|FCC Sets Deadlines for Comments
on VOIP NPRM
6/29. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
announced comment deadlines for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) portion
of its order and NPRM regarding the extension of 911/E911 regulation to
interconnected voice over internet protocol (VOIP) service providers.
The FCC adopted, but did not release, this order and NPRM at its meeting of May
19, 2005. See, story
titled "FCC Adopts Order Expanding E911 Regulation to Include Some VOIP Service
Providers", and stories titled "Summary of the FCC's 911 VOIP Order", "Opponents of FCC
911 VOIP Order State that the FCC Exceeded Its Statutory Authority", and "More Reaction
to the FCC's 911 VOIP Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,139, May 20, 2005.
The FCC released the
text [90 pages in PDF] of this order and NPRM on June 3, 2005.
See, story titled "FCC
Releases VOIP E911 Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,148, June 6, 2005.
Initial comments are due by August 15, 2005. Reply comments are due by
September 12, 2005. This is a "permit but disclose" proceeding.
The NPRM seeks comments on numerous topics. First, it notes that "there is no
way for portable VoIP providers reliably and automatically to provide location
information to PSAPs for these services without the customerís active
cooperation". Hence, it asks, how can the FCC mandate that service providers
provide location information, in a manner that does "not depend on a customer
providing his or her location information"?
The NPRM suggests that the FCC is considering mandatory registration of all
wireless access points, mandatory registration of all access jacks, various
methods of signal triangulation, and mandating GPS systems.
Some of the potential technologies for obtaining location information would
entail requiring equipment manufacturers to redesign their products. Hence, the
NPRM further asks what statutory authority the FCC has to require consumer
electronics manufacturers to incorporate location technology into personal
computers and other devices.
The NPRM asks if the FCC should broaden the scope of these rules to other
providers of VOIP services.
The NPRM asks "How should the use of wireless broadband connections such as
Wi-Fi or WiMax impact the applicability of the obligations we adopt today? Would
providers of wireless interconnected VoIP service be more appropriately subject
to our existing 911/E911 rules for CMRS?"
The NPRM asks about expanding the reporting requirements for interconnected
VOIP service providers.
The NPRM also asks what role state regulators should play in regulating
interconnected VOIP service providers.
The order and NPRM is numbered FCC 05-116 in WC Docket No. 05-196. The FCC
issued its order and NPRM following its original NPRM, which was FCC 04-28 in WC
Docket No. 04-36, and titled "In the Matter of IP-Enabled Services". However,
the FCC's June 29 notice states that comments should reference only WC Docket
|25 House Commerce Committee Members Praise
MGM v. Grokster
6/28. Twenty-five members of the
House Commerce Committee (HCC) signed a statement praising the Supreme
Court's June 27
opinion [55 pages in PDF] in MGM v. Grokster. They wrote that
the opinion "correctly balanced the rights of creators with the
imperative to promote technological innovation under the rule of law".
They continued that "As members of the
House Commerce Committee, we understand that both creative products and a
thriving technology sector are central to America's continued prosperity. With
music, movies, computer software, books and other types of creative works
comprising our second largest export, massive theft of property over the
Internet jeopardizes our economic security. The Supreme Court correctly
understood this and clearly stated that this case was not about technology but
about those who would abuse it, turning it to illegal purposes."
The HCC has fifty-seven members. In recent Congresses this Committee has asserted
jurisdiction over legislation that affects intellectual property rights. That nearly half
of the HCC has already praised the opinion in MGM v. Grokster suggests that it would
be difficult for proponents of legislation that would overturn the effect of MGM v.
Grokster to obtain Committee approval.
The signers of the letter are Representatives
Mary Bono (R-CA), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), John Shimkus (R-IL),
John Shadegg (R-AZ), Chip Pickering (R-MS), Butch Otter (R-ID), Steve Buyer (R-IN), George
Radanovich (R-CA), Greg Walden (R-OR), Lee Terry (R-NE), Sue Myrick (R-NC), John Sullivan
(R-OK), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Edolphus Towns
(D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jay Inslee (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bobby Rush (D-IL),
Eliot Engel (D-NY), Mike Ross (D-AR), Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Ted Strickland (D-OH).
