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March 9, 2006, Alert No. 1,326.
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House CIIP Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Orphan Works

3/8. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property (CIIP) held a hearing on the Copyright Office's (CO) report [133 pages in PDF] titled "Report on Orphan Works".

"Orphan works" is a term used to describe certain copyrighted works. The CO's report proposes legislation to substantially lessen the copyright protection afforded to orphan works. Some works are literally orphan in the sense that the creator has died and abandoned the work. A subsequent user cannot find any copyright owner from whom to license the work.

However, for some works, the term orphan is relative. From the perspective of the user, or infringer, a work is orphan if the owner of a copyrighted work cannot be identified and located. From the perspective of the creator of the work, who asserts copyright, and who seeks to derive income from licensing the work, the work is not and should not be labeled orphan and subjected to diminished legal protection.

The CIIP Subcommittee heard from one group, photographers, who label their works, and seek to license them, but who still would likely have some of their works declared orphan works under the CO's legislative proposal. The Subcommittee also heard from the CO and users of orphan works, who support the CO proposal.

See, prepared testimony [21 pages in PDF] of Jule Sigall (primary author of the report), prepared testimony of Allan Adler (Association of American Publishers), prepared testimony of David Trust (Professional Photographers of America), and prepared testimony [10 pages in PDF] of Maria Pallante (Guggenheim Museum).

Sigall wrote in his prepared testimony that "A broad and diverse array of interests from both copyright owner and user communities including book publishers, authors, libraries, archives, museums, motion picture studios, record companies, educational institutions, documentary filmmakers and others agree with the Copyright Office’s conclusion that the orphan works issue is real and needs to be addressed, and they also agree in basic concept and structure with the legislative solution proposed by the Report."

But, he added that some groups, including photographers, are opposed to the report. The problem is that CO registrations, and searchable data, is in text, while photographers are not in text. This makes is harder to locate the owners of photographers. Also, the Guggenheim Museum's representative testified that museums are deliberately aggravating the problem by declining to attribute the owners of copyrighted works.

The Copyright Office's proposed legislative language is, in full, as follows:

  (a) Notwithstanding sections 502 through 505, where the infringer:
    (1) prior to the commencement of the infringement, performed a good faith, reasonably diligent search to locate the owner of the infringed copyright and the infringer did not locate that owner, and
    (2) throughout the course of the infringement, provided attribution to the author and copyright owner of the work, if possible and as appropriate under the circumstances, the remedies for the infringement shall be limited as set forth in subsection (b).
      (A) no award for monetary damages (including actual damages, statutory damages, costs or attorney’s fees) shall be made other than an order requiring the infringer to pay reasonable compensation for the use of the infringed work; provided, however, that where the infringement is performed without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage, such as through the sale of copies or phonorecords of the infringed work, and the infringer ceases the infringement expeditiously after receiving notice of the claim for infringement, no award of monetary relief shall be made.
      (A) in the case where the infringer has prepared or commenced preparation of a derivative work that recasts, transforms or adapts the infringed work with a significant amount of the infringer’s expression, any injunctive or equitable relief granted by the court shall not restrain the infringer's continued preparation and use of the derivative work, provided that the infringer makes payment of reasonable compensation to the copyright owner for such preparation and ongoing use and provides attribution to the author and copyright owner in a manner determined by the court as reasonable under the circumstances; and
      (B) in all other cases, the court may impose injunctive relief to prevent or restrain the infringement in its entirety, but the relief shall to the extent practicable account for any harm that the relief would cause the infringer due to the infringer’s reliance on this section in making the infringing use.
  (c) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, limitations or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.
  (d) This section shall not apply to any infringement occurring after the date that is ten years from date of enactment of this Act.

Jule Sigall summarized the CO report, and reaction that the CO has received to the report. Adler and Pallante both praised the CO report, and offered suggestions for further limiting the rights of authors.

Adler represents book publishers, which both own and use copyrighted works. He proposals were tailored and technical. Pallante's recommendations were broader.

David Trust was the sole representative on the panel of an author's group. He said that the CO's legislative proposal, if enacted into law, would have a "devastating effect" upon photographers. He said that the proposal provides a way to skirt the rights of creators, by leaving them without any effective legal remedy for unlicensed copying of their works.

