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August 2, 2004, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 950.
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Apple and RealNetworks Dispute Legality of Harmony Technology

7/30. RealNetworks announced a product which it has named "Harmony Technology". RealNetworks describes this as a digital rights management (DRM) translation system that will enable consumers to transfer purchased music to most manufacturers music devices. For example, it would enable someone who has purchased music recordings from Apple iTunes to transfer the recordings to devices other than Apple's iPod and iPod mini. Apple is upset.

RealNetworks stated in a release on July 26 that "Harmony Technology frees consumers from the limitation of being locked into a specific portable device when they buy digital music. Now consumers can build their library of downloads secure in the knowledge that it will play on virtually whatever device they choose."

It added that "With Harmony Technology, RealPlayer Music Store supports more than 70 secure portable media devices, including all 4 generations of the iPod and iPod mini, 14 products from Creative, 14 from Rio, 7 from RCA, 9 from palmOne, 18 from iRiver, and products from Dell, Gateway, and Samsung. Generally speaking, Harmony supports any device that uses the Apple FairPlay DRM, The Microsoft Windows Media Audio DRM, or the RealNetworks Helix DRM, giving RealPlayer Music Store support for more secure devices than any other music store on the Internet."

On July 29 Apple stated in a release that "We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod(r), and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real's Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods."

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) contains, among other provisions, anti-circumvention provisions.

17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(A) of the Copyright Act, which was added in 1998 by the DMCA, provides that "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

Then, § 1201(a)(2)(A) provides that "No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that --- (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;"

Furthermore, § 1201(b)(1)(A) provides that "No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that --- (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof;"

On July 30, Real Networks responded in a release that "Harmony follows in a well-established tradition of fully legal, independently developed paths to achieve compatibility. There is ample and clear precedent for this activity, for instance the first IBM compatible PCs from Compaq. Harmony creates a way to lock content from Real's music store in a way that is compatible with the iPod, Windows Media DRM devices, and Helix DRM devices."

RealNetworks added that "Harmony technology does not remove or disable any digital rights management system. Apple has suggested that new laws such as the DMCA are relevant to this dispute. In fact, the DMCA is not designed to prevent the creation of new methods of locking content and explicitly allows the creation of interoperable software."

It argued that "Consumers, and not Apple, should be the ones choosing what music goes on their iPod."

FCC Issues NOI on Violent TV Programming

7/29. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) [15 pages in PDF] that seeks public comment on "issues relating to the presentation of violent programming on television and its impact on children."

The FCC seek comments in response to the following questions. "How much violent programming is there, and what are the trends? What are the effects of viewing violent programming on children and other segments of the population? If particular portrayals of violence are more likely to cause deleterious effects than others, what specific kinds of programming should be the focus of any further public policymaking in this area? Should any further public policymaking address all violence or just excessive or gratuitous violence, and how should that be defined? Are the ratings system and the V-chip accomplishing their intended purpose, or are there additional mechanisms that might be developed to control exposure to media violence? Finally, are there legal constraints on either Congress or the Commission to regulate violent programming?"

Michael CoppsFCC Commissioner Michael Copps wrote in a separate statement [PDF] that "Hundreds of studies over decades document the harmful impact that exposure to graphic and excessive media violence has on the physical and mental health of our children. The US Surgeon General, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and virtually every other leading medical and scientific organization that has studied this issue have reached the same conclusion about the harmful impact of media violence. Yet, the Commission today seems to ignore this wealth of scientific data even going so far as to ask in this Notice whether there are benefits of exposure to televised violence by our children."

This NOI is FCC 04-175 in MB Docket No. 04-261. Public comments are due by September 15, 2004. Reply comments are due by October 15, 2004.

Rep. Nadler Introduces Bill to Criminalize Accessing Stored E-Mail

7/22. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and others introduced HR 4977, the "E-mail Privacy Protection Act of 2004". The bill would amend the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act, to provide that accessing stored e-mail communications, including by e-mail service providers, can constitute criminal violations. This bill responds to the recent Appeals Court decision in USA v. Councilman, and perhaps also, Google's announcement of its proposed Gmail service.

