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October 7, 2004, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 992.
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House Approves Satellite Home Viewer Extension Reauthorization Act

10/6. The House approved HR 4518, the "Satellite Home Viewer Extension Reauthorization Act", or SHVERA, by voice vote. The Senate has yet to pass this bill.

The bill just approved by the House combines provisions from HR 4501, the House Commerce Committee bill, and HR 4518, the House Judiciary Committee bill. It allows satellite providers to continue providing local and network broadcasts to viewers otherwise unable to receive local programming in their area. It also allows satellite operators to carry certain out of market signals, to provide parity with cable service providers.

Rep. Fred UptonRep. Fred Upton (R-MI) (at right), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, stated that "by extending expiring provisions, increasing parity between satellite television and cable operators, and promoting competition between satellite television and cable, this bill will significantly enhance consumer choice and service".

See also, S 2013, the "Satellite Home Viewer Extension Act of 2004 ", sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and others. The Senate Judiciary Committee amended and approved this bill on June 17, 2004.

Senate Approves Bill Regarding Certification Marks

10/6. The Senate passed S 2796, an untitled bill related to certification marks, collective marks, and service marks.

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced this bill on September 13, 2004 to address the July 11, 2003 opinion [26 pages in PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir) in Idaho Potato Commission v. M&M Produce Farm and Sales (also reported at 335 F.3d 130.)

In that case the Court held that the defendant could challenge the validity of Idaho's certification mark, even though it had entered into a licensing contract that included a no challenge clause.

See, story titled "Senators Introduce Bill Pertaining to Certification Marks" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 980, September 21, 2004.

Sen. Craig is concerned about potatoes grown in Idaho. He stated that "We need to protect our potatoes from rogue distributors trying to sell inferior potatoes as Idaho potatoes -- tarnishing Idaho's long-standing reputation". However, certification marks are also used in other sectors, including the tech sector.

The House has yet to approve the bill.

Bill Summary. S 2796 makes two changes to the Trademark Act of 1946, which is codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1051, et seq. First, it provides that the Trademark Act is amended "in section 3 (15 U.S.C. 1053) in the first sentence, by striking ``protection´´ and inserting ``protections, rights, and privileges´´". Second, it provides that the Trademark Act is amended "in section 4 (15 U.S.C. 1054) in the first sentence, by striking ``protection´´ and inserting ``protections, rights, and privileges´´''.

15 U.S.C. § 1053 currently provides, in full, that "Subject to the provisions relating to the registration of trademarks, so far as they are applicable, service marks shall be registrable, in the same manner and with the same effect as are trademarks, and when registered they shall be entitled to the protection provided in this chapter in the case of trademarks. Applications and procedure under this section shall conform as nearly as practicable to those prescribed for the registration of trademarks". (Emphasis added.)

15 U.S.C. § 1054 currently provides, in part, that "Subject to the provisions relating to the registration of trademarks, so far as they are applicable, collective and certification marks, including indications of regional origin, shall be registrable under this chapter, in the same manner and with the same effect as are trademarks, by persons, and nations, States, municipalities, and the like, exercising legitimate control over the use of the marks sought to be registered, even though not possessing an industrial or commercial establishment, and when registered they shall be entitled to the protection provided in this chapter in the case of trademarks, except in the case of certification marks when used so as to represent falsely that the owner or a user thereof makes or sells the goods or performs the services on or in connection with which such mark is used. ..." (Emphasis added.)

Senate Approves Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act

10/6. The Senate approved HR 1417, the "Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004". This bill would replace copyright arbitration royalty panels (CARPs) with a Copyright Royalty Judge.

The version just approved by the Senate is a substitute amendment. Hence, it must also be approved by the House before it can go the the President for his signature.

The House approved its version of the bill on March 3, 2004. See, story titled "House Passes Copyright Royalty and Distribution Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 849, March 4, 2004.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) stated on the floor of the Senate that "the Hatch-Leahy substitute to H.R. 1417 retains most of the House-passed bill, but does contain a few important changes that are the product of several months of negotiations and discussions between the Hatch and Leahy offices and various stakeholders. The most significant substantive change involves the scope of available discovery in ratemaking proceedings."

House Approves Bill to Create New Judgeships and Split the 9th Circuit

10/5. The House approved S 878, a bill to create numerous additional federal judgeships.

