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July 1, 2004, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 930.
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DC Circuit Rejects Appeal in Microsoft Antitrust Case

6/30. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion [83 pages in PDF] in Massachusetts v. Microsoft, affirming the District Court judgment that substantially approved the settlement agreement between the U.S., various states, and Microsoft

The U.S. and many states and the District of Columbia filed two complaints in U.S. District Court (DC) in 1998 against Microsoft alleging violation of federal antitrust laws. Following trial, the District Court, Judge Thomas Jackson presiding, entered judgment against Microsoft.

On June 28, 2001, the Court of Appeals, en banc, issued its landmark opinion affirming in part and reversing in part, and remanding to the District Court. The Appeals Court affirmed in part Judge Jackson's judgment that Microsoft violated § 2 of the Sherman Act by employing anticompetitive means to maintain a monopoly in the operating system market. It vacated in full the break up order. Finally, it remanded the case to a different trial judge, because Judge Jackson "engaged in impermissible ex parte contacts by holding secret interviews with members of the media and made numerous offensive comments about Microsoft officials in public statements outside of the courtroom, giving rise to an appearance of partiality." This opinion is also reported at 253 F.3d 34.

The U.S., the settling states, and Microsoft then entered into a settlement agreement. Following a Tunney Act review, the District Court, Judge Kotelly presiding, held that the settlement agreement was in the public interest. See, Memorandum Opinion [97 pages in PDF] of November 1, 2002. However, several non-settling states continued to litigate. Following judgment by the District Court, which is similar to the settlement agreement, only the state of Massachusetts persisted, bringing the present appeal.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) also appealed the District Court's refusal to allow them to intervene in the Tunney Act proceeding.

The Court of Appeals, en banc, affirmed the District Court judgment, in their entirety. Chief Judge Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the unanimous panel.

See also, Microsoft release and transcript of press conference of Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith.

Smith stated that "Today's unanimous decision by the Court of Appeals strongly affirms the prior decision by the District Court. Today's unanimous decision strongly affirms the principle that removing code from Windows is neither necessary nor helpful for our industry or consumers. To the contrary, the Court of Appeals made clear today that removing software code from Windows would be a huge step backwards, not only for Microsoft but for the rest of our industry and most importantly for consumers. We believe that this judicial affirmation is a very important part of today's decision."

The European Commission has taken a different approach, and ordered code removal. See, Commission Decision [302 pages in PDF]. See also, story titled "European Commission Releases Microsoft Decision" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 883, April 23, 2004; story titled "Pate Criticizes EC Decision Regarding Microsoft" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 869, April 5, 2004; story 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; and story titled "U.S. Legislators Criticize EU Action Against Microsoft" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 866, March 30, 2004.

Microsoft has appealed the EC decision.

3rd Circuit Rules in Media Ownership Case

6/24. The U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) issued its opinion [213 pages in PDF] in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC, overturning some of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) media ownership rules.

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 Court summarized its holding as follows: "Though we affirm much of the Commission's Order, we have identified several provisions in which the Commission falls short of its obligation to justify its decisions to retain, repeal, or modify its media ownership regulations with reasoned analysis. The Commission’s derivation of new Cross-Media Limits, and its modification of the numerical limits on both television and radio station ownership in local markets, all have the same essential flaw: an unjustified assumption that media outlets of the same type make an equal contribution to diversity and competition in local markets. We thus remand for the Commission to justify or modify its approach to setting numerical limits. We also remand for the Commission to reconsider or better explain its decision to repeal the FSSR. The stay currently in effect will continue pending our review of the Commission’s action on remand, over which this panel retains jurisdiction."

FCC Chairman Michael Powell issued a statement [PDF]. He said that "Today's decision perversely may make it dramatically more difficult for the Commission to protect against greater media consolidation. It sets near impossible standards for justifying bright-line ownership limits. The fear is realized in the opinion itself. The court rejected the Commission’s effort to limit further radio consolidation. It also upheld the elimination of the newspaper cross-ownership rule, while rejecting our efforts to place reasonable limits on those combinations. This is deeply troubling and hampers the flexibility of the agency to protect the American public, as this agency is charged to do."

Michael PowellPowell (at right) added that "This is the second time a court has put aside exhaustive efforts by the expert agency to set numerical limits. This has created a clouded and confused state of media law. The chaotic results demonstrate the wisdom of Chief Judge Scirica's nearly 100 page dissent, where he says that ``the Court has substituted its own policy judgment for that of the FCC and upset the ongoing review of broadcast media regulation mandated by Congress ...´´"

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who has opposed the FCC's rule changes all along, also issued a statement [PDF]. He wrote that "We have now heard from the American people, Congress, and the courts. The rush to media consolidation approved by the FCC last June was wrong as a matter of law and policy. The Commission has a second chance to do the right thing. We must immediately move forward and redesign our media policy."

