|Sen. McCain Introduces DTV
6/14. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and
Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) introduced
S 1237, the "Spectrum Availability for Emergency-Response and Law-Enforcement to
Improve Vital Emergency Services Act". The bill would establish a hard date of
December 31, 2008, for the transition in the U.S. from analog to digital television.
This awkward title produces the acronym of SAERLEIVES, which is close to SAVE
LIVES. Sen. McCain and Sen. Lieberman also title this bill the "SAVE LIVES
The title of "SAVE LIVES" is descriptive of the content to the extent
that 24 MHz of the spectrum currently being used by broadcasters for over the air analog
television would be made available for law enforcement purposes. Other uses of the spectrum
would include cell phone service and broadband internet access.
The High Tech DTV Coalition, a coalition of interest groups and companies
that want more spectrum for new wireless broadband services, praised the bill.
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
P/CEO Gary Shapiro stated in a
that "Senators McCain and Lieberman have taken a critical and necessary step to
expedite our nation's transition to digital television (DTV) in an effective and
pro-consumer manner. A hard cut-off date for analog broadcasts, as proposed in
the bill, will provide certainty for consumers, manufacturers, broadcasters and
all others with a stake in the DTV transition. More, a hard cut-off date will
foster innovation and strengthen America's security, while completing the DTV
transition in a timely manner.
Similarly, Public Knowledge
President Gigi Sohn wrote a
letter to Senators and Representatives in which she supported the concept of a hard
deadline. She wrote that "reclaiming that spectrum has undeniable and very
palpable public interest benefits". She also asserted that "the broadcast
industry has done little, if anything, to promote the transition", and that if
broadcasters do not commit to a consumer education program, "Congress should
consider mandating that broadcasters provide it".
In contrast, National Association of
Broadcasters (NAB) P/CEO Eddie Fritz stated in a
release that "local television stations provide a lifeline service during
terrorist attacks, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters. We are committed
to completing the digital transition in a timely fashion, including return of analog
spectrum, and will work with Congress to ensure that millions of consumers are not left
stranded by a premature end to analog broadcasting."
Section 4 of this bill would authorize the appropriation of $468 Million,
"from the proceeds of the auction of licenses for recovered analog spectrum", to
subsidize digital to analog converter devices for certain consumers owning analog TVs.
Sen. McCain (at right) stated in the Senate that "The bill
would ensure that no television viewer's set would go ``dark´´ by providing digital-to-analog
converter boxes to over-the-air viewers that have a household income that does
not exceed 200 percent of the poverty line and by allowing cable companies to
down convert digital signal signals if necessary."
Section 5 of the bill would establish a program at the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
to provide grants to public safety organizations for the purchase of new communications
equipment. The bill also authorizes unspecified appropriations, from the
proceeds of auctions, to fund this grant program.
Section 6 of the bill would impose certain consumer education requirements
upon equipment manufacturers and retailers of consumer equipment.
Sen. McCain stated that "The bill would mandate that warning labels be
displayed on analog television sets sold prior to the transition, require
warning language to be displayed at television retailers, command the
distribution at retailers of brochures describing the television set options
available, and call on broadcasters to air informational programs to better
prepare consumers for the digital transition."
Sen. McCain concluded his floor statement with a comment about broadcasters. He
said that "Several lawmakers attempted to act last year during the debate on the
intelligence reform bill, but our efforts were thwarted by the powerful National
Association of Broadcasters. This year, I hope we can all work together and to
pass a bill that ensures the country is not only better prepared in case of
another attack but also protects the vital communications outlet of broadcast
See also, McCain
release and floor
statement (also published in the Congressional Record, June 14, 2005, at Page
|NAB and CEA Address Digital to Analog
6/15. The Association for Maximum Service
Television Stations (MSTV) and the National
Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced in a
release that they "intend to pursue development of a prototype high quality,
low cost digital to analog converter box for terrestrial digital television
NAB P/CEO Eddie Fritts stated in this release that "A workable, low cost
converter box is vital to the success of the digital transition. This project
demonstrates our commitment to move the process forward. I trust the consumer
electronics industry will respond favorably and join us in developing this
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
P/CEO Gary Shapiro responded in a
that this is a "publicity stunt" by the NAB and MSTV. He said that "This
publicity stunt is novel considering that no one before has suggested any
problem with creating a relatively simple digital to analog converter box. The
issue is market demand. No one sells the product in the U.S. today as most local
broadcasters do not have full-power HDTV broadcasts and only 11 percent of TV
sets are even used to receive over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting."