The House also approved an amendment [10 pages in PDF] offered by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) that would divide the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The vote was 205-194. See, Roll Call No. 492. It was a nearly straight party line vote, with Republicans supporting the amendment, and Democrats opposing it.

This amendment would split the 9th Circuit into three circuits. The new 13th Circuit would be comprised of the states of Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The new 12th Circuit would be comprised of the states of Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Montana. Hawaii and California would comprise the remaining states of the 9th Circuit. See also, Rep. Simpson's release.

The House also approved an amendment [PDF] offered by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) by voice vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a business meeting on Thursday, October 7. The agenda for the meeting includes S 2396, the "Federal Courts Improvement Act of 2004". Whether the Committee will actually consider the bill at this meeting is another question.

Senate Approves Bill Regarding Privatization of INTELSAT and Inmarsat

10/5. The Senate approved S 2896, an untitled bill to modify and extend certain privatization requirements of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962, as amended by the Open-Market Reorganization for the Betterment of International Telecommunications (ORBIT), which became law in 2000.

Sen. Conrad BurnsSen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) (at left) and Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) introduced S 2896 on October 5, 2004. The Senate approved it without a committee hearing, without debate, by unanimous consent, on the date of its introduction.

It amends 47 U.S.C. § 763(5)(A)(ii) to further extend the deadline for privatizing Inmarsat. This bill extends the ORBIT's statutory deadline for conducting Inmarsat's initial public offering (IPO) from June 30, 2004 to June 30, 2005.

The bill further provides that there need not be an IPO for INTELSAT or Inmarsat. It adds a new subsection that provides that "a successor entity may be deemed a national corporation and may forgo an initial public offering and public securities listing and still achieve the purposes of this section if
   (i) the successor entity certifies to the Commission that (I) the successor entity has achieved substantial dilution of the aggregate amount of signatory or former signatory financial interest in such entity; (II) any signatories and former signatories that retain a financial interest in such successor entity do not possess, together or individually, effective control of such successor entity; and (III) no intergovernmental organization has any ownership interest in a successor entity of INTELSAT or more than a minimal ownership interest in a successor entity of Inmarsat;
   (ii) the successor entity provides such financial and other information to the Commission as the Commission may require to verify such certification; and
   (iii) the Commission determines, after notice and comment, that the successor entity is in compliance with such certification."

S 2896 is related to S 2315, which Sen. Burns introduced on April 8, 2004. S 2315 extended the deadline for INTELSAT's IPO from June 30, 2004 to December 31, 2005. See, story titled "Sen. Burns Introduces Bill to Allow Delay in INTELSAT IPO" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 874, April 12, 2004.

The Senate approved S 2315 on April 27, 2004 by unanimous consent. The House approved it on May 5, 2004 by unanimous consent. President Bush signed it on May 18, 2004. It is now Public Law No. 108-228.

The ORBIT Act, which Sen. Burns sponsored, is Public Law No. 106-180. Sen. Burns is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Meet On Thursday

10/6. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a business meeting on Thursday, October 7. This meeting had been scheduled for 9:30 AM, but late on Wednesday the Committee postponed its start until an unspecified time later in the day. The Committee may meet after the first floor vote in the Senate. The Committee has not announced a location for this rescheduled meeting.

The agenda for the meeting still includes S 2560, the "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004". Whether the Committee will actually consider this bill at this meeting is another question.

Senate staff and interested parties have continued to work on revisions to the bill this week. Also, further drafts of the bill have been prepared, but not publicly released. However, substantial disagreement remains between representatives of certain entertainment industries, and representatives of certain technology companies and consumer electronics companies.

Opponents of the bill have asked Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Chairman of the Committee, and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking Democrat, not to mark up the bill.

On October 6, 2004, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), IEEE-USA, and NetCoalition wrote a letter to the Sen. Hatch and Sen. Leahy in which they stated that "we urge you not to move forward now with S. 2560".

They wrote that "the recording industry continues to propose language that would not solve the piracy problems in the manner you identified, but instead would effectively put at risk all consumer electronics, information technology products, and Internet products and services that aren't designed to the industry's liking. In fact, the most recent draft put forward by the recording industry at 1:00 am this morning is a large step backwards from previous drafts in that it would jeopardize more legitimate products and would create a flood of litigation, and thus would hurt vital sectors of the U.S. economy. In short, the draft is unacceptable."