Not included are Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the Chairman, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the
ranking Democrat, or Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA).
titled " Supreme Court Rules in MGM v. Grokster", and story titled "Reaction to the
Supreme Court's Opinion in MGM v. Grokster", in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,163,
June 28, 2005.
|State Department Official Says Internet and
Wireless Communications Promote Freedom
6/28. David Gross,
the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the
Department of State, gave a
speech titled "The
Other Wireless Revolution". He spoke at a Wireless
Communications Association International (WCAI) in Washington DC.
Gross (at right) said
that "There is a an almost philosophic connection between the expansion of
telecommunications and our foreign policy objectives. The thematic consistency
between these two seemingly disparate arenas lies in the indivisibility of our
most basic and compelling aspirations. The bedrock of telecommunications growth
and good foreign policy, it seems to me, is the desire to empower individuals to
exercise the freedom to which they were born and to create the conditions in
which they can fulfill their potential. Freedom of choice and freedom to communicate
constitute some our most cherished values and unite us in a common purpose."
"The wireless information and communication technologies that you provide,
however, also have contributed materially to the cause of freedom." Gross added
that "democracy is strengthened by access to knowledge. And the introduction of
new communications and information technologies can help shape a political eco-system
where the friends of freedom are strengthened and tyranny is weakened."
He said that "Mobile phones, the Internet, and satellite TV among other
technologies can have a powerful impact in weakening repression, shaping how
people relate to their governments, and sometime even providing the means for
organizing and sustaining movements for political change."
He cited as an example, that "During the recent Orange Revolution in Ukraine,
opposition groups set up online forums -- using servers abroad to avoid hackers
loyal to the regime -- to discuss policy and strategy."
He added that "So far, governments have had difficulty stemming the tide.
They have had some success licensing fax machines and blocking dissident Web
sites. In Iran, for example, the government has tightened its control over the
Internet. Worried about the growth of home-brewed dissent, it increasingly has
tried to block reformist content in its local language, Farsi and restrict what
citizens can publish through Web journals. But governments reportedly have had a
particularly hard time figuring out whether and how to block text messaging."
Gross also said that "Undoubtedly, despite the collective efforts of industry
and the U.S. Government, there are still significant challenges to the growth of
wireless and wireless broadband. One major problem recently has been attempts by
some countries to craft country-specific technical standards as a form of
industrial policy and protectionism. We have sought to counter this trend by
encouraging greater participation in international standards bodies.
Particularly in the wireless broadband area, we have sought to outline to
governments the benefits of industry-driven standards processes that will result
in the best solution for customers and industry alike. But, as you know, some
countries have responded by trying to push their country-specific standards --
WAPI, in the case of China -- through these entities. Others, like Korea, have
quietly pressured their indigenous companies to adopt home-grown cell-phone
related standards like WIPI. We have encouraged these countries -- with some
success -- to abandon these counter-productive efforts."
Gross did not address U.S. laws, policies and proceedings that may limit the
growth and use of wireless and internet technologies in the exercise of political freedom,
such as excessive state and federal taxes upon communications services, the Communications
Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the FCC's current rulemaking proceeding
regarding imposing a CALEA like regime on certain information services, the Federal
Election Campaign Act (FECA) and the Federal Election Commission's (FEC) current
rulemaking proceeding regarding regulating political speech on the internet, or
federal encryption related policies.
7/1. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) announced that it has completed its move to its new headquarters. See, USPTO
7/1. The Copyright Office published a
notice in the Federal Register that states that it is "removing its
regulations governing the filing of claims to cable, satellite, and DART royalty
funds. These claims now are to be filed with the Copyright Royalty Judges
pursuant to the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004, which
became effective on May 31, 2005." See, Federal Register, July 1, 2005, Vol. 70,
No. 126, at Pages 38022 - 38023.