Michael CoppsCopps (at left) continued that "the FCC should immediately take three steps. First, we should issue a notice confirming that until new rules are adopted, we will continue to apply the limits that were in effect prior to the June 2, 2003 decision. Second, I call upon the Commission to schedule a series of hearings across the country ..." And third, wrote Copps, "we need independent research studies on media concentration in a variety of markets so that we can make a decision that has a more solid foundation. Clearly, the court found that the FCC’s previous studies were inadequate and lacked credibility."

See also, Adelstein statement [PDF]. He wrote that "The court largely undid what would have been the most destructive rollback of media ownership protections in the history of American broadcasting."

4th Circuit Rules in CoStar v. LoopNet

6/21. The U.S. Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its split opinion [26 pages in PDF] in CoStar v. LoopNet, a case involving a claim of copyright infringement by an ISP, Loopnet, arising from the publication of copyrighted photographs by its subscribers. The Appeals Court affirmed the District Court's summary judgment for the ISP, and in so doing, addressed direct infringement, the Netcom case, the DMCA, and the impact of the DMCA on Netcom.

The Court held that the safe harbor provisions of Section 512 in the DMCA do not supplant or preempt the Netcom opinion. This case involved pictures of real estate. However, this holding will have far reaching consequences for copyrighted content producers, such as movie, record, software and game companies, as they attempt to enforce their copyrights in actions against ISPs that are used by their subscribers to infringe copyrights.

CoStar holds copyrights in numerous photographs of commercial real estate. LoopNet is an internet service provider (ISP) that also maintains a commercial real estate web site. It allows its real estate broker customers to publish listings of commercial real estate. CoStars' subscribers published photographs owned by CoStar on the LoopNet web site.

CoStar filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DMd) in 1999 against LoopNet alleging direct copyright infringement, under 17 U.S.C. §§ 106 and 501 (and other claims that are not at issue in the present appeal). The District Court, relying on the Netcom case, granted summary judgment to LoopNet. The District Court's opinion is also reported at 164 F. Supp.2d 688.

See, November 21, 1995 opinion of the U.S. District Court (NDCal) in Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communications Services, Inc., which held that an ISP serving as a passive conduit for copyrighted material is not liable as a direct infringer.

This opinion is also published at 907 F. Supp. 1361. See also, article by Eugene Burcher and Anna Hughes titled "Internet Service Providers: The Knowledge Standard for Contributory Copyright Infringement and The Fair Use Defense" published in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, July 15, 1996.

Subsequent to the 1995 Netcom opinion, the Congress enacted, in 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA was HR 2281 in the 105th Congress. In particular, the DMCA added a new § 512 to the Copyright Act regarding "Limitations on liability relating to material online".

§ 512(c) provides, in part, that "A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, ... for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of material that resides on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider, if the service provider --
   (A)(i) does not have actual knowledge that the material or an activity using the material on the system or network is infringing; (ii) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent; or (iii) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material;
   (B) does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, in a case in which the service provider has the right and ability to control such activity; and
   (C) upon notification of claimed infringement as described in paragraph (3), responds expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity."

CoStar asserted that the DMCA codified and supplanted the Netcom opinion. It argued that LoopNet is strictly liable for infringement under § 106 because any immunity for the passive conduct of an ISP must come from the safe harbor immunity provision of the DMCA. CoStar further argued that since LoopNet could not meet the conditions for immunity under the DMCA, it is liable for direct copyright infringement.

The Court of Appeals first reviewed the Netcom opinion and concluded that it "made a particularly rational interpretation of § 106 when it concluded that a person had to engage in volitional conduct -- specifically, the act constituting infringement -- to become a direct infringer. As the court in Netcom concluded, such a construction of the Act is especially important when it is applied to cyberspace. There are thousands of owners, contractors, servers, and users involved in the Internet whose role involves the storage and transmission of data in the establishment and maintenance of an Internet facility. Yet their conduct is not truly ``copying´´ as understood by the Act; rather, they are conduits from or to would-be copiers and have no interest in the copy itself."

It then rejected the argument that the DMCA supplanted the Netcom opinion.

It noted that § 512(l) provides that "The failure of a service provider's conduct to qualify for limitation of liability under this section shall not bear adversely upon the consideration of a defense by the service provider that the service provider's conduct is not infringing under this title or any other defense."