Trust said that "photographers are also the group most likely to have their works fall into the orphan category. While some groups would have you believe that all orphan works are willfully abandoned, the truth is that a photographer or other visual artist who marks his work and takes every reasonable step to make himself known to the world can still have his images labeled as orphans."

He said that 90% of the members of the Professional Photographers of America mark their works in various ways. However, users fail to attribute, remove labels, and remove digital marks and tags on digital photographs.

Rep. Smith followed up on this in his questions. The book publishers' Allen Adler said that the book publishers go to great lengths to track down owners of copyrights in photographs, and do credit the copyright owner.

The Guggenheim Museum's Pallante took the opposite approach when Rep. Smith asked her about crediting copyright owners. She said that no, museums do not want to give credit to copyright owners. She elaborated on this in more detail in her prepared testimony. She wrote that we "disagree that users should credit copyright owners".

This practice contributes to the inability of subsequent users to locate the owners of copyrighted works. The Guggenheim Museum argues both that users should be able to strip owner information from works, and that users should then be able to avoid normal infringement liability on the basis that the owners cannot be located.

Pallante also argued that the Guggenheim Museum and others should qualify for the limitation of award of monetary relief in the legislative proposal when it engages in commercial infringement. The proposal states that "no award of monetary damages ... shall be made other than ... reasonable compensation ... where the infringement is performed without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage, such as through the sale of copies ..." She said that the museum wants to be able to sell books with infringing works, and sell admission tickets to exhibits with infringing works, and yet still qualify for the limitation on award of damages.

Trust argued in his prepared testimony that "We believe the requirement of attribution when ``possible and as appropriate´´ serves the goal of making it easier for the rightful owner of an orphan work to discover its use."

Rep. Smith asked Sigall how he proposed to address the concerns of the photographers. Sigall said that "We have heard of two suggestions that might help alleviate the problem. The first would be some exception to the limitation on remedies for the situation where the user refuses to negotiate with the resurfacing owner in good faith. There is a question of how you define that, and how you get that language right. But in that situation, where the owner resurfaces, and asks for reasonable compensation, and there is no good faith negotiation, perhaps at that point, statutory damages and attorneys fees might become available for photographers who have timely registered their copyrights, before the infringement occurred, so that the current status quo rules would still apply."

Sigall continued that "The caveat on that kind of solution is that you don't want to recreate the orphan works problem again, by creating uncertainty in the mind of the user that they might be hit with that liability. But I think we can come to some language that avoids that."

He said that the second suggestion "was the one about delaying the effective date of any legislation, for a short period of time, maybe a year, which I think would help both in terms of helping individual creators start developing systems so that they can be found and located, and also help develop some of the criteria for reasonably diligent search, for both users and creators to understand what the scope of what the orphan works designation would be."

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) raised the subject of whether copyright law might incorporate something similar to the notion of trademark abandonment. Jule Sigall responded that the international copyright system, as embodied in the TRIPS Agreement, prohibits imposing formalities on copyrights.

Rep. Issa also asked whether orphan works legislation should include the principle that if one subsequent user has located a copyright owner, and licensed the work, that should overcome the claim of another user that he was unable to locate the owner after a diligent search. Trust agreed.

Rep. Smith stated that the CO has achieved 80 or 90 percent agreement on its report.

Rep. Smith stated at the conclusion of the hearing that he wanted interested parties to come to an agreement on proposed legislative language by the end of March.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) also participated in the hearing.

Media photographers rarely attend hearings of the CIIP Subcommittee. However, a group came to this hearing, and took photographs. Most left after photographing Trust's testimony.

See also, story titled "Copyright Office Recommends Orphan Works Legislation" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,302, February 2, 2006. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

7th Circuit Applies Computer Hacking Statute to Use of Trace Removers on Employee Laptops

3/8. The U.S. Court of Appeals (7thCir) issued its opinion [7 pages in PDF] in International Airport Centers v. Citrin, a post-employment dispute that also involves application of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to employees' use of trace remover tools on the laptops assigned to them by their employers.

The opinion states that an employee of a company who is provided a laptop computer by that company, and who uses a trace remover tool on that laptop, may be sued civilly, or prosecuted criminally, for that act, even if there is no employment contract or company policy that prohibits the use of trace remover programs.

