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October 11, 2004, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 994.
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Movie and Music Industry Entities File Cert Petition in MGM v. Grokster

10/8. Movie and music industry entities filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court in MGM v. Grokster, a case regarding vicarious liability for copyright infringement on peer to peer systems.

The petitioners include Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios Inc., other movie studios, record companies, and music publishers and songwriters. The respondents are Grokster, Ltd. and StreamCast Networks, Inc.

On August 19, 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [26 pages in PDF] affirming the District Court judgment that Grokster's and Streamcast's peer to peer (P2P) file copying networks do not contributorily or vicariously infringe the copyrights of the holders of music and movie copyrights. See also, April 25, 2003, opinion of the U.S. District Court (CDCal), which the Appeals Court followed and praised.

The petitioners (plaintiffs below) are music and movie industry owners of copyright interests. The defendants are companies that distributed P2P software that enables the individual users to infringe the plaintiffs' copyrights. The individual infringers are not defendants in this suit. This opinion pertains only to the legal theories of contributory and vicarious liability.

The petition states that the question presented is "Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in concluding, contrary to long-established principles of secondary liability in copyright law (and in acknowledged conflict with the Seventh Circuit), that the Internet-based ``file sharing´´ services Grokster and StreamCast should be immunized from copyright liability for the millions of daily acts of copyright infringement that occur on their services and that constitute at least 90% of the total use of the services."

The petition asserts that "This is one of the most important copyright cases ever to reach this Court. Resolution of the question presented here will largely determine the value, indeed the very significance, of copyright in the digital era."

It states that "The Ninth Circuit’s refusal to hold Grokster and StreamCast accountable under these circumstances is a radical departure from principles of secondary liability", including the Supreme Court's opinion in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984). It further states that the 9th Circuit's opinion is "diametrically opposed" to the opinion [23 pages in PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (7thCir) in In Re Aimster Copyright Litigation, 334 F.3d 643. This opinion affirmed the District Court's preliminary injunction affecting the Aimster (aka Madster) file copying system. See, story titled "7th Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction in Aimster Case" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 691, July 1, 2003.

The petition further asserts that "Review is urgently needed not only to resolve the conflict between the Ninth and Seventh Circuits, but more importantly to clarify the standards for secondary liability applicable to Internet-based services that facilitate copyright infringement. The infringement Grokster and StreamCast foster is inflicting catastrophic, multibillion-dollar harm on petitioners that cannot be redressed through lawsuits against the millions of direct infringers using those services. Left undisturbed, the Ninth Circuit’s decision will effectively insulate Grokster and StreamCast from suit nationwide, leaving these harms unremedied."

The petition portends an apocalypse. "Indeed, the Ninth Circuit’s decision threatens the very foundations of our copyright system in the digital era. The ease with which copyrighted works in digital form can be unlawfully copied and distributed millions of times over on the Internet makes it especially important that traditional principles of secondary copyright liability apply to enterprises that, like respondents, brazenly encourage and profit from infringement. Unless respondents and those like them can be held accountable, copyright will soon mean nothing on the Internet, and the incentives on which our copyright system rests will be imperiled."

Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, stated in a release that "There is no reason the Supreme Court should review the Grokster decision. That case was based on the principles established in the 1984 Betamax case, which has lead to the largest and most profitable period of technological innovation in this country’s history. Consumers, industry and our country have all benefited as a result."

Related TLJ Stories.

FTC Files Complaint Against Spyware Con Artists

10/6. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a civil complaint [14 pages in PDF] in U.S. District Court (DNH) against several defendants alleging unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, in connection with fraudulent dissemination of spyware.

The defendants are Seismic Entertainment Productions, Inc.,, Inc., and Sanford Wallace.

The complaint alleges deceptive marketing by the defendants of purported anti-spyware software named "Spy Wiper" and "Spy Deleter", that is actually spyware.