It concluded that this section means that ISPs can rely upon prior case law in addition to the various safe harbor provisions of § 512. It wrote that "in enacting the DMCA, Congress did not preempt the decision in Netcom nor foreclose the continuing development of liability through court decisions interpreting §§ 106 and 501 of the Copyright Act."

The Court further concluded that "It is clear that Congress intended the DMCA’s safe harbor for ISPs to be a floor, not a ceiling, of protection. Congress said nothing about whether passive ISPs should ever be held strictly liable as direct infringers or whether plaintiffs suing ISPs should instead proceed under contributory theories. The DMCA has merely added a second step to assessing infringement liability for Internet service providers, after it is determined whether they are infringers in the first place under the preexisting Copyright Act. Thus, the DMCA is irrelevant to determining what constitutes a prima facie case of copyright infringement."

The Court added that "At bottom, we hold that ISPs, when passively storing material at the direction of users in order to make that material available to other users upon their request, do not "copy" the material in direct violation of § 106 of the Copyright Act. Agreeing with the analysis in Netcom, we hold that the automatic copying, storage, and transmission of copyrighted materials, when instigated by others, does not render an ISP strictly liable for copyright infringement under §§ 501 and 106 of the Copyright Act. An ISP, however, can become liable indirectly upon a showing of additional involvement sufficient to establish a contributory or vicarious violation of the Act. In that case, the ISP could still look to the DMCA for a safe harbor if it fulfilled the conditions therein."

Judge Niemeyer wrote the opinion of the Court, in which Judge Michael joined. Judge Gregory dissented.

This case is Costar Group v. Loopnet, Inc., U.S. Court of Appeals for the No. 03-1911, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Judge Deborah Chasanow presiding, D.C. No. CA-99-2983-DKC.

The case also attracted amicus curiae participation. Record and movie companies supported the copyright holder, CoStar. Phone companies BellSouth and Verizon, internet and e-commerce companies Amazon, eBay, Google, and Yahoo, and several internet trade groups filed an amicus brief [39 pages in PDF] in support of the ISP, LoopNet.

DOJ States That It Is Incapable of Copying its Own Data

5/24. Thomas McIntyre of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Criminal Division wrote a letter [PDF] to the Center for Public Integrity (CIP) denying its request for electronic records made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. The CPI had requested a copy in electronic format of the Criminal Division's Foreign Agent Registration Unit's database of foreign lobbyists' registrations made pursuant to the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

The DOJ denied the request on the grounds that "implementing such a request risks a crash that cannot be fixed and could result in a major loss of data". The DOJ added that "the current application was not designed for mass export" and that the DOJ has "experienced substantial problems with the current system". See also, CIP release.

The DOJ and its FBI, along with the Internal Revenue Service, have long suffered from serious information technology deficiencies, such as lost and stolen computers, security vulnerabilities, and poor IT management.

See for example, story titled "FBI Loses 317 Laptops" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 493, August 16, 2002; story titled "DOJ OIG Report Criticizes FBI Management of IT Resources" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 572, December 20, 2002; story titled "Sen. Grassley Condemns IRS for 2,300 Missing Computers" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 342, January 9, 2002; story titled "IRS Loses More Computers, Jeopardizes Taxpayer Info" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 493, August 16, 2002; story titled "GAO Report Finds That Computer Weaknesses At IRS Put Taxpayer Data At Risk" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 673, June 4, 2003; and story titled "IRS Data Vulnerable" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 145, March 16, 2001.

At an oversight hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 20, 2004, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), stated to FBI Director Robert Mueller that "the FBI has not solved even its most basic problem: Its information technology systems are hopelessly out of date. In this regard, the FBI is not much better off today than it was before September 11, 2001, when it was unable to do a computer search of its own investigative files to make critical links and connections. By all accounts, the Trilogy solution has been a disaster." He added that "I suspect most small county sheriff's departments have better computer systems." See, story titled "FBI Director Mueller Appears Before Senate Judiciary Committee" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 904, May 24, 2004.

Notice of Publication Schedule
The TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert will not be published on Friday, July 2 or Monday, July 5.
1st Circuit Holds Wiretap Act Does Not Apply to E-Mail in Storage

6/29. The U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued its split opinion in USA v. Bradford Councilman, a criminal case involving the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and unauthorized accessing of the content of stored e-mail messages.

The Court held that there was no violation of the Wiretap Act, as amended by the ECPA, when stored e-mail was accessed, because, since it was in storage, there was no interception within the meaning of the statute.

Judge Torruella wrote the opinion for the three judge panel. Judge Cyr joined. Judge Lipez wrote a long and adamant dissent. The opinion reflects the difficulties in applying the language of Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (which addressed wiretaps in the context of analog telephone networks) and the 1986 ECPA (which addressed electronic communications) to more recent internet based communications technologies.