The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's dismissal of the employer's CFAA claim against a former employee.

Background. This opinion pertains to trace remover programs and tools. The opinion uses the term "secure-erasure program". They are also sometimes referred to as "disk wipe". See, for example, PC Magazine's May 4, 2005, review of seven products, that among other things, "securely overwrite and erase files and folders".

See also, PC Magazine's April 20, 2004, article by Jay Munro titled "Wipe Data From Old PC's For Good". It states that "When Windows deletes a file, it doesn't delete the data, only removes the file name from the directory tables. With readily available tools, a savvy user can view the hard drive, undelete and ferret out information you thought was gone." The article goes on to explain how to wipe data manually. It also references several tools for purchase.

These tools have many security and privacy benefits. They are frequently used by individuals, corporations and government agencies before a computer, or storage media, is sold or transferred to another user, to prevent subsequent owners or users from accessing confidential files of the previous user. They are used to limit the loss of confidential data in the event that a computer is stolen or improperly accessed by a third party. They also are used to protect the privacy of the user. For example, they can be used to prevent third parties from accessing the computer to learn what health information websites the user has visited, and what materials the user has downloaded. (They can also be used to remove traces of visits to porn web sites.)

The opinion states that the lead plaintiff, International Airport Centers (IAC), is "engaged in the real estate business", and that the defendant is a former employee named Jacob Citrin. The opinion states that IAC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (NDIll). However, the opinion does not identify what causes of action IAC pled. Although, it states that IAC pled violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which is codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1030, and states that the other claims are state law claims.

The opinion does not identify what tool or program Citrin used. It states only that "Citrin loaded into the laptop a secure-erasure program, designed, by writing over the deleted files, to prevent their recovery." The opinion adds the the appellate record does not indicate how Citrin loaded the program onto his laptop.

The opinion relates that Citrin and IAC are involved in litigation arising out of Citrin's decision "to quit IAC and go into business for himself, in breach of his employment contract." Also, the opinion states that Citrin overwrote "data that would have revealed to IAC improper conduct in which he had engaged before he decided to quit." (This is an appeal of dismissal of IAC complaint, so the Court of Appeals views the facts in the light most favorable to IAC.)

There may also be substantial and serious claims alleging breach of contract, unfair competition, or misappropriation of trade secrets. However, the present opinion only identifies the § 1030 claim.

The Statute. 18 U.S.C. § 1030 is the main federal computer hacking criminal statute. It contains numerous criminal bans related to unauthorized accessing of computers to steal information or cause damage.

In addition, some of the bans can also give rise to civil liability. Subsection 1030(g) provides, in part, that "Any person who suffers damage or loss by reason of a violation of this section may maintain a civil action against the violator to obtain compensatory damages and injunctive relief or other equitable relief. A civil action for a violation of this section may be brought only if the conduct involves 1 of the factors set forth in clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) of subsection (a)(5)(B). Damages for a violation involving only conduct described in subsection (a)(5)(B)(i) are limited to economic damages."

Subsection 1030(a)(5) in turn provides as follows:

"(a) Whoever ...
      (i) knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
      (ii) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly causes damage; or
      (iii) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage; and
    (B) by conduct described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of subparagraph (A), caused (or, in the case of an attempted offense, would, if completed, have caused)--
      (i) loss to 1 or more persons during any 1-year period (and, for purposes of an investigation, prosecution, or other proceeding brought by the United States only, loss resulting from a related course of conduct affecting 1 or more other protected computers) aggregating at least $5,000 in value;
      (ii) the modification or impairment, or potential modification or impairment, of the medical examination, diagnosis, treatment, or care of 1 or more individuals;
      (iii) physical injury to any person;
      (iv) a threat to public health or safety; or
      (v) damage affecting a computer system used by or for a government entity in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security;"

That is, to violate subsection 1030(a)(5), one must cause one of the five types of loss enumerated in (a)(5)(B), as a result of committing one of the three acts enumerated in (a)(5)(A).

Court of Appeals Opinion. The Appeals Court opinion is not clear as to which acts or types of loss were pled in the complaint. The opinion states that IAC "relies" on (5)(A)(i). However, it goes on to analyze (5)(A)(ii).