The complaint alleges that "Defendants, in numerous instances, have exploited particular vulnerabilities in certain versions of the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser (“IE web browser”) to reconfigure consumers’ computers by installing software code onto their computers without their knowledge or authorization. The software code, among other things, (a) changes the IE web browser’s home page; (b) modifies the IE web browser’s search engine; and (c) downloads and installs various advertising and other software programs ... ; and (d) causes an incessant stream of pop-up advertisements to be displayed."

The filing of this complaint coincides with Congressional efforts to pass spyware related legislation. On October 5, 2004, the House approved HR 2929, the "Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act", or SPY ACT, on a roll call vote of 399-1. See, Roll Call No. 495. On October 7, 2004, the House approved HR 4661, the "Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2004", by a vote of 415-0. See, Roll Call No. 503.

HR 2929 is the House Commerce Committee's spyware bill. It prohibits certain conduct with respect to spyware, and gives the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) civil enforcement authority. HR 4661 is the House Judiciary Committee's spyware bill. It amends Title 18 to provide criminal penalties for three of the most egregious uses of spyware.

There is currently no spyware specific statute. This complaint alleging violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which is codified at 15 U.S.C. § 45(a). It provides that "Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful".

See also, the FTC's prepared testimony for an April 29, 2004 hearing of the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection on spyware.

The complaint seeks injunctive relief, rescission of contracts, restitution, and disgorgement of ill gotten gains.

In addition, the FTC will hold a press conference on Tuesday, October 12 regarding this action. See, notice.

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Large Collection of Copyright Bills

10/9. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a package of copyright bills at a meeting late on Thursday, October 9, 2004. This composite bill is titled the "Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2004", or "IPPA". See, text of bill [44 pages in PDF], and text of bill, in HTML, with hyperlinked table of contents, and U.S.Code hyperlinks.

The Committee approved this package, without a hearing, without public debate, without public notice, and without a roll call vote. Although, this procedure is not unusual for controversial bills late in a Congress.

Nominally, the Committee approved a non-controversial bill to amend patent law to promote collaborative research. However, the Committee amended the bill by adding numerous provisions to amend copyright law that have both significant support, and opposition.

This bill, the "Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2004" or "IPPA", includes versions of the "EnFORCE Act", "PIRATE Act", "Home Movie Act", and "Piracy Deterrence and Education Act". As amended, the bill also includes several less controversial bills, including the "National Film Preservation Act of 2004", "National Film Preservation Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2004, and the "Preservation of Orphan Works Act". And, it includes the collaborate research bill, the "CREATE Act".

The IPPA does not include several intellectual property bills. For example, it does not include any version of S 2560, the "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004", or HR 1561, the "United States Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act of 2003". The House has not approved S 2560. The House approved HR 1561 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.

Brief Summary of the Bill.

Title I of the bill is the "Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act of 2004", as previously approved by both the House and the Senate.

Title II is the "Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004", which is a revised version of HR 4007 EH, which includes the "Family Movie Act".

Title III is the "Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004", or "PIRATE Act".

Title IV is the "National Film Preservation Act of 2004" and the "National Film Preservation Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2004".

Title V is the "Preservation of Orphan Works Act".

Title VI is the "Enhancing Federal Obscenity Reporting and Copyright Enforcement Act of 2004", also known as the "EnFORCE Act".

Summary of Title I: "CREATE Act". Title I of the IPPA is the "Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act". It contains language already approved by the House as HR 2391, and the Senate as S 2192.

It 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.

Summary of Title II: "Home Movie Act" and "Piracy Deterrence and Education Act".

The House approved HR 4077, the "Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004 ", by a voice vote, on September 28, 2004. See, story titled "House Approves Copyright Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 986, September 29, 2004.

This bill began as HR 2514, which was introduced on June 19, 2003. See, stories titled "Representatives Smith & Berman Introduce Internet Piracy Education Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 686, June 24, 2003, and "House CIIP Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Piracy Deterrence and Education Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 701, July 18, 2003.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) then introduced a revised version, HR 4007, on March 31, 2004.