Rep. Jerrold NadlerRep. Nadler (at right) is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over this bill. While this bill deals with internet privacy, an issue also addressed by the House Commerce Committee, since this bill only would amend the Criminal Code, it falls within the jurisdiction of the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill would do two things. First, it would amend the definition in the Wiretap Act of "electronic communication" to include certain stored communications. Second, it would add a new subsection in the Store Communications Act that would prohibit an electronic communication service provider from acquiring or using electronic communications that it has stored.

18 U.S.C. § 2510(12) currently provides that ''electronic communication'' means "any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photooptical system that affects interstate or foreign commerce, but does not include -- (A) any wire or oral communication; (B) any communication made through a tone-only paging device; (C) any communication from a tracking device (as defined in section 3117 of this title); or (D) electronic funds transfer information stored by a financial institution in a communications system used for the electronic storage and transfer of funds;"

HR 4977 would amend this by by inserting the phrase "and includes any temporary, intermediate storage of that communication incidental to the electronic transmission thereof," after the word "commerce".

On June 29, 2004 the U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued its split opinion in USA v. Bradford Councilman, a criminal case involving the Wiretap Act and unauthorized accessing of the content of stored e-mail messages. (There was no Stored Communications Act charge in that case.) The Court held that there was no violation of the Wiretap Act when stored e-mail was accessed, because, since it was in storage, there was no interception within the meaning of the statute.

The Court noted that § 2510 contains definitions of both "wire communication" and "electronic communication", and that the definition of "wire communication" includes "any electronic storage of such communication", while the definition of "electronic communication" makes no reference to stored communications. See, story titled "1st Circuit Holds Wiretap Act Does Not Apply to E-Mail in Storage" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 930, July 1, 2004.

Second, Rep. Nadler's bill would create a new prohibition in the Stored Communications Act. It would add to 18 U.S.C. § 2701 a new subsection (d): "Improper Acquisition by Service Provider -- Whoever, being a provider of an electronic communication service, or an agent or employee of such a provider, acquires or uses the contents of a stored electronic communication of which that provider, agent, or employee is not an intended recipient other than for the purposes of providing that electronic communication service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

This section would have the effect of prohibiting the sort of e-mail snooping conducted by the defendant in the Councilman case. However, it is written in language that is broad and vague enough to possibly encompass services such as Google's Gmail that mechanically scan e-mail to facilitate the targeting of ads.

Google's Gmail is a new free browser based e-mail service that provides users with one gigabyte of storage space, which is far more than any other free e-mail service. In addition, Google's equipment scans e-mail messages, searches for key words, and then displays targeted advertisements with e-mail messages in the browser. Google further states that no person reads the messages.

See also, stories titled "Google's New Free E-Mail Service Starts Privacy Debate" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 870, April 6, 2004; "Privacy Groups Request That Google Suspend Its New Free Gmail Service" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 872, April 8, 2004; "EPIC Inquires About Use of Google Technologies by FBI" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 889, May 3, 2004; and "Privacy Groups Argue that All Google Gmail Users May Be Criminals" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 891, May 5, 2004.

The three original cosponsors of the bill are Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

Rep. Inslee Introduces E-mail Privacy Act

7/22. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and others introduced HR 4956, the "E-mail Privacy Act of 2004". Like the Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) bill, HR 4977, this bill responds to the Appeals Court opinion in USA v. Councilman, and provides increased legal protection under the Criminal Code for stored e-mail communications. However, Rep. Inslee's bill would provide less onerous limitations upon the activities of e-mail service providers.

Like Rep. Nadler's bill, Rep. Inslee's bill would amend the definitional section of the Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2510. However, Nadler's bill would amend the definition of "electronic communication" while Inslee's bill would amend the definition of "intercept".

Currently, subsection 2510(4) defines ''intercept'' as "the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device."

Rep. Inslee's bill would add on to this definition the following phrase: "and, with respect to an electronic communication, includes the acquisition of the contents of the communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device, at any point between the point of origin and the point when it is made available to the recipient".

Also, like Rep. Nadler's bill, Rep. Inslee's bill would amend the Stored Communications Act.

Currently, 18 U.S.C. § 2701(a) contains the basic prohibition, while subsection (c) provides exceptions.