The opinion concludes that the facts, viewed in the light most favorable to IAC, support allegations of violation of both (5)(A)(i) and (5)(A)(ii).

The opinion states that the District Court dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The last sentence of the opinion states that "The judgment is reversed with directions to reinstate the suit, including the supplemental claims that the judge dismissed because he was dismissing IAC's federal claim." This hints that the complaint also included state law claims, and that the § 1030 claim may have been included for the purpose of obtaining federal jurisdiction.

The opinion states that this appeal "requires us to interpret the word ``transmission´´ in a key provision of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030." The opinion also involves interpretation of the word "authorization" in the same § 1030.

The opinion concludes that for the purposes of construing the word "transmission" in (5)(A)(i), it makes no difference whether the defendant inserted a floppy disk or CD into a drive of the laptop to run the trace remover tool, or has accessed the laptop remotely over the internet for the same purpose. The opinion states that "we don't see what difference the precise mode of transmission can make", and that "it can't make any difference that the destructive program comes on a physical medium, such as a floppy disk or CD." Both are a "transmission". The Court reasoned that (5)(A)(i) and (5)(A)(ii) together show that the Congress was concerned both about remote hackers, and inside jobs by disgruntle employees.

That is, the opinion holds that persons using their own laptop transmit to that laptop simply by using that laptop.

However, the (5)(A)(i) analysis does not end there. It also requires that the defendant "causes damage without authorization". IAC provided Citrin with the laptop for his use. He had authorization in the plain sense of the word. The statute makes a clear distinction between "without authorization" and "exceeds authorized access". Hence, the Court of Appeals could not find a violation of (5)(A)(i) based upon exceeding authorization.

The Court found that Citrin did indeed not have "authorization" within the meaning of the statute. It reasoned that Citrin entered into this state non-authorization by operation of the law of agency. It wrote that "his authorization to access the laptop terminated when, having already engaged in misconduct and decided to quit IAC in violation of his employment contract, he resolved to destroy files that incriminated himself and other files that were also the property of his employer, in violation of the duty of loyalty that agency law imposes on an employee." It added that "Citrin’s breach of his duty of loyalty terminated his agency relationship ... and with it his authority to access the laptop ..."

Contract and agency are matters of state law. This case arose in the state of Illinois. Yet the only cases cited by the Court were from other states, and other federal circuits.

The opinion also addresses the employment contract. It cites no clauses barring the use of trace remover tools. Nor does it address termination of authorization to access laptops. The Court did write that the contract authorized Citrin "to ``return or destroy´´ data in the laptop when he ceased being employed by IAC". He did literally "destroy" data when he left the company, as authorized by the contract. Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals reasoned that the contract does not means what it says. It inferred further meaning into the contract, and thus held that this clause did not authorize Citrin's actions.

The case now goes back to the District Court for further proceedings. The 1030 count survives the motion to dismiss.

Criminal Proceedings. This is a civil case. However, the statute construed by this opinion is primarily a criminal statute. This opinion may be cited as precedent in criminal actions.

Mens rea components are fundamental to due process in criminal proceedings. Yet, the Court of Appeals opinion has the effect of substantially eviscerating any meaningful mens rea element from 1030(a)(5)(A)(i) in cases involving employee use of trace removal tools.

(5)(A)(i) contains the mental state elements of "knowingly causes the transmission" and "intentionally causes damage". In common hacking scenarios where the hacker remotely transmits hacking tools or malicious programs to a protected computer, the mens rea elements have real meaning. Bad actors know they are transmitting malicious code, and intend malicious damage.

However, the present case involves use of a computer assigned to an employee, and use of a program which, by itself, is neither illegal, malicious, nor against company policy. It goes without saying that an employee assigned a laptop intentionally accesses that laptop, and that an employee who uses a trace remover tool intentionally removes traces. But these acts are not malum in se. There may be no inherent evil state of mind. Many employees may have no understanding that their intentionally accessing their laptops and knowingly removing traces might constitute a criminal violations. The act only becomes criminal by the operation of the law of agency. And even on this, the Court of Appeals had to resort to out of state precedent on a state law question. In effect, this opinion provides that the mental state elements of (5)(A)(i) impute knowledge of obscure principles of agency law to rank and file employees who use company laptops.