The House Judiciary Committee amended and approved HR 4077 on September 8, 2004. This mark up added the language of HR 4586, the "Family Movie Act of 2004", which is also known as the ClearPlay bill. See, story titled "House Judiciary Committee Approves Intellectual Property Bills" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 973, September 9, 2004.

Title II of the IPPA is HR 4007 EH, as enacted by the House on September 28, 2004, with some changes.

§ 212 of the IPPA (§ 112 of HR 4007 EH) contains the "Family Movie Act". This provision, which is included with the ClearPlay technology in mind, adds a new ¶ 11 to 17 U.S.C. § 110 (which provides exceptions to the exclusive rights of copyright).

It provides that "the making imperceptible, by or at the direction of a member of a private household, of limited portions of audio or video content of a motion picture, during a performance in or transmitted to that household for private home viewing, from an authorized copy of the motion picture, or the creation or provision of a computer program or other technology that enables such making imperceptible and that is designed and marketed for such use at the direction of a member of a private household, if (A) no fixed copy of the altered version of the motion picture is created by such computer program or other technology; and (B) no changes, deletions or additions are made by such computer program or other technology to commercial advertisements, or to network or station promotional announcements, that would otherwise be performed or displayed before, during or after the performance of the motion picture."

It adds that "the term ‘making imperceptible’ does not include the addition of audio or video content that is performed or displayed over or in place of existing content in a motion picture."

The House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held a hearing on this topic on May 20, 2004. See, story titled "House CIIP Subcommittee Holds Hearing on DVD Filtering Technology" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 903, May 21, 2004.

§ 203 of the IPPA (§ 103 of HR 4007 EH) creates a voluntary program at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide notices to apparent infringers. It provides that the DOJ may establish a program, in which the DOJ "in cases where persons who are subscribers of Internet service providers appear to be engaging in copyright infringing conduct in the course of using that Internet service, would send to the Internet Service providers notices that warn such persons of the penalties for such copyright infringement. The Internet service providers may forward the notices to such persons."

§ 204 of the IPPA (§ 104 of HR 4007 EH) pertains to the DOJ's computer hacking and intellectual property units (CHIPs), which exist in only a few of the many U.S. Attorneys Offices. This section requires that any DOJ unit "responsible for investigating computer hacking or responsible for investigating intellectual property crimes is assigned at least one agent to support such unit for the purpose of investigating crimes relating to the theft of intellectual property."

§ 205 of the IPPA (§ 105 of HR 4007 EH) creates a public education program at the DOJ, to "educate the general public concerning the value of copyrighted works and the effects of the theft of such works on those who create them".

§ 206 of the IPPA (§ 106 of HR 4007 EH) amends 17 U.S.C. § 411, which establishes registration of a copyright as a prerequisite for filing a claim for copyright infringement. Some pirates now obtain and distribute works before they are completed, or after completion but before the Copyright Office has issued a certificate of registration. Moreover, this early piracy can cause tremendous economic harm to the ultimate copyright holder. § 206 of the IPPA allows federal prosecutors to take action against these early pirates without having to wait for the completion of the registration process.

§ 207 of the IPPA (§ 107 of HR 4007 EH) authorizes the appropriation of $15 Million for "the investigation and prosecution of violations of title 17, United States Code" -- that is, the copyright laws.

§ 208 of the IPPA (§ 108 of HR 4007 EH) criminalizes using camcorders to copy movies in motion picture exhibition facilities, such as movie theatres. This is aimed at those who take camcorders into movie theatres and surreptitiously copy movies, thereby enabling pirates to obtain and market copies of movies as soon as they are shown in theatres.

This language was also contained in § 3 of S 1932, the "Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2004", or ART Act, which was approved by the Senate on June 25, 2004. See also, stories titled "Senators Introduce Bill to Increase Protection of Pre-Released Movies and Other Unpublished Works" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 786, November 25, 2003, and "Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Four Intellectual Property Bills" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 888, April 30, 2004.