7/1. Microsoft announced that it has
settled an antitrust action brought by IBM. Microsoft wrote in a
release that "Microsoft Corp. and IBM today announced that they have entered
into an agreement to resolve antitrust issues between the two companies. Today's
settlement resolves claims arising from the United States v. Microsoft
antitrust case in the mid-1990s, where IBM was identified in U.S. District Judge
Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings of fact as having been impacted in its
business by certain Microsoft practices. Under the agreement, Microsoft will pay
IBM $775 million and extend $75 million in credit towards deployment of
Microsoft software at IBM."
6/29. Microsoft published an
in its web site titled "Bring Spyware Out of the Shadows". It argues for
Congressional legislation that would set a "national standard for anti-spyware
enforcement". That is, it wants the Congress to preempt state laws in this area.
6/27. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) released a notice
regarding cell phone jammers. It states that "Advertisements for cellular
jammers suggest that the devices may be used on commuter trains, in theaters,
hotels, restaurants and other locations the public frequents." The FCC notice
adds that "Inquiries about the use of cellular jammers are often accompanied by
comments that the use of wireless phones in public places is disruptive and
annoying." The FCC notice states that the Communications Act and the FCC's rules
"prohibit the manufacture, importation, marketing, sale or operation of these
devices within the United States". This notice is numbered DA 05-1776.
|There was no issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert on Monday,
July 4, 2005.
|Justice O'Connor Resigns
7/1. Supreme Court Justice Sandra O'Connor announced her resignation.
President Bush has not yet nominated a replacement.
Bush stated that "Under the
Constitution, I am responsible for nominating a successor to Justice O'Connor. I take
this responsibility seriously. I will be deliberate and thorough in this process. I have
directed my staff, in cooperation with the Department of Justice, to compile information
and recommend for my review potential nominees who meet a high standard of legal ability,
judgment and integrity and who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our
country." He added that "As well, I will continue to consult, as will my advisors,
with members of the United States Senate. The nation deserves, and I will select, a Supreme
Court Justice that Americans can be proud of. The nation also deserves a dignified process
of confirmation in the United States Senate, characterized by fair treatment, a fair hearing
and a fair vote. I will choose a nominee in a timely manner so that the hearing and the vote
can be completed before the new Supreme Court term begins." See,
transcript. See also, statement by Attorney General
Sen. Patrick Leahy
(D-VT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate
Judiciary Committee, stated in a
release that "I
renew my call to the President to consult with Members of the Senate from both
sides of the aisle as he makes his decision about a nominee."
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) stated in a
release that "I expect that any nominee the President sends to the Senate will
be treated with fairness and respect, including an up or down vote in the Senate. As a
senior member of the Judiciary Committee, I'll be looking forward to hearing from a
nominee who understands that the role of the courts is to interpret the law, not create
the law." Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) stated in a
release that "The American people are tired of the confrontational
partisanship that has characterized the judicial confirmation process in recent
years. When President Bush nominates someone to replace Justice OíConnor, the
Senate must fulfill its constitutional responsibility to treat the nominee
fairly with a full debate on the merits and then an up-or-down vote."
release of Alliance for Justice
of People for the American Way, two
Washington DC based interest groups that have frequently lobby against
confirmation of judicial nominees of Republican Presidents.
|More People and Appointments
6/30. Joseph Hall will leave the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He was the Managing Executive for
Policy and a member of former Chairman William Donaldson's senior
management team. He will return to the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. See,
6/30. Peter Derby will leave the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the end of July. He is the
Managing Executive for Operations and Management. See, SEC
6/30. Matt Well will leave the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He is the Director of the Office
of Public Affairs. See, SEC
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner
Orson Swindle (at right) will leave the FTC. He has focused on
increasing public information and awareness of cyber security issues. He has also often
advocated reliance on free market solutions, and existing FTC Act authority, rather than
the passage of legislation giving the FTC increased authority and responsibilities.
President Bush has not yet nominated a replacement. See also,
statement of FTC
Chairman Deborah Majoras.