Also on October 6, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) wrote a letter [PDF] to the Chairman and ranking Democrat. The CDT argued that "the draft circulated by the RIAA early this morning would sweep in a broad range of legitimate consumer technologies, leaving those who simply design and distribute products like TiVo, online collaboration tools, new instant messaging systems, and even web browsers subject to litigation under S.2560."

The CDT added that "We understand that S.2560 is still scheduled for markup by the Judiciary Committee this week. Despite the progress being made, current drafts would chill the development of legitimate consumer technologies, and we urge you not to pass S.2560 out of Committee at this time."

Also on October 6 another set of groups sent a letter to the Committee urging it not to mark up the bill. This letter was signed by representatives of the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Knowledge. They wrote that the latest drafts "would do great harm to future technological innovation".

Also on October 6, the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) sent a letter to the Committee in which it argued that "A bill that dramatically changes copyright law must be thoroughly discussed by all those who affected rather than rushed through the legislative process."

While many opponents of S 2560 have sought public dissemination of their views, and letters, many of the proponents of the bill have not.

Senate Has Yet To Approve Several Major House IP Bills

10/6. The Congress is on the verge of recessing for the November election. Several intellectual property bills that have already been approved by the House have yet to be approved by the Senate. These include HR 4077 (Piracy Deterrence and Education Act), HR 1561 (USPTO fee bill), and HR 2391 (CREATE Act).

The House approved HR 1561, the "United States Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act of 2003", on March 3, 2004 by a vote of 379-28. See, Roll Call No. 38. This bill contains increases in user fees that implement the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) 21st Century Strategic Plan. It also provides for U.S. outsourcing of patent searches, and an end to the diversion of user fees to subsidize other government programs. See, story titled "House Passes USPTO Fee Bill", also published in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 849, March 4, 2004.

The House approved HR 4077, the "Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004" on September 28, 2004 by voice vote. See, story titled "House Approves Copyright Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 986, September 29, 2004. This is a large bill with many provisions. It provides for the creation of a voluntary program at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide notices to apparent infringers. It amends 17 U.S.C. § 411 to allow federal prosecutors to take action against early pirates without having to wait for the completion of the registration process. It criminalizes using camcorders to copy movies in movie theatres. It increases criminal penalties. It also includes the "Family Movie Act of 2004", which is also known as the ClearPlay bill; it provides an exemption from copyright infringement for skipping content.

There is also the matter of the CREATE Act, a bill pertaining to collaborative research. The House passed HR 2391, the "Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act", on March 10, by a voice vote. The bill amends Section 103(c) of the Patent Act, which is codified at 35 U.S.C. § 103, to address the August 8, 1997 opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in OddzOn Products, Inc. v. Just Toys, Inc., which ruled that derived prior art may serve as evidence of obviousness. See, story titled "House Passes CREATE Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 854, March 11, 2004. The Senate has already passed an identically worded bill, S 2192. The remaining issue is who gets to claim more credit for the bill. The House bill is on the Senate Judiciary Committee's agenda for its Thursday, October 7 meeting.

If these bills are not approved by the Senate in the next few days, or in a special session following the November election, then they will lapse. The 109th Congress, which will meet in late January of 2005, will start the legislative process anew.

More Capitol Hill News

10/6. The Senate approved S 2845, the "National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004" by a vote of 96-2. See, Roll Call No. 199.

10/6. The House debated and held a voice vote on HR 4661, the "Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2004", the House Judiciary Committee's spyware bill, late on Wednesday afternoon, October 6. The House postponed its roll call vote on the bill. At 3:00 AM on October 7, but still during the October 6 legislative day, the House agreed to postpone the roll call vote until October 7.

1st Circuit Grants Rehearing En Banc in Councilman Case

10/5. The U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued an order in U.S. v. Councilman that grants the government's petition for rehearing en banc. This is a criminal case regarding the applicability of the Wiretap Act to e-mail in storage. 

On June 29, 2004 a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued its split opinion. It 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 defendant, 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.

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.

The October 5 order states that "Although the parties can address other issues in their supplemental submissions, and the en banc court is free to consider all of the issues presented, the court specifically requests that the parties address the following questions:
  1. Whether the conduct at issue in this case could have been additionally, or alternatively, prosecuted under the Stored Communications Act?
  2. Whether the rule of lenity precludes prosecution in this case?"