Shapiro added that "We suggest broadcasters focus their resources on
promoting OTA broadcasting, rather than trying to confuse the situation and
delay a cut-off date".
|FRB Governor Addresses Effects of Info Tech
on Financial Markets
6/15. Federal Reserve Board
(FRB) Governor Donald Kohn gave a
speech in New York City, New York, titled "Managing Risk in a Changing
Economic and Financial Landscape". One of his topics that he addressed was how
information and communications technologies have changed financial markets.
He said that "Change in
financial markets over the past decade or so has been rapid and profound. New computing
and telecommunication technologies, along with the removal of legal and regulatory
barriers to entry, have resulted in greater competition among a wider variety of
institutions, in broader geographic areas, and across an expanding array of instruments.
The result has been an increase in the efficiency with which financial markets channel
funds from savers to spenders and an improvement in the ability of both savers and spenders
to adjust their risk profiles."
He added that "Among the key technological innovations are those that have
enabled the development of databases critical to pricing and managing the risks
of financial instruments. The ability to value risky assets laid the foundation
for understanding the risks embedded in those assets and managing those risks on
a portfolio basis."
He also commented on technological innovation. "Stable economic
environments encourage innovation; indeed fostering a stable economic
environment is an important way in which central banks can contribute to public
|Microsoft Brings Suits Against
Counterfeiters Under New Anti Counterfeiting Amendments Act
6/15. Microsoft announced that it filed four complaints in U.S. District Courts
in the Eastern District of Virginia and the Central District of California against companies
that its alleges distributed its software and software components in violation of various
laws. These complaints illustrate use of the new civil remedies created by the Anti
Counterfeiting Amendments Act (ACAA).
In addition to routine allegations of distribution of counterfeit software, the complaints
also allege violation of the ACAA. This bill was enacted in December of 2004 as
a part of
HR 3632 (108th Congress), the "Intellectual Property Protection and Courts
Amendments Act of 2004". This bill is now Public Law No. 108-482.
The anti-counterfeiting provisions revised and expanded 18 U.S.C. § 2318,
which pertains to trafficking in counterfeit labels, documentation and packaging
of computer programs, phonorecords, and movies.
Microsoft stated in a
that the ACAA "strengthened the software industry's ability to protect itself from
those abusing certificate of authenticity (COA) labels -- the ``authentication´´ labels that
are paired with legitimate software. Previously, legal action was taken against those selling
or possessing counterfeit COA labels. The law created specific criminal and civil penalties
for the distribution of genuine COA labels with the software the COA labels were intended
The ACAA provides that "Whoever ... knowingly traffics in--
(1) a counterfeit label or illicit label affixed to, enclosing, or
accompanying, or designed to be affixed to, enclose, or accompany--
(A) a phonorecord;
(B) a copy of a computer program;
(C) a copy of a motion picture or other audiovisual work;
(D) a copy of a literary work;
(E) a copy of a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work;
(F) a work of visual art; or
(G) documentation or packaging; or
(2) counterfeit documentation or packaging,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or
The bill addresses not only "counterfeit label"s, but also "illicit label"s.
It defines this latter category as genuine labels that are used without the
authorization of the copyright holder.
More specifically, the bill provides that an "illicit label" is "a genuine
certificate, licensing document, registration card, or similar labeling
(A) that is used by the copyright owner to verify that a phonorecord, a copy
of a computer program, a copy of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, a
copy of a literary work, a copy of a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work, a
work of visual art, or documentation or packaging is not counterfeit or
infringing of any copyright; and
(B) that is, without the authorization of the copyright owner--
(i) distributed or intended for distribution not in connection with the
copy, phonorecord, or work of visual art to which such labeling component was
intended to be affixed by the respective copyright owner; or
(ii) in connection with a genuine certificate or licensing document,
knowingly falsified in order to designate a higher number of licensed users or
copies than authorized by the copyright owner, unless that certificate or
document is used by the copyright owner solely for the purpose of monitoring or
tracking the copyright owner's distribution channel and not for the purpose of
verifying that a copy or phonorecord is noninfringing".
The bill also creates a new civil remedy for violation of these
The four actions are Microsoft Corp. v. East Outlet, LLC and Super Supplier
LLC, Va., E.D. Va., D.C. No. 4:05 CV 105; Microsoft Corp. v. #9 Software, Inc.,
E.D. Va., D.C. No. 4:05 CV106; Microsoft Corp. v. CEO Microsystems, Inc.,
C.D. Cal., D.C. No. SACV05-0559 CJC (RNBx); and Microsoft Corp. v. Wiston
Group, Inc., C.D. Cal., D.C. No. CV05-4210 ABC (PJWx).