6/29. Harry Pearce was named non-executive Chairman of the Board of
Nortel Networks. He has been a director
since January of this year. He was previously the Chairman of the Board of
Hughes Electronics Corporation. He replaces Lynton Wilson. See, Nortel
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Tuesday, July 5
The House will not meet on Monday, July 4 through Friday, July 8. The
House will next meet at 2:00 PM on Monday, July 11. See,
Republican Whip Notice.
The Senate will not meet on Monday, July 4 through Friday, July 8. See,
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) in response
to its Public
Notice [PDF] regarding the United Telecom Council (UTC)
request to be the Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL) database manager. This is
DA 05-1637, dated June 9, 2005, in ET Docket No. 04-37.
|Wednesday, July 6
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of
Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Sicom Systems v. Agilent
Technologies, a case regarding standing to sue for patent infringement. See,
October 5, 2004
Memorandum Opinion [PDF] of the U.S. District Court (Del). This is D.C. No.
03-1171-JJF, and App. Ct. No. 05-1066. Location: U.S. Court of Appeals, LaFayette
Square, 717 Madison Place, Courtroom 201.
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association
will host a program titled "File Sharing and Copyright Infringement after MGM
Studios v. Grokster". The price to attend ranges from $10-$20. For more
information, contact 202-626-3463. See,
Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.
|Thursday, July 7
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir)
will hear oral argument in Ericsson Inc. v. Harris Corp., No. 04-1444.
Location: U.S. Court of Appeals, LaFayette Square, 717 Madison Place, Courtroom 201.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's
(DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare
for the Americas Regional Preparatory Meeting for the World Telecommunication Development
Conference (WTDC-06) in Lima, Peru, from August 9-11, 2005. See,
notice in the Federal Register, June 22, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 119, Page
36224. Location: DOS, Room 2533A.
|Friday, July 8
10:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Heritage
Foundation will host a panel discussion titled "Are Bloggers and Journalists
Friends or Enemies?". The speakers will be Ed Morrissey
(Captainís Quarters Blog), Jim Hill
(Washington Post Writers Group), and
Mark Tapscott (Heritage).
See, notice. Location:
Heritage, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE.
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The
Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will
host a panel discussion titled "MGM v. Grokster: What's Next?".
The speakers will be Cary Sherman, President of the
Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA), Sarah Deutsch, General Counsel of
Verizon, Gigi Sohn, President of
Public Knowledge, and Jim DeLong,
PFF Senior Fellow. See,
and registration page. Lunch will be served. Location: Room 1537, Longworth Building,
Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of second further proposed
rulemaking regarding horizontal and vertical cable ownership limits. The FCC adopted this
Second Further NPRM on May 13, 2005, and released it on May 17, 2005. This item is FCC
05-96 in MM Docket No. 92-264. See,
notice in the Federal Register, June 8, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 109, at Pages 33679 -
|Monday, July 11
The House will return from its Independence Day recess at 2:00 PM. See,
Republican Whip Notice.
The Senate will return from its Independence Day recess. See,
|Tuesday, July 12
9:45 - 11:30 AM. The DC Bar Association will
host a visit to and tour of the Copyright Office.
The price to attend ranges from $15-$25. For more information, contact 202-626-3463. See,
notice. Location: Copyright Office, Room 401, James Madison Memorial
Building, First Street & Independence Avenue, SE.
1:30 - 4:30 PM. The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National
Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) will meet. Location: National Press Club.
TIME? The State Department's International Telecommunication
Advisory Committee's (ITAC) U.S. Study Group B will meet to prepare positions for the next
meeting of the ITU-T Study Group 16. See,
notice in the Federal Register, June 13, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 112, at Pages
34175 - 34176. Location: Communication Technologies, Inc., 14151 Newbrook
Drive, Suite 400, Chantilly, VA.
Day one of a two day conference hosted by the
National Institute of Standards and Technology's
(NIST), Computer Security Division titled "Federal Computer Security
Program Manager's Forum Annual Off-Site Meeting". See,
Location: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli
Road, North Bethesda, MD.
|About Tech Law Journal
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