The Court of Appeals does not have before it an appeal from an conviction for violation of the Stored Communications Act. There are reasons why cases such as Councilman's are not prosecuted under the Stored Communications Act. For example, the Act exempts "the person or entity providing a wire or electronic communications service". See, 18 U.S.C. § 2701. Councilman was an employee of the e-mail service provider.

The order adds that "The court welcomes timely motions to file amicus briefs". The Court is likely to receive many amicus briefs.

The split opinion of the three judge panel was followed by considerable comment and criticism in technology and academic circles. It addition, it prompted Members of Congress to introduce legislation that would revise the statute that was interpreted by the Court.

On July 22, 2004, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and others introduced HR 4977, the "E-mail Privacy Protection Act of 2004". This bill amends 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. See, story titled "Rep. Nadler Introduces Bill to Criminalize Accessing Stored E-Mail" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 950, August 2, 2004.

Also on July 22, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and others introduced HR 4956, the "E-mail Privacy Act of 2004". Like Rep. Nadler's bill, HR 4977, this bill responds to the 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. See, story titled "Rep. Inslee Introduces E-mail Privacy Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 950, August 2, 2004.

Oral argument is scheduled for 3:00 PM on December 8, 2004, in the en banc courtroom of the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, October 7

The House will meet. See, Republican Whip Notice.

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM for morning business. It will then resume consideration of SRes 445, the Senate Intelligence Reform resolution.

7:00 AM. The House Rules Committee will meet to adopt a rule for consideration of HR 10, the "9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act".

8:45 AM - 5:00 PM. The Cato Institute will host a conference titled "Trade and the Future of American Workers". At 9:30 - 10:15 AM, Roger Ferguson (Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board) will give the keynote address. At 1:15 - 2:00 PM, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) will speak. At 3:15 PM, Rep. Cal Dooley (D-CA) will speak. See, notice. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

TIME? The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of S 2560, the "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004", HR 2391, the "Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act of 2004", S 2396, the "Federal Courts Improvement Act of 2004", and S 2863, a bill to reauthorize the Department of Justice. The Committee is unlikely to consider all of these items. Press contact: Margarita Tapia (Hatch) at 202 224-5225 or David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group 4: Broadcasting and Amateur Issues will meet. See, FCC notice [PDF]. Location: Shaw Pittman, 2300 N St., NW.

9:30 AM - 4:30 PM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) will host an event titled "Radio Frequency Identification Workshop". See, notice and agenda [PDF]. The scheduled speakers include Chairman Michael Powell, Commissioners Kathleen Abernathy, Ed Thomas (Chief of the OET), and Julius Knapp (Deputy Chief of the OET). For more information, contact Bill Lane at or voice: 202-418-0676. The event will be webcast. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305), at 445 12th St., SW.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division will host a workshop titled "Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees/Contractors ". See, NIST notice, and notice in the Federal Register, September 15, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 178, at Page 55586. Location: Hilton Hotel, Gaithersburg, MD.

Day two of a two day conference hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Cyber Security Partnership's (NCSP) Coordinating Committee titled "Common Criteria Users' Forum". The event is free for government employees. The price to attend is $100 for non-government employees. See, notice [PDF]. Location: L'Enfant Plaza.

Friday, October 8

The House may meet at 9:00 AM. See, Republican Whip Notice.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in PC Connector v. SmartDisk. This is No. 04-1180. Location: Courtroom 203, 717 Madison Place, NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding its proposal to eliminate paper filings and require applicants to file electronically filings related to international telecommunications services. This NPRM is FCC 04-133 in IB Docket No.04-226. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 9, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 152, at Pages 48188 - 48192.

Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in which its proposes to exempt the Registered Traveler Operations Files from several provisions of the Privacy Act. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 8, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 173, at Pages 54256 - 54258.

Monday, October 11

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

Tuesday, October 12

POSTPONED. 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host an event titled "The Proper Direction for Telecommunications Reform Legislation". Duane Ackerman, Chairman of BellSouth, will give the luncheon address. See, notice. Location: AEI, 12th Floor, 1150 17th Street, NW.

1:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS), Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection's (IAIP), National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) will meet. The NIAC provides advice on the security of information systems for critical infrastructure supporting other sectors of the economy, including banking and finance, transportation, energy, manufacturing, and emergency government services. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 28, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 187, at Pages 57951 - 57952. Location: Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, 529 14th & K St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding amendments to FCC rules to permit VHF public coast (VPC) and automated maritime telecommunications system (AMTS) licensees to provide private mobile radio service to units on land. This NPRM is FCC 04-171 in WT Docket No. 04-257 and RM-10743. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 10, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 153, at Pages 48440 - 48443.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to examine the proper number of end user common line charges that carriers may assess upon customers that obtain derived channel T-1 service where the customer provides the terminating channelization equipment and upon customers that obtain Primary Rate Interface (PRI) Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) service. This NPRM is FCC 04-174 in WC Docket No. 04-259 and RM-10603. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 13, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 156, at Pages 50141 - 50146.

Extended extended deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its public notices (DA 04-1690, DA 04-1758, and DA 04-2906) 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. This proceeding is MB Docket No. 04-228. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 15, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 178, at Pages 55630 - 55631.

Wednesday, October 13

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a luncheon titled "Innovation Agenda 2004". The featured speaker will be James Crowe, the CEO of Level 3 Communications. The other speakers will be Scott Cleland (The Precursor Group), Rebecca Arbogast (Legg Mason Equity Research), and Jessica Zufolo (Medley Global Advisors). See, notice and registration page. Location: Mandarin Oriental hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave., SW.

12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation's Board of Trustees will meet. Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding, 1776 K Street, NW.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch on DTV transition. The speaker will be Rick Chessen, Associate Chief of the FCC's Media Bureau's (MB) Digital Television Task Force. No RSVP is required. For more information, contact Frank Jazzo at Location: National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N Street, NW.

2:00 - 4:30 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a panel presentation titled "Comparing the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and the Electronic Communications Networks". The speakers will be Kenneth Lehn, Sukesh Patro, and Kuldeep Shastri (all of the University of Pittsburgh). See, notice and registration page. Location: AEI, Twelfth floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The DC Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section and Employment Law Section will host a continuing legal education (CLE) program titled "Secrets of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act". The speakers will be Milton Babirak (Babirak Vangellow & Carr). See, notice. Prices vary from $80 to $115. For more information, call 202 626-3488. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H Street, NW.

People and Appointments

10/6. Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. announced that beginning on January 1, 2006, Howard Stern, a talk radio performer, will be provided by Sirius. Stern stated that Sirius is "the future of radio". See, Sirius release. Sirius also filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its agreement with Stern. This filing states that there will be a Stern channel, created by Stern, and that Stern is expected "to develop and produce one or more additional channels of programming". The 8-K filing also states that "Our aggregate fixed obligations under the agreement are approximately $100 million per year." Neither Sirius' release, nor its 8-K filing, reference the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) imposition of fines in connection with the content of Stern's past programs provided via terrestrial broadcast. See for example, story titled "FCC Fines Clear Channel $495,000" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 874, April 12, 2004.

More News

10/6. The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) released a paper [12 pages in PDF] titled "Radio Frequency Identification: Little Devices Making Big Waves". See also, executive summary. This paper states that "despite the tremendous potential benefits of RFID technology, privacy advocates worry it could lead to more detailed tracking of the products we buy, maybe even to the level of taking inventory of what is in our homes and what is on our person at any given time. Arguing that stores, corporations, and even libraries will use the technology to spy on people, RFID critics have threatened boycotts to derail the technology's adoption. In response, a number of companies have postponed item-level RFID programs and lawmakers in several states and the U.S. Congress have introduced legislation that, if passed, would curtail the use of RFID technology." It concludes that "the privacy alarms being raised are at best premature and at worst hypothetical and impractical. Because this is such a promising yet nascent technological application, PPI believes that the call for RFID legislation is not yet warranted." This paper was written by Julie Hutto (PPI) and Robert Atkinson (PPI).

10/6. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the U.S. will file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the European Union (EU) alleging that government subsidies of the Airbus are illegal under the WTO's Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. The first step under WTO procedure is for the U.S. to file a Request for Consultations. Then, after 60 days, the U.S. could file a request to establish a WTO panel. See, USTR release and second release [4 pages in PDF].

10/4. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal government agencies announced an initiative pertaining to violation of intellectual property rights titled "Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP)". See, USTR release.

9/30. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that it "filed copyright infringement lawsuits against more than 700 illegal file sharers, including individuals at 26 different universities across the country". See, RIAA release.

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