Subsection (c)(1) provides that the basic prohibition does not apply to conduct authorized "by the person or entity providing a wire or electronic communications service". Hence, in the Councilman case the defendant, Bradford Councilman, was not charged with violation of the Stored Communications Act because he was an officer of the service provider.

Rep. Inslee's bill would amend subsection (c)(1) by adding the following phrase: "to the extent the access is a necessary incident to the rendition of the service, the protection of the rights or property of the provider of that service, or compliance with section 2702".

Since, Councilman secretly snooped on one of his customers for commercial advantage, he could have been charged under the Stored Communications Act, if Rep. Inslee's language had been law at the time.

Nevertheless, the language of Rep. Inslee's bill would still allow service providers to access stored communications if it is "a necessary incident to the rendition of the service" or for other reasons. Arguably, mechanically reading e-mail in a free e-mail service to place targeted ads on web pages displaying that e-mail would "a necessary incident to the rendition of the service".

Nevertheless, both bills lack clarity.

Rep. Jay Inslee

Rep. Inslee (at right) stated in a release that "The American people are no longer confident that the law protects their right to communicate privately via E-mail or other Internet communications, and Congress will act to modernize America’s privacy laws if the courts fail to maintain a strong privacy standard."

The three original cosponsors of the bill are Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA). Rep. Flake and Rep. Delahunt are members of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over this bill.

Rep. Flake stated in the same release that "People who communicate through E-mail deserve and expect the same privacy rights as those who use the telephone. This bill reaffirms that expectation."

GAO Reports on DOD's Global Information Grid

7/29. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [37 pages in PDF] titled "Defense Acquisitions: The Global Information Grid and Challenges Facing Its Implementation".

The Global Information Grid (GIG) is a planned, internet like, secure network and related information capabilities for Department of Defense (DOD) operations. However, it will be less dependent on ground based and fixed systems and equipment to transmit and route data, and more dependent on space based and mobile ad hoc systems. The GIG will cost at least $21 Billion through 2010. Deployment of core capabilities is scheduled for around 2010, while full deployment is projected for around 2020.

The GAO report states that "To achieve long-term dominance over evolving, sophisticated threats, the Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking to make transformational improvements to military capabilities. The transformation involves achieving information and decision superiority over adversaries, striking with precision, deploying and sustaining military power rapidly, and dominating the “battlespace” on land, at sea, in the air, and in space. DOD has said that a successful transformation hinges largely on disparate weapon systems sharing information seamlessly ..."

The report continues that "A primary difference between the GIG initiative and previous efforts is that it focuses on promoting interoperability by building an Internet-like network for DOD related operations based on common standards and protocols rather than on trying to establish interoperability after individual systems and platforms have been fielded."

The House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats, and Capabilities requested this report to obtain a summary of the GIG, and to identify challenges facing the GIG.

The report finds that "The most critical challenge ahead for DOD is making the GIG a reality. While DOD has taken steps to define its vision and objectives for the GIG on paper and in policy and is beginning to make a substantial investment in the GIG as well as in systems that will be heavily dependent on the GIG, it is not fully known how DOD will meet these objectives."

See also, DOD Directive No. 8100.1, dated September 19, 2002, and titled "Global Information Grid (GIG) Overarching Policy", and the DOD's GIG website.

Tech Issues in Presidential Election Campaign

7/31. The Presidential candidates touched on several technology related issues in recent speeches. They discussed trade, protectionism, outsourcing, and education and training, although in vague terms.

President Bush has been talking about math and science education and high tech jobs. For example, on July 30 he gave a campaign speech in Springfield, Missouri. He said that "This world of ours is changing. The jobs of the future will require greater knowledge and higher level skills. We'll reform our high schools to make sure a high school diploma means something. We will expand math and science education so our young people can compete in a high tech world. We will expand the use of the Internet to bring high-level training into our classrooms. With four more years, we'll help a rising generation gain the skills and the confidence to achieve the American Dream."

This is a component that Bush also repeats in other speeches. See for example, speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 30, speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 31, speech in Cambridge, Ohio on July 31, and speech in Canton, Ohio on July 31..