§ 209 of the IPPA (§ 109 of HR 4007 EH) recites Congressional findings regarding peer to peer systems. It creates no new law. It states, for example, that "Massive volumes of illegal activity, including the distribution of child pornography, viruses, and confidential personal information, and copyright infringement occur on publicly accessible peer-to-peer file sharing services every day."

§ 210 of the IPPA (which revises § 110 of HR 4007 EH) pertains to criminal copyright infringement. It amends 17 U.S.C. § 506 to expand the scope of criminal copyright infringement to include certain electronic distribution of copies, amends 18 U.S.C. § 2319 to increase criminal penalties for various crimes related to copyright infringement, and amends 17 U.S.C. § 408 to provide for preregistration of works that are being prepared for commercial distribution and that have not been published.

§ 211 of the IPPA (§ 111 of HR 4007 EH) revises federal sentencing guidelines for crimes related to copyright infringement.

The IPPA likely drops the section of HR 4077 EH that designates the oak tree as the national tree. No draft of the IPPA that TLJ has reviewed includes the oak tree section. However, Committee staff and others have represented to TLJ that the oak tree section is in IPPA.

As a result of the haste and secrecy in which the IPPA was negotiated, Committee staff remained uncertain as to its content on Friday, October 8. In addition to the oak tree issue, one staff assistant to Sen. Leahy asserted that the IPPA contains a section pertaining to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and e-mailed TLJ draft NIST language. This assertion is inconsistent with all drafts and other information that TLJ has obtained regarding the contents of the IPPA. Also, the Senate Judiciary Committee does not have jurisdiction over the NIST.

Summary of Title III: "PIRATE Act". Title III of the IPPA is the "Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004", or "PIRATE Act".

This is based upon the stand alone bill, S 2237, also titled the "PIRATE Act".

The bill has two provisions. First, § 302 would authorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring civil actions for copyright infringement for conduct that already constitutes criminal copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 506. This would accomplish two things. It would make it easier to prevail, because, among other things, the civil action would have a lower burden of proof. It would also provide a less punitive action for youthful P2P music pirates.

Second, § 303 would establish a training program (and authorize funding of $2,000,000) to educate DOJ and U.S. Attorneys Office personnel in copyright enforcement matters.

Sen. Leahy and Sen. Hatch introduced this bill on March 25, 2004. See, story titled "Leahy and Hatch Introduce Bill to Give DOJ Authority to Bring Civil Actions for Copyright Infringement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 866, March 30, 2004. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved it on April 29, 2004. See, story titled "Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Four Intellectual Property Bills" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 888, April 30, 2004. The full Senate approved it on June 25, 2004. See, story titled "Senate Passes PIRATE Act to Enable DOJ to Bring Civil Actions for Copyright Infringement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 927, June 28, 2004.

Summary of Title VI: "EnFORCE Act". Title VI is the "Enhancing Federal Obscenity Reporting and Copyright Enforcement Act of 2004", or "EnFORCE Act".

It is based upon the stand alone bill, S 1933, also titled the "EnFORCE Act". Title VI is a subset of S 1933 as introduced. It deletes a provision that would have amended 17 U.S.C. § 115 regarding mechanical license negotiations for physical product configurations. It also deletes a provision regarding DOJ staffing to investigate intellectual property crimes. However, similar language is included in the IPPA in Title II in § 204.

§ 602 amends 17 U.S.C. § 411, regarding the registration of copyrights with the Copyright Office. It adds a new subsection that provides that "A certificate of registration shall satisfy the requirements of this section and section 412 irrespective of any inaccurate information therein, unless -- (A) the inaccurate information was included on the application for copyright registration with knowledge that it was inaccurate; and (B) the inaccurate information, if known, would have caused the Register of Copyrights to refuse registration."

§ 603 amends 17 U.S.C. § 504 regarding remedies for copyright infringement. Subsection 504(c)(1) pertains to actual damages and profits. It provides that "For the purposes of this subsection, all the parts of a compilation or derivative work constitute one work." The IPPA amends subsection 504(c)(1) to provide the exception that "the court in its discretion may determine that such parts are separate works if the court concludes that they are distinct works having independent economic value".