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Friday, June 17
The House will meet at 9:00 AM.
The Senate will not meet.
The Supreme Court will next meet on Monday, June 20.
8:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. Day two of a two day meeting of the
National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advisory
Committee for International Science and Engineering. See,
notice in the Federal Register, June 1, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 104, at Pages
31545 - 31546. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 730, Arlington, VA.
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Day two of a two day conference hosted
by the University of Maryland University College (UMUC)
titled "Pirates, Thieves and Innocents: Perceptions of Copyright Infringement in
the Digital Age". Registration has closed. The event will be webcast. See,
page. Location: UMUC, 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD.
Deadline to submit comments to the Antitrust
Modernization Commission (AMC) in response to the AMC's request for public comments
regarding (1) treble damages, (2) prejudgment interest, (3) attorneys' fees, (4) joint and
several liability, contribution, and claim reduction, (5) remedies available to the federal
government, (6) private injunctive relief, and (7) indirect purchaser litigation. See,
notice in the Federal Register: May 19, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 96, at Pages
|Monday, June 20
The Senate will meet at 2:00 PM. It will resume consideration of
the energy bill.
The Supreme Court will return from recess. It is possible that it
will issue opinions in MGM v. Grokster (regarding copyright and P2P systems),
and NCTA v. Brand X (regarding regulation of broadband internet services).
It may also announce its certiorari decision in Honeywell v. Hamilton Sundstrand
(regarding whether a patent applicant who has withdrawn an independent patent claim and
rewritten a formerly dependent claim as a new independent claim is subject to prosecution
The annual U.S.-EU Summit will take place. See, White
release. Location: Washington DC.
10:00 AM. Kevin Ring (author of
Scalia Dissents : Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken
Schwartz (American University Law School) and
Mark Tushnet (Georgetown University Law School) will participate in a panel discussion
regarding Supreme Court developments. Location: Zenger Room,
National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
12:30 PM. Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC), a
member of the House Judiciary Committee,
will give a luncheon address. Location: Ballroom, National
Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to
its notice of
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) [15 pages in PDF] regarding implementation of the satellite
broadcast carriage requirements in the noncontiguous states, as required by Section 210 of
the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 (SHVERA). The
FCC adopted this NPRM at its April 29, 2005 meeting. This NPRM is FCC 05-92 in MB Docket No.
notice in the Federal Register, May 20, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 97, at Pages
|Tuesday, June 21
10:00 AM. The House Judiciary
Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will
hold an oversight hearing titled "Copyright Office Views on Music Licensing
Reform". The hearing will be webcast by the HJC. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or
Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. The Progress and
Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host an event titled "Digital Age Communications
Act Regulatory Framework Working Group: Public Release and Discussion of a Working Group
Draft Document". The speakers will be Sen.
John Ensign (R-NV), FCC Commissioner
Kathleen Abernathy, Raymond Gifford
(PFF), Randolph May (PFF), and
(Northwestern University law school). See, PFF
notice. See also,
"PFF Announces Digital Age Communications Act Project" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,068, February 2, 2005. For more information, contact Brooke Emmerick at 202 289-8928
or bemmerick at pff dot org. Location:
Hyatt Regency Capitol
Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) will hold a meeting titled "Current Status of FCC Proceedings Involving
VOIP and other IP Enabled Services". The speaker will be Thomas Navin,
Chief of the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau. The FCC's proceedings are titled "In
the Matter of IP-Enabled Services" (WC Docket No. 04-36), and "E911 Requirements
for IP-Enabled Service Providers" (WC Docket No. 05-196). For more information,
contact Catherine Bohigian at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Frank Lloyd at
email@example.com. The Federal Communications Bar
Association (FCBA) states that this is a meeting of its Cable Practice Committee, and
requests an RSVP to Wendy Parish at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: Mintz Levin, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW , 9th Floor.
|Wednesday, June 22
10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce
Committee will hold a hearing on telecom mergers. See,
contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456 or Melanie_Alvord at commerce dot senate
dot gov, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546 or Andy_Davis at commerce dot senate dot
gov. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
12:00 NOON - 2:30 PM. The U.S. Chamber
of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation (NCF) will host a luncheon titled "The
Effect of Municipal Broadband Networks on Competition". The speakers will include
David Hirschmann (NCF), Jim Kovacs (US Chamber), Dianah Neff (City of Philadelphia),
(Northwestern University), and Jim Baller (Baller Herbst
Law Group). The price to attend ranges from free to $115. See,
agenda [PDF]. Location: US Chamber, 1615 H Street, NW.
