(Northwestern University School of Law).
3/24. The House Government
Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy,
Intergovernmental Relations and the Census held a hearing titled "Electronic
Government: A Progress Report on the Successes and Challenges of
Government-wide Information Technology Solutions". See,
prepared testimony [71
pages in PDF] of Linda Koontz (General Accounting
Office) titled "Electronic Government: Initiatives Sponsored by the Office
of Management and Budget Have Made Mixed Progress", and
prepared testimony [PDF] of Karen Evans (Office of Management and Budget)
titled "Federal Government's Efforts to Safeguard our Information and Systems".
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