Bush has also spoken about trade recently. He said in his July 31 speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that "In order to keep jobs here, in order to make sure this economy continues to grow, we will reject economic isolationism. We will insist on a level playing field when it comes to trade."

He added in his July 31 speech in Canton, Ohio that "I know there's great concern about trade in eastern Ohio. Let me tell you something about trade. I believe that America and Americans can compete with anybody, anyplace, anywhere so long as the rules are fair. We understand what currency valuations can do to manufacturing, particularly in eastern Ohio. We've been working with China to put fair policy in place. Just give us a chance to compete, is all we're asking. We've been enforcing our trade agreements. We're making sure that our workers and our manufacturers are treated fairly."

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) also alluded to trade and offshore outsourcing. He said in his speech to the Democratic National Convention on July 29 that his plan is to "close the tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas. Instead, we will reward companies that create and keep good paying jobs where they belong -- in the good old U.S.A." He further referenced international trade. He said that "we will trade and compete in the world. But our plan calls for a fair playing field".

Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) was more specific in his speech to the Democratic National Convention on July 28. He said that "Our plan will stop giving tax breaks to companies that outsource your jobs. Instead, we will give tax breaks to American companies that keep jobs here in America. And we will invest in the jobs of the future -- in the technologies and innovation to ensure that America stays ahead of the competition."

Kerry also said that "our economic plan to build a stronger America" includes "investment in technology and innovation that will create the good-paying jobs of the future". See also, Kerry Edwards website.

Terrorism Threat Level Raised for Financial Services Facilities in Washington DC, NYC and NJ

8/1. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge stated at a press conference in Washington DC on Sunday afternoon, August 1, that "the United States Government is raising the threat level to Code Orange for the financial services sector in New York City, Northern New Jersey and Washington, DC." See, transcript.

Tom RidgeRidge (at right) explained that "As of now, this is what we know: reports indicate that al-Qaeda is targeting several specific buildings, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in DC; Prudential Financial in Northern New Jersey; and Citigroup buildings and the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Let me assure you, actions to further strengthen security around these buildings are already underway. Additionally, we're concerned about targets beyond these and are working to get more information."

He added that "Compared to previous threat reporting, these intelligence reports have provided a level of detail that is very specific. The quality of this intelligence, based on multiple reporting streams in multiple locations, is rarely seen and is alarming in both the amount and specificity of the information."

The main World Bank building is located at 1818 H St. NW, just off of Pennsylvania Ave. between the White House and George Washington University (GWU). It takes up the block between 18th and 19th and G and H Streets. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) building is located at 700 19th St. NW. It takes up the block just to the west of the World Bank. In the next block to the west is the GWU School of Law.

The Federal Reserve Bank buildings are several blocks to the south. The main Treasury Building and Treasury annex are several blocks to the east, on the other side of the White House, near the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Bush Gives Majoras and Liebowitz Recess Appointments to the FTC

7/30. President Bush announced his intent to give recess appointments to Deborah Majoras and Jon Leibowitz to be Commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Bush intends to designate Majoras as Chairman, replacing Timothy Muris. See, White House release.

Bush nominated Majoras for a Republican position on the FTC on May 11, 2004. This is for the remainder of a seven year term expiring on September 25, 2008. Bush nominated Liebowitz on April 8, 2004 for a Democratic position on the FTC.

On May 11, 2004, Muris wrote in a brief statement that "I plan to leave the Federal Trade Commission this summer." See, story titled "Muris Resigns, Majoras Nominated" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 896, May 12, 2004.

The Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the FTC, held a hearing on both nominees on June 2, 2004. See, story titled "Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on FTC Nominees" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 910, June 3, 2004.

The FTC handles many technology related matters. However, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) oppose the nomination of Majoras for non-technology related reasons. They are engaging in partisan election year posturing on a matter largely unrelated to matters that will be decided by the FTC -- gasoline prices on the West Coast. The FTC has no authority to regulate gasoline prices. Nor does it have authority to impose an industry wide moratorium on oil industry mergers, as Sen. Boxer has requested. Both Sen. Wyden and Sen. Boxer face elections in November.

The Senate Commerce Committee held a meeting to vote on both nominees on July 22. However, Sen. Wyden invoked an arcane Senate procedural rule that prevented the votes from taking place. The Senate then recessed until early September. See, story titled "Sen. Wyden Blocks FTC Nominees" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 945, July 26, 2004.