This case is International Airport Centers, LLC, et al. v. Jacob Citrin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, App. Ct. No. 05-1522, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, D.C. No. 03 C 8104, Judge Wayne Andersen presiding. Judge Richard Posner wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals, in which Judges Williams and Sykes joined.

More News

3/8. The House Commerce Committee (HCC) approved the committee print [18 pages in PDF] of HR __, the "Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act". The HCC approved an amendment [PDF] offered by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) regarding access to wireless numbers. The HCC also approved a motion that provides that the HCC "be authorized to enter into a service contract to support the ongoing investigation by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of ``data brokers´´ who acquire and sell consumers’ cell phone related records and other confidential information."

3/8. The House approved HR 1053, a bill to extend normal trade relations treatment to the products of Ukraine, by a vote of 417-2. See, Roll Call No. 24.

3/8. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced in a release that the Bush administration intends to negotiate a free trade agreement with Malaysia.

3/7. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [16 pages in PDF] titled "Telecommunications: Challenges to Assessing and Improving Telecommunications for Native Americans on Tribal Lands".

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, March 9

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Republican Whip Notice.

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM for morning business.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a day long conference titled "The Digital Age Communications Act: Towards a New Market-Oriented Communications Policy in 2006". See, agenda and registration page. Location: Capitol Hilton, 1001 16th St., NW.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Cato Institute and the Brookings Institution will jointly host a one day event titled "The Marketplace of Democracy: A Conference on Electoral Competition and American Politics". The agenda includes a panel discussion from 10:30 - 11:45 AM that includes Brad Smith, who is a professor at Capital University Law School, a former member of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and an opponent of FEC regulation of internet based speech. See, notice, agenda and registration page. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

TIME CHANGE. 9:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. See, notice. The SJC frequently cancels or postpones meetings without notice. Press contact: Blain Rethmeier (Specter) at 202 224-5225, David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242 or Tracy Schmaler (Leahy) at 202 224-2154. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Nash v. Microsoft. This is App. Ct. No. 05-1385. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

3:15 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing on the nomination of Robert McDowell to be a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

TIME? The Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) will meet. Location: AIPLA, Headquarters Board Room, Arlington, VA.

Friday, March 10

The Republican Whip Notice states that "no votes are expected in the House".

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Patent Office Professionals Association v. FSLA, App. Ct. No. 05-1173. Judges Henderson, Garland and Edwards will preside. Location: Prettyman Courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The National Legal Policy Center (NLPC) will host a panel discussion regarding the lawsuits filed by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Authors Guild against Google. The speakers will be Robert Shapiro (Sonecon), Bruce Fein, James Glassman (American Enterprise Institute), Elaine Kamarck (Harvard), and Ken Boehm (NLPC). Breakfast will be served. RSVP to nlpcevent at Location: Room HC-8, Capitol Building.

10:00 - 11:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC) will meet. See, FCC notice and agenda [PDF]. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW.

5:00 PM EST. Deadline to submit requests to testify at the Copyright Office's hearings on possible exemptions to the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 23, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 36, at Pages 9302-9303. See also, stories titled "Copyright Office Announces Proceeding on DMCA Anti-Circumvention Exemptions" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,229, October 7, 2005, and "Copyright Office Announces Hearings on Exemptions to Anti-Circumvention Provisions" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,318, February 27, 2006.

Monday, March 13

2:00 - 3:00 PM. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) will hold a monthly meeting. See, notice. For more information, contact Scott Eisner ncfevents at uschamber dot com or 202 463-5500. Location: U.S. Chamber, 1615 H Street, NW.

Tuesday, March 14

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "Wireless Issues / Spectrum Reform". See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "The Patent Office Speaks". The speakers will include John Doll (Commissioner of Patents, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office), Peggy Focarino (Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations), and Jay Lucas (acting Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy). Darrell Mottley (Banner & Witcoff) will moderate. The price to attend ranges from $20 - $40. For more information, call 202 626-3463. See, notice. Location: The Westin Embassy Row Hotel, 2100 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled "Wall Street's Perspective on Telecommunications". See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

TIME? The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) North American Numbering Council (NANC) will hold a meeting. Location: ___.