The defendant, Bradford Councilman, was an officer of a company that ran an online rare and out of print book listing service. The company also provided e-mail service to some of its book dealer customers. The U.S. Attorney alleged that Councilman used a program to intercept, copy and store e-mail messages from to the book dealer customers, and that Councilman read these messages to gain commercial advantage.

A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (DMass) returned an indictment of Bradford Councilman. Only Count I is at issue in this appeal. It alleges violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 for conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. § 2511.

The Appeals Court summarized Count I. "Defendant allegedly conspired to intercept the electronic communications, to intentionally disclose the contents of the intercepted communications, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1)(a), and to use the contents of the unlawfully obtained electronic communication, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1)(c). Finally, the government alleged that defendant had conspired to cause a person to divulge the content of the communications while in transmission to persons other than the addressees of the communications, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2511(3)(a). The object of the conspiracy, according to the government, was to exploit the content of e-mail from, the Internet retailer, to dealers in order to develop a list of books, learn about competitors and attain a commercial advantage ..."

The District Court dismissed Count I. See, opinion at 245 F. Supp. 2d 319. The Appeals Court affirmed.

18 U.S.C. § 371 provides that "If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

18 U.S.C. § 2511(1) provides, in part, that "any person who (a) intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication ... shall be punished as provided in subsection (4) or shall be subject to suit as provided in subsection (5)."

The majority noted that 18 U.S.C. § 2510 contains definitions of both "wire communication" and "electronic communication". The definition of "wire communication" includes "any electronic storage of such communication", while the definition of "electronic communication" makes no reference to stored communications.

Thus, no interception can occur while the e-mails are in electronic storage. And, since there is no interception, there is no violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2511.

The majority commented that "The Wiretap Act's purpose was, and continues to be, to protect the privacy of communications. We believe that the language of the statute makes clear that Congress meant to give lesser protection to electronic communications than wire and oral communications. Moreover, at this juncture, much of the protection may have been eviscerated by the realities of modern technology. We observe, as most courts have, that the language may be out of step with the technological realities of computer crimes. However, it is not the province of this court to graft meaning onto the statute where Congress has spoken plainly."

This case is USA v. Bradford Councilman, No. 03-1383, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge Michael Ponsor presiding.

Judge Lipez wrote in dissent that this "approach to the Wiretap Act would undo decades of practice and precedent regarding the scope of the Wiretap Act and would essentially render the Act irrelevant to the protection of wire and electronic privacy. Since I find it inconceivable that Congress could have intended such a result merely by omitting the term ``electronic storage´´ from its definition of ``electronic communication,´´ I respectfully dissent."

Related Cases. On May 9, 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued its opinion in In Re Pharmatrak Privacy Litigation, reversing a District Court summary judgment in a case brought under the ECPA involving web site monitoring. This case is also reported at 329 F.3d 9. See also, story titled "1st Circuit Holds Monitoring Web Site Traffic Can Violate Wiretap Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 659, May 12, 2003.

On August 23, 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [39 pages in PDF] in Konop v. Hawaiian Airlines. In that case the Court held that the Wiretap Act only applies to "acquisition contemporaneous with transmission", not to acquisition of stored communications. The defendants in the present case only acquired stored e-mail. This case is also reported at 302 F.3d 868. See also, story titled "9th Circuit Rules on Application of Wiretap Act and Stored Communications Act to Secure Web Sites" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 498, August 26, 2002.

See also, opinion in Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service, 36 F.3d 457 (5th Cir. 1994).

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, July 1

The House and Senate will not meet the week of June 28 through July 5.

10:30 AM. The Heritage Foundation will host a panel discussion titled "Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: A One-Year Review". The speakers will be Daniel Sutherland (Department of Homeland Security), Daniel Edgar (ACLU), and Paul Rosenzweig (Heritage). See, notice. For more information, contact Clayton Callen at 202 608-6052. Location: Heritage, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE.

Deadline to submit to the Copyright Office (CO) updated notices of intent to use the statutory licenses under 17 U.S.C. §§ 112 and 114. On March 11, 2004, the CO published a notice in the Federal Register regarding its "interim regulations specifying notice and recordkeeping requirements for use of sound recordings under two statutory licenses under the Copyright Act." The CO further announced that "Electronic data format and delivery requirements for records of use as well as regulations governing prior records of use shall be announced in future Federal Register documents." The interim notice and recordkeeping regulations took effect on April 12, 2004. See, Federal Register, March 11, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 48, at Page 11515-11531.

Sunday, July 4

Independence Day.