More People and Appointments

Jonathan Dudas7/30. President Bush announced his intent to give a recess appointment to Jonathan Dudas (at right) to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He was named Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO in 2002. When the former Director, James Rogan, left in January of 2004, Dudas became the acting Director. Bush nominated Dudas on March 22, 2004 to replace Rogan. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on his nomination on May 6, 2004. See, story titled "Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Nomination of Dudas to Head the USPTO" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 894, May 10, 2004. The SJC approved his nomination, without objection, on May 20. See, White House release.

7/19. Brad Huther was named CEO of the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI). He replaces Bruce Lehman, who joined the Washington DC office of the law firm of Akin Gump. Huther previously worked at the Department of Commerce. In 2002 and 2003 Huther worked at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as Senior Advisor to the former head of the USPTO, James Rogan. From 1999 through 2002, Huther was a Special Attaché to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Lehman, who was the first head of the USPTO during the Clinton Gore administration, remains the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the IIPI. Before his appointment to the USPTO, he worked for the law firm of Swidler & Berlin. And before that, he worked for the House Judiciary Committee. See, IIPI release.

7/27. The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) hired Erica Ferri and Brian O'Hara as government affairs representatives. Ferri previously worked for Rep. Amo Houghton (R-NY), who has announced that he will not run for re-election. See, NTCA release.

7/30. Lawrence Tu was named SVP and General Counsel of Dell Inc. He replaces Thomas Green, who had been Dell's General Counsel since 1994. Tu was previously EVP and General Counsel of NBC Universal. See, Dell release.

7/29. Computer Associates International, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has nominated Laura Unger, a former Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to be an independent Director. She will replace Alex Serge Vieux. Unger worked for the Senate Banking Committee before her appointment to the SEC. See, CAI release.

7/28. Robert Acker was named VP of the RealPlayer Business at RealNetworks, Inc. He was a founding member of the XM Satellite Radio team. Aref Matin was named VP for Carrier and System Software. He previously worked for Juniper Networks and Siemens. See, release.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Monday, August 2

The House and Senate will not meet from July 26 through September 6.

Deadline to submit applications to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Technology Administration (TA) to join the TA's business development mission to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This delegation will include U.S. based senior executives representing the information and communications technology sector. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 26, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 102, at Pages 29928 - 29930.

Tuesday, August 3

10:00 AM. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee (SGAC) will hold a hearing on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States's (9-11 Commission) recommendation to establish a National Counterterrorism Center. See, 9-11 Commission report, and SGAC notice. Location: Room 216, Hart Building.

Wednesday, August 4

9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. The agenda [PDF] includes The agenda includes a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Declaratory Ruling (DR) regarding the Department of Justice's (DOJ) request that the FCC administratively amend the CALEA statute to cover information services, such as VOIP. It also includes consideration of various applications for certification of digital output protection technologies and recording methods under the FCC's broadcast flag rule. The event will be webcast. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).

Thursday, August 5

9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States's (9-11 Commission) recommendations regarding transportation security. See, 9-11 Commission report and SCC notice. Press contact: Rebecca Fisher at 202 224-2670. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

Friday, August 6

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Sony Electronics, Inc., et al. v. Soundview Technologies, Inc., a patent infringement and antitrust case involving V-Chip parental television control technology. This is App. Ct. No. 04-1057, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, No. 3:00cv754(JBA), Judge Janet Arterton presiding. See, opinion published at 157 F. Supp. 2d 180 (2001), opinion granting summary judgment of non-infringement in favor of Sony and other television manufacturers, published at 225 F. Supp. 2d 164 (2002), and August 28, 2003 opinion [8 pages in PDF] granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on Soundview's antitrust and unfair trade practices counterclaims. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

2:30 PM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Irdeto Access v. Echostar, No. 04-1154. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

1:00 - 4:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a continuing legal education (CLE) program titled "USA PATRIOT Act Primer". The speakers will include Sharie Brown (Foley & Lardner). See, notice. Prices vary from $80 to $95. For more information, call 202 626-3488. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H Street, NW.

EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 8. Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its public notice (DA 04-1690) requesting public comments on constitutionally permissible ways for the FCC to identify and eliminate market entry barriers for small telecommunications businesses and to further opportunities in the allocation of spectrum based services for small businesses and businesses owned by women and minorities. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 22, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 119, at Pages 34672 - 34673. See also, notice of extension [PDF].

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the process for designation of eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) and the FCC's rules regarding high-cost universal service support. This NPRM is FCC 04-127 in Docket No. 96-45. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 7, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 129, at Pages 40839 - 40843.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the rechannelization of portions of the 17.7-19.7 GHz band. This NPRM is FCC 04-77 in WT Docket No. 04-143. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 7, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 129, at Pages 40843 - 40850.

Deadline to submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding its Special 301 out of cycle review of Israel and other nations. Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, which is codified at 19 U.S.C. § 2242, requires the USTR to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. This is also referred to as the Special 301 provision. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 13, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 133, at Pages 42077-42078.

Monday, August 9

10:00 AM. 2:30 PM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Business Object v. Microstrategy, No. 04-1009. Location: Courtroom 203, 717 Madison Place, NW.

Extended deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its proceeding titled "In the Matter of Review of the Commission's Broadcast and Cable Equal Employment Opportunity Rules and Policies". This is MM Docket No. 98-204. See, notice of extension [PDF].

More FCC News

7/30. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register that describes, and sets comment deadlines for, its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) [11 pages in PDF] that proposes to require that television and radio broadcasters retain program recordings for a period of time for purposes of enforcing the statutory prohibition, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1464, against obscene, indecent, or profane programming. The FCC adopted this item on June 21, 2004 and released it on July 7, 2004. This NPRM is FCC 04-145 MM Docket No. 04-232. See, story titled "FCC Proposes That Broadcasters Retain Recordings To Facilitate Enforcement of Smut Ban" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 933, July 8, 2004. Comments are due by August 27, 2004. Reply comments are due by September 27, 2004. See, Federal Register, July 30, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 146, at Pages 45665 - 45668.

7/27. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the award of 154 Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service MVDDS licenses following the completion of Auction No. 53, review of the applications, and receipt of payments. See, FCC Public Notice [PDF], and Attachment A [PDF], the list of granted applications.

More News

7/30. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a notice in the Federal Register that describes, and states the effective date for, its final rule amending its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by revising the fees charged to entities accessing the National Do Not Call Registry. The effective date is September 1, 2004. See, Federal Register, July 30, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 146, at Pages 45580 - 45586.

7/29. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will hold a public hearing on on September 23, 2004 to assist the USTR in preparing its annual report to the Congress on the Peoples Republic of China's compliance with the commitments that it made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The USTR seeks comments on, among other issues, intellectual property rights and intellectual property enforcement. Persons wishing to testify orally at the hearing must provide written notification and a copy of their written testimony by 12:00 NOON on September 10, 2004. Written comments are due by 12:00 NOON on September 15, 2004. See, Federal Register, July 29, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 145, at Pages 45369 - 45370.

7/26. The Copyright Office published a notice in the Federal Register that "directs all claimants to royalty fees collected for calendar year 2002 under the cable statutory license to submit comments as to whether a Phase I or Phase II controversy exists as to the distribution of those fees and announces the deadline for the filing of Notices of Intention to Participate in a royalty distribution proceeding concerning those royalty fees." Comments and Notices of Intention to Participate are due by August 25, 2004. See, Federal Register, July 26, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 142, at Pages 44548 - 44549.

7/28. SBC announced that it filed a complaint in Superior Court for the state of California against the City of Stockton alleging that its ordinance assessing a tax on telephone customers to fund an E-911 program is illegal. See, SBC release.

7/30. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [56 pages in PDF] titled "Information Technology: DOD's Acquisition Policies and Guidance Need to Incorporate Additional Best Practices and Controls". The report finds that while the "DOD's revisions to its systems acquisition policies and guidance incorporate many best practices for acquiring business systems", the revised policies and guidance for acquisition of information technology "do not incorporate a number of other best practices, particularly those associated with acquiring commercial component-based business systems."

Notice of Change of E-Mail Address

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