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S 1933 on November 21, 2003. See, story titled "Sen. Hatch Introduces Bill With Numerous Amendments to Copyright Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 791, December 3, 2003. The Committee amended and approved S 1933 on May 20, 2004.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Monday, October 11

The House will not meet.

The Senate will meet at 10:00 AM to resume consideration of the conference report to HR 4520, the JOBS bill.

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

The House will meet at 2:00 PM.

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.

11:00 AM. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold a press conference pertaining to its filing of a complaint [14 pages in PDF] in U.S. District Court (DNH) against Seismic Entertainment Productions, and others, alleging unfair and deceptive trade practices in connection with dissemination of spyware. The FTC notice also states that "Reporters who would like to cover the story but cannot attend can participate by calling 1-800-923-4206, confirmation number 26958991, Chairperson Bruce Jennings." Press contact: 202 326-2180. Location: Room 432, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., 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.

2:30 PM ET. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Intellectual Property Task Force will host a press conference at which it will release its recommendations. Attorney General John Ashcroft and U.S. Attorney (CDCal) Debra Yang will participate. Press contacts: Thom Mrozek at 213 894-6947 or Blain Rethmeier at 202 305-5217. Location: Brosio Grand Jury Room, U.S. Courthouse, 312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA.

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.

12:00 NOON - 5:30 PM. The law firm of Steptoe & Johnson will host a luncheon and seminar titled "Section 337 Seminar: Part of Corporate Worldwide IP Practice and Strategy". See, brochure [PDF]. Location. Steptoe & Johnson, 1330 Connecticut Ave., 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.

Thursday, October 14

Day one of a three day convention of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). See, conference web site and schedule [PDF]. Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H St., NW.

8:00 AM. Robert Liscouski, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will speak at the October Breakfast Meeting of The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP). The price to attend is $30. For more information, contact Catherine Tehan at 703 295-6026 or See, TISP notice. Location: Army Navy Club, 901 17th St., NW.

8:30 - 11:30 AM. The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) will host a seminar titled "Software Licensing Best Practices Seminar Series: How to Get the Most Out of Your Software License". See, notice. Prices vary. Location: Mintz Levin, 12010 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 900 Reston, Virginia.

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).

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Cato Institute will host a conference titled "International Monetary Reform and Capital Freedom". Among the topics on the agenda is "exchange rate protectionism". See, notice and agenda. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association's Law Practice Management and Litigation Sections will host a program titled "Electronic Legal Research: New Options And Issues For Small And Large Firms". The speakers will be Elizabeth LeDoux (Training & Research Librarian at Covington & Burling), Howard Sinclair (Librarian at Kilpatrick & Stockton), and Monique LaForce (Manager Research Services at Steptoe & Johnson). See, notice. Prices vary from $15 to $20. For more information, call 202 626-3463. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) International Telecommunications Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled is "Planning Meeting to Discuss Proposed Programs and Obtain Suggestions for the Upcoming Year". RSVP to Evelyn Zamora at Location: Coudert Brothers, 1627 I Street, NW, 11th Floor.

4:00 PM. Rochelle Dreyfuss (New York University School of Law) will present a paper titled "TRIPing over Patent Reform" at an event hosted by the Dean Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies at the George Washington University Law School (GWULS). For more information, contact Robert Brauneis at 202 994-6138 or The event is free and open to the public. See, notice. Location: GWULS, Faculty Conference Center, Burns Building, 5th Floor, 716 20th St., NW.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Public Notice [PDF] requesting interested parties to provide comments on the Multi-band OFDM Alliance Special Interest Group's (MBOASIG) request for a waiver of Part 15 of the FCC's rules regarding ultra-wideband (UWB) systems that employ multi-band orthogonal frequency division multiplexed (MBOFDM) modulation techniques.