Monday, July 5

Neither the House nor the Senate will meet.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal offices will be closed. See, Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) list of federal holidays.

Tuesday, July 6

The House will return from its Independence Day recess at 2:00 PM.

The Senate will return from its Independence Day recess at 9:45 AM. It will consider the nomination of Leon Holmes to be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. It will then begin consideration of S 2062, the Class Action Fairness bill.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Sony Electronics v. Soundview Technologies. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on judicial nominees. Press contact: Margarita Tapia (Hatch) at 202 224-5225 or David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing titled "Implementation of the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement". Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

12:15 - 1:45 PM. The New America Foundation (NAF) will host a brown bag lunch titled "Cyberterrorism: How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet". The speakers be Gabriel Weimann (Haifa University) and James Fallows (Atlantic Monthly). RSVP to Jennifer Buntman at 202 986-4901 or Location: NAF, 1630 Connecticut Ave, NW, 7th Floor.

Wednesday, July 7
10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "Voice Over Internet Protocol Services: Will the Technology Disrupt the Industry or Will Regulation Disrupt the Technology?". The hearing will be webcast. Press contact: Jon Tripp (Barton) at 202 225-5735, or Sean Bonyun at 202-225-3761. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

Thursday, July 8

9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. The event will be webcast. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an executive business meeting. Press contact: Margarita Tapia (Hatch) at 202 224-5225 or David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Business Objects v. MicroStrategy, No. 04-1009. Location: Courtroom 203, 717 Madison Place, NW.

The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security will hold a seminar titled "Essentials of Export Controls". The price to attend is $75. For more information, contact Yvette Springer at 202 482-6031. Location: Ronald Reagan Trade Center, Washington DC.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding a national one call notification system. The FCC adopted this NPRM on May 13, 2004, and released the text [34 pages in PDF] on May 14, 2004. See, story titled "FCC Adopts NPRM Regarding One Call Notification System" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 899, May 17, 2004. This NPRM is FCC 04-111 in CC Docket No. 92-105. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 8, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 110, at Pages 31930 - 31939.

Friday, July 9

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Chamberlain Group v. Skylink Technologies, No. 04-1118. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security will hold a seminar titled "Export Management Systems". The price to attend is $100. For more information, contact Yvette Springer at 202 482-6031. Location: Ronald Reagan Trade Center, Washington DC.

Extended deadline to submit comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for its June 21, 2004 workshop on the uses, efficiencies, and implications for consumers associated with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. See, original notice in the Federal Register, April 15, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 73, at Pages 20523 - 20525, and notice [PDF] in the Federal Register (May 24, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 100, at Pages 29540 - 29541) extending the deadline to July 9. See also, FTC web page for this workshop.

Bills Introduced in the Senate

6/24. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) introduced S 2577, the "Broadband Rural Research Investment Act of 2004". This bill would authorize the appropriation of $25 Million per year for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct research on "enhancing or facilitating the availability of broadband telecommunications services in rural areas and other remote areas" and "facilitating or enhancing access to the Internet through broadband telecommunications services". The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

6/24. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) introduced S 2578, "Broadband Expansion Grant Initiative of 2004". This bill would authorize the appropriation of $100 Million per year for the Department of Commerce (DOC) to provide grants and loans "to facilitate the deployment by the private sector of broadband telecommunications networks and capabilities (including wireless and satellite networks and capabilities) to underserved rural areas". (Parentheses in original.) The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

6/24. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) introduced S 2582, an untitled bill to authorize the appropriation of $50 Million for grants to higher education institutions, state and local government entities and non-profit economic development organizations for "broadband-based economic development". The bill provides that the purposes of the grants shall be "(1) to assess the telecommunications infrastructure of a region; (2) to assess the telecommunications demand in a region; and (3) to organize programs to boost the supply of high-speed telecommunications to a region, including demand aggregation programs." The bill was referred to the Environment and Public Works Committee.

6/24. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), Sen. George Allen (R-VA), Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), and Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) introduced S 2603, the "Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2004". It was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

More News

6/30. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell gave a speech [PDF] at the University of Tennessee Telehealth Network in Knoxville, Tennessee. He praised broadband, stated that it is critical for rural areas, and discussed some of the things that the FCC is doing to promote broadband deployment in rural areas.

6/30. The research and development tax credit provision of the Internal Revenue Code expired on June 30. Both the House and Senate bills to repeal the ETI tax regime would extend the R&D credit through December 31, 2005. The House has passed its bill, HR 4520, the "American Jobs Creation Act of 2004". The Senate has passed its bill, S 1637, the "Jumpstart Our Business Strength (JOBS) Act". However, the two bills have not been reconciled.

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