TIME? The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will hold a hearing on the proposed free trade agreement with the Republic of Korea. The USTR seeks comments on, among other topics, "electronic commerce issues" and "trade-related intellectual property rights issues that should be addressed in the negotiations". See, notice in the Federal Register: February 9, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 27, at Pages 6820-6821. Location: Rooms 1 and 2, 1724 F Street, NW.

Day one of a four day convention hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) titled titled "CEA Spring Break". See, notice.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [26 pages in PDF] regarding Section 621(a)(1)'s directive that local franchising authorities (LFAs) not unreasonably refuse to award competitive franchises. The FCC adopted this NPRM on November 3, 2005, and released it on November 18, 2005. It is FCC 05-189 in MB Docket No. 05-311. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 14, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 239, at Pages 73973 - 73980. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts NPRM Regarding Local Franchising of Video Services" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,247, November 4, 2005.

Wednesday, March 15

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "The Portable Curator -- The Legal and Business Considerations of Providing High-Tech Handheld Devices to Museum Visitors". The speakers will include Jennifer Berry (Acoustiguide), Allison Cohen (attorney), and Bruce Falk (Smithsonian Institution). The price to attend ranges from $10-$15. For more information, call 202 626-3463. See, notice. Location: Johns Hopkins University, Lower Level 7, 1717 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

9:00 AM - 12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Wireless Committee will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Economic Analysis and FCC Decision Making". The price to attend ranges from $50 to $150. Registrations and cancellations are due by 12:00 NOON on March 10. See, registration form [PDF]. Location: Hogan & Hartson, 555 13th St., NW, 13th floor.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee's Subcommittee on Research will hold a hearing titled "Undergraduate Science, Math and Engineering Education: What's Working?". The witnesses will be Daniel Goroff (Harvey Mudd College), Carl Wieman (University of Colorado at Boulder), John Burris (Beloit College), Elaine Seymour (University of Colorado at Boulder), Margaret Collins (Moraine Valley Community College. Press contact: Joe Pouliot at 202 225-4275. For more information, call Kara Haas at 225-7858, or Jim Wilson at 225-6375 Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Professional Responsibility Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The topic will be planning a spring continuing legal education (CLE) seminar. For more information, contact Peter Connolly at 202 862-5989 or Peter dot connolly at hklaw dot com. Location: Holland & Knight, 2099 Pennsylvania Ave.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "Innovation and Competitiveness Legislation". See, notice. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) will preside. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit applications to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for Pacific Education and Communications Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) program grants. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 13, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 29, at Pages 7539-7541.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will begin Auction No. 64 (Full Power Television Construction Permits). See, notice in the Federal Register, December 28, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 248, at Pages 76836 - 76849.

Day two of a four day convention hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) titled titled "CEA Spring Break". This will also be the first day of a two day "Entertainment Technology Summit". And, at 6:30 PM there will be an event titled "Digital Patriots Dinner". Bill Gates will receive an award. See, notice.

Thursday, March 16

9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. The Library of Congress's (LOC) Section 108 Study Group will hold the second of two round table meetings. 17 U.S.C. § 108, titled "Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives", provides exemptions from liability for infringement for libraries and archives. The LOC published a notice in the Federal Register that states that this meeting relates "primarily to eligibility for the section 108 exceptions and copies made for purposes of preservation and replacement". This notice also states that requests to participate in must be received by 5:00 PM EST on February 24. See, Federal Register, February 15, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 31, at Pages 7999-8002. Location: Room 2237, Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill.

12:30 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host the first of a series of events titled "Managing and Protecting Digital Data". Part I is titled "Overview: Using Technology to Protect Digital Content and Critical Corporate Data". The speakers will include Hari Reddy (ContentGuard). The price to attend ranges from $10-$30. For more information, call 202 626-3463. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "How to Conduct Trademark Searches". The speaker will be Colette Barkey (Oblon Spivak). The price to attend ranges from $70-$125. For more information, call 202 626-3488. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

Day three of a four day convention hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) titled titled "CEA Spring Break". This will also be the second day of a two day "Entertainment Technology Summit". See, notice.

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