Friday, October 15

Day two of a three day convention of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). Jon Dudas, the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will give a speech titled "American Ingenuity: What the USPTO is Doing for You" at a luncheon scheduled for 12:15 - 1:45 PM. See, conference web site and schedule [PDF]. Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H St., NW.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a Congressional seminar titled "Reinventing the FCC for the Digital Age". The speakers will be Tom Lenard (PFF), Randolph May (PFF), James Miller (former head of the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Trade Commission), Darius Gaskins (former Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission), and Susan Ness (former FCC commissioner). See, notice and registration page. Lunch will be served. Location: Room 1539, Longworth Building.

TIME? Rochelle Dreyfuss (NYU) will give a lecture titled "Protecting the Public Domain of Science under International Law" as part of the Georgetown Law Colloquium on Intellectual Property & Technology Law. For more information, contact Julie Cohen at 202 662-9871 or Jay Thomas at 202 662-9925. Location: Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Ave., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the high cost universal support mechanisms for rural carriers and the appropriate rural mechanism to succeed the five year plan adopted in the Rural Task Force Order. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 3, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 171, at Pages 53917 - 53923.

Extended deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) [15 pages in PDF] regarding "issues relating to the presentation of violent programming on television and its impact on children." This NOI is FCC 04-175 in MB Docket No. 04-261. See, story titled "FCC Issues NOI on Violent TV Programming" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 950, August 2, 2004. See also, Order [PDF] extending the deadlines.

More News

10/8. Roger Ferguson, Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), gave a speech in St. Louis, Missouri on the FRB's monetary policy since 1979 (the year that former President Carter appointed Paul Volker Chairman). One topic that Ferguson addressed was the recent tech bust. He stated that "There is greater disagreement about how well the Federal Reserve responded to the bursting in recent years of the so-called bubble in technology stocks. This topic is broad, but I would like to note that, as many of my colleagues and I have previously argued, prospectively addressing perceived asset-price bubbles is a matter of such great uncertainty that, even with the benefit of hindsight, it is not clear that policy decisions in the late 1990s, for example, should have been any different. In any case, the recession that followed the sharp decline in stock prices was shallow by historical standards." FRB Governor Ben Bernanke also gave a speech at the same conference. FRB Chairman Alan Greenspan also gave a short speech praising Volker and his policies, on October 7, at this conference.

10/8. Microsoft, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and various state plaintiffs filed a Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments with the U.S. District Court (DC) in the government antitrust case against Microsoft. This is the latest of the periodic status reports. The Court will hold a status conference on October 19, 2004. This case is D.C. No. 98-1232 (CKK), Judge Colleen Kotelly presiding.

10/8. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a statement about the relocation of trademark operations to the new consolidated USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. It announced that "The Trademark Assistance Center, which provides general information about the trademark registration process and status of trademark applications and registrations, will begin moving Friday evening, October 8, and be open for business on Tuesday morning, October 12. The drop point for all hand deliveries and in-person trademark filings is at the Trademark Assistance Center with a direct entrance from the street making it more convenient for the public. The center is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except holidays, and will be located in Madison East, Concourse Level, Room C 55." The USPTO also announced that trademark examining law offices will begin moving on October 12 and conclude on November 3. Also, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) employees will move on November 3.

10/8. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register that describes and sets the effective date (November 8, 2004) of its final order amending its rules implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to establish a limited safe harbor period from the prohibition on placing autodialed or prerecorded message calls to wireless numbers that have been recently ported from wireline to wireless service, and to amend the existing safe harbor rules for the national do-not-call registry so that telemarketers are required to access the do-not-call list no more than 31 days prior to making a telemarketing call. The FCC adopted its order on August 25, 2004, and released it on September 21, 2004. This item is FCC 04-204 in CG Docket No. 02-278. See, Federal Register: October 8, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 159, at Pages 60311 - 60316.

10/6. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs' Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on smart card usage by federal agencies. See, prepared testimony of Ben Wu (Department of Commerce) and prepared testimony [21 pages in PDF] Linda Koontz (Government Accountability Office).

10/5. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal and Canadian agencies held a press conference to publicize recent actions taken against telemarketing fraud schemes. See, DOJ release.

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