RESCHEDULED FROM MAY 11. The Federal
Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a continuing legal education (CLE)
seminar on voice over internet protocol (VOIP). See,
form [PDF]. Location: Skadden Arps, 700 14th Street, NW.
EXTENDED TO JULY 20.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response
to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding its intercarrier
compensation system. This FNPRM is FCC 05-33 in CC Docket No. 01-92. The FCC adopted
this FNPRM at its meeting of February 10, 2005, and released it on March 3, 2005. See,
notice in the Federal Register, March 24, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 56, at Pages 15030 -
15044. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts FNPRM in Intercarrier Compensation
Proceeding" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,076, February 14, 2005.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response
to its Public
Notice [10 pages in PDF] regarding video news releases (VNRs). This notice
is FCC 05-84 in MB Docket No. 05-171.
|Thursday, June 23
10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee
will hold a business meeting. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456 or
Melanie_Alvord at commerce dot senate dot gov, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546 or
Andy_Davis at commerce dot senate dot gov. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Department of Homeland
Security's (DHS) Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) will meet. Most of
the meeting is closed to the public. See,
notice in the Federal Register, June 8, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 109, at Page
33519. The open portion of the meeting, from 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON, will be
held at the Park Hyatt, 24th and M Streets, NW.
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Practice Committee will host a
brown bag lunch. Location: National Association of
Broadcasters (NAB), 1771 N St., NW, Conference Rooms A & B.
2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) WRC-07 Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group 3
(IMT-2000 and 2.5 GHz Sharing Issues) will meet. See,
[PDF]. Location: FCC, 7th Floor South Conference Room (7-B516), 445 12th
|Friday, June 24
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Progress
and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a program on media ownership. Adam
Thierer (PFF) will discuss his book titled
Media Myths: Making Sense of the Debate over Media Ownership [Amazon]. Susan Ness
(former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission) will comment. Press
contact: Patrick Ross at 202 289-8928 or pross at pff dot org. See,
registration page. Location: National Press Club,
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
10:00 AM. The Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a pre-auction seminar for its Low Power
Television Auction, Auction No. 81. The deadline to register is June 21. See,
Notice [PDF] numbered DA 05-1624, and dated June 9, 2005. Location: FCC, 445 12th
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar
Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "Wireless Luncheon". The
price to attend is $15. See,
[PDF]. Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street,
6/16. The House approved
HR 2862, the
"Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006", by a vote of 418-7. See,
Roll Call No. 268. This bill
includes a provision, approved on June 15, that pertains to access to library records
under the USA PATRIOT Act. See, story titled "House Approves Amendment Related to
Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,155, June 16, 2005.
6/15. Dan Glickman, President of the Motion
Picture Association of America (MPAA), gave a
speech [MS Word] at a
Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) event. He argued
that free markets and intellectual property rights are necessary to incent creation
of entertainment content.
6/15. The Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) announced that Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries will be required to
produce passports with digital photographs by October 26, 2005. The DHS stated
in a release
that "all VWP countries must also present an acceptable plan to begin issuing
integrated circuit chips, or e-passports, within one year."
6/14. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) wrote an
opinion article titled "A Deal Made in Washington?", which is published in
CNET. He argues that any broadcast flag legislation should be tied to his proposal
to create a fair use exemption to violation of the anti-circumvention provisions of the
DMCA. He wrote that "If the MPAA expects Congress to ratify a rule that would limit
the ability of ordinary consumers to share lawfully acquired digital broadcast television
programs with one another, then it shouldn't be surprised if Congress insists
that the MPAA accept in return a restoration of the fair use rights taken from
consumers through the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)."
On May 6, 2005, the U.S.Court of Appeals
(DCCir) issued its
opinion [34 pages in PDF] in American Library Association v. FCC,
overturning the Federal Communications Commission's
(FCC) broadcast flag rules. See,
"DC Circuit Reverses FCC's Broadcast Flag Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,131, May 9, 2005. On March 9, 2005, Rep. Boucher reintroduced his fair use bill. See,
and story titled "Reps. Boucher, Doolittle and Barton Reintroduce Digital Media
Consumers' Rights Act" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,111, April 8, 2005.
6/7. Kyle McSlarrow, P/CEO of the National
Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), gave a
regarding regulation and the process of reviewing the 1996 Telecom Act. The NCTA also released
paper [9 pages in
PDF] titled "Working Toward a
Deregulated Video Marketplace".
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