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November 9, 2006, Alert No. 1,486.
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Commentary: Some Possible Consequences of the 2006 Elections for Federal Technology Law

11/7. This article speculates as to how the federal elections of November 7, 2006, may affect U.S. technology law and policy at the federal level.

Intellectual Property. While there is a strong correlation between party affiliation and roll call voting in many areas of legislative activity, there is little partisanship in many technology related areas, such as most intellectual property rights (IPR) issues.

Also, while members of the House Judiciary Committee (HJC) and Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) often resort to vicious partisan debate on many issues, they tend to engage in collegial, cooperative, and nonpartisan discussion of many IPR issues. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who will likely resume the Chairmanship of the SJC, have worked together in a nonpartisan manner on copyright, patent, and trademark issues for years.

Similarly, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), and before him Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), have cooperated with Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) on the HJC's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property (CIIP).

Rep. Howard BermanRep. Berman (at left), who is likely to become Chairman of the CIIP Subcommittee, represents a Los Angeles area district that is home to many people who work in copyright based industries. For some of Rep. Berman's recent statements regarding the Chairmanship, see story titled "House Judiciary Committee Puts Off Consideration of Copyright Legislation Until Next Year" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,457, September 27, 2006.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), who is a copyright minimalist, is next in line to Chair the CIIP Subcommittee. He is the leading advocate of creating a fair use exemption to the DMCA ban on circumvention. See, HR 1201, the "Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2005", 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.

However, even if he were to become Chairman, he is at one end of the copyright ideological spectrum on the CIIP, and would not be able to control the content industry friendly Democrats and Republicans on the CIIP.

Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), who cosponsors the fair use bill, won re-election too.

The change in control of the House and Senate may have little effect on stand alone IPR related bills. The Boucher Doolittle fair use bill is as unlikely to pass in a Democratic Congress as in a Republican Congress. The orphan works bill, which has broad bipartisan support, will likely be approved 110th Congress; the same would have been the case with Republican control.

Patent reform and music licensing will also likely be the subject of consideration in the 110th Congress.

Trade and IPR. However, one IPR issue area where there election results may have consequences is trade related aspects of IPR. There is more support among Republicans for free trade, as well as bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements.

In a globalized economy, creators and owners of IP seek protection through trade agreements and foreign laws and enforcement. However, most IPR related provisions are just one part of larger free trade agreements (FTAs)

Trade promotion authority (PTA) expires next summer. The chances for an extension were slim when the Republicans still controlled the House. There is now almost no chance for extending PTA in the short run. And, without trade promotion authority, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's ability to negotiate FTAs is substantially diminished.

Other Trade Issues. The partisan shift will also adversely impact the chances for obtaining other trade related technology provisions in FTAs, such as market access provisions for communications companies, and removing barriers to electronic commerce.

Democrats have also been less receptive to both trade agreement provisions, and bills, that make it easier for tech companies to hire foreign tech workers in the U.S., and for tech companies to move their existing personnel across borders.

Democrats have also been more supportive of proposals that would impose protectionist restrictions on offshore outsourcing by U.S. tech companies.

Sen. Max BaucusIt should be noted, however, that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) (at right) will likely be the next Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over most trade related issues. He is a generally a free trade advocate.

Moreover, due to the two Senators per state provision in the Constitution, and the circumstance that many small population states are export dependent, the Senate is more supportive of free trade, than the House, where representation varies with population.

Communications Reform Legislation. Both the House and Senate have made substantial efforts to enact comprehensive communications reform legislation in the current Congress. The House enacted its bill. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) reported its bill.

There is a correlation between party membership and voting on some of the issues involved, such as imposing network neutrality mandates, imposing build out requirements on broadband service providers, and extending many common carrier type rules to new information services. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to support these various mandates.

Chairmanship of the House Commerce Committee (HCC) will shift from Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) to Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), while chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will shift from Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) to Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA).

Chairmanship of the SCC will likely shift from Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) to Sen. Dan Inouye (D-HI). These two have worked in close cooperation. However, the members of the SCC, and the SCC staff, have displayed more partisanship.

One consequence of the change in control is that it appears unlikely that the House would approve a bill that contains the provisions sought by the cable and telephone companies in the current bill, or that the Senate would approve the related provisions in the current SCC bill.

In a related matter, it is difficult to discern any causal effect of voting on the communications bills, and re-election results. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Sen. George Allen (R-VA), both members of the SCC, lost their race, but there is much to suggest that this was not the result of their involvement in SCC passage of the communications reform bill.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and several Democratic members of the SCC, voted for the network neutrality mandate, without any apparent adverse consequence. Sen. Snowe easily won re-election.

Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM), a member of the HCC, supported network neutrality, and barely won re-election. However, she has close elections every two years.

Several HCC Democrats actively worked with Republicans to enact the HCC communications reform bill. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) won re-election with 85% of the vote. Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) also won with huge margins.

Rep. Charles GonzalezRep. Gonzalez (at left) represents a San Antonio, Texas, district that is home to many employees of AT&T. He and Rep. Markey are likely to disagree on many communications issues.

Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH), a member of the HCC, lost, as did a large number of other northern Republican incumbents. In both the House and Senate, a disproportionate number of the Republican loses occurred in the north -- states north of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers.

Sen. Allen, who is a member of the SCC, lost his election. This had consequences for control of the Senate. In addition, Sen. Allen was one of a small group of Senators who are both informed on a wide range of communications and internet issues, and advocated a minimal regulatory and taxation environment for such services.

His departure may leave Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to argue for free markets in the tech sectors. One might have once placed Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in this category. He remains in the Senate, but previously gave up his seat on the SCC for a seat on the Senate Finance Committee (SFC). He also now advocates network neutrality mandates.

Federal Communications Commission. The President appoints Commissioners, subject to Senate confirmation, and designates the Chairman. Three members come from the President's party, and two from the other. The change of the control of the Congress does not affect the 3-2 balance on the FCC.

One of the consequences of the difficulty of enacting legislation in any Congress is that the FCC is placed in the position of engaging in quasi legislative acts under the guise of rule making. The Congress was unable to enact comprehensive communications reform legislation in the 109th Congress. It is unlikely to do so in the 110th Congress. The FCC will be pressured to address many issues not resolved by the Congress. It would have been in this position regardless of which party won control of the Congress.

The 2008 Presidential election will be significant for the FCC, and the output of the FCC.

Government Electronic Surveillance. There is some partisan variation on some issues related to government electronic surveillance, such as telephone wiretaps, pen register and trap and trace devices, access to e-mail addressing information, access to phone company and internet service provider records, access to stored communications, PATRIOT Act amendment and extension, and mandatory data retention.

Republicans have been more friendly to government requests to expand and extend various powers related to electronic surveillance.

There are Republicans who have opposed or questioned legislative requests from President Bush or the Department of Justice (DOJ). They were not harmed by the elections. Sen. John Sununu (R-NH), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) were not up for re-election. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) ran unopposed. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) won easily. Rep. Butch Otter (R-ID) will not return, but only because he was elected Governor of the state of Idaho instead.

Rep. Diana DeGetteThere are also surveillance friendly Democrats. They fared well in the elections too. For example, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) (at right), who offered a data retention mandate amendment during the House Commerce Committee's (HCC) markup of its communications reform bill, won re-election with 79% of the vote.

Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL) barely won re-election. She represents the seat previously held by former Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL). She won, in part, by voting like a Republican on many issues, including electronic surveillance.

Internet Censorship, DOPA and Mandatory Web Site Labeling. The new Democratic majority will likely be less inclined to push legislation that censors internet expression.

For example, HR 5319, the "Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006", or DOPA would censor use of the internet by expanding the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to include chat rooms and commercial social networking web sites. While this bill was approved by the full House by a vote of 410-15 (see, Roll Call No. 405), it is a Republican initiative. The DOPA is sponsored by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and most of its 39 cosponsors are Republicans. Also, all 15 votes against were cast by Democrats.

The election results in several races may provide further encouragement for opponents of this bill. Rep. Fitzpatrick lost. The cosponsors who lost include Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH), Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), Rep. JD Hayworth (R-AZ), Rep. Sue Kelly (R-NY), and Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-NH). Also, Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN) ran for Governor of Minnesota and lost.

See also, stories titled "House Approves DOPA", "Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Website Labeling Mandate", and "CDT Argues That Social Networking and Web Site Labeling Bills Threaten Free Speech" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,426, August 7, 2006.

Sarbanes Oxley Act and Section 404. Small technology companies are aggrieved by the Sarbanes Oxley Act, and particularly by implementation of its Section 404. Both Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Rep. Mike Oxley (R-OH) are retiring.

Had Republicans remained in control of the Congress, proponents of reform might have sought, or threatened to seek, legislative changes to Section 404. However, the prospects for enactment of any such legislation in a Democratic Congress are much diminished.

Proponents of reform may focus all of their efforts on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The new Chairman, former Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA), is probably the most tech friendly Chairman that Bush could have appointed.

Litigation Reform. There is a strong partisan divide in the Congress on general litigation reform. Democrats are more supportive of the plaintiffs trial lawyers, and hence, oppose reform. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) is an exception.

Any efforts at general litigation reform at the federal level would appear to be over unless Republicans regain control of the Congress, and retain control of the Presidency. Litigation reform advocates may find that working with state legislatures, and the judiciary, is more productive.

Although, narrowly targeted, subject matter specific, bills, such as the HR 5418, sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), may fare better. This is an untitled bill that would establish a ten year pilot program in a least five U.S. District Courts to develop expertise in judges and court staff in patent and plant variety cases.

The House approved this bill, but the Senate did not. See, stories titled "Reps. Issa and Schiff Introduce Bill to Create Pilot Program for Specialized Patent Judges" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,376, May 23, 2006, and "Status of Intellectual Property Bills" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,459, October 2, 2006.

There is also HR 2955, the "Intellectual Property Jurisdiction Clarification Act of 2005". The HJC approved this bill on March 2, 2006, and reported it on April 4, 2006. See, Report No. 109-407. See also, story titled "House Judiciary Committee Approves Amendment Regarding Jurisdiction of Federal Circuit" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,325, March 8, 2006. It is likely to be reintroduced in the 110th Congress.

Data Privacy. House Democrats may seek more restrictive data privacy legislation in the 110th Congress than the Republican sponsored bills that were not enacted in the 109th Congress.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), the current Chairman of the House Commerce Committee' (HCC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, won re-election, but will no longer be Chairman.

Internet Gambling. After many years of effort, the Congress enacted its internet gambling legislation just before recessing for the elections. Regardless of the outcome of the elections, there was likely to be little effort to enact any further legislation in the short run.

However, it should be noted that the three main longtime proponents of this legislation were Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA), who lost, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Rep. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), are now relegated to the minority.

Rep. Barney FrankIn contrast, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) (at right), who will likely become Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has long taken a libertarian approach to regulation of internet gambling.

Also, there is a possibility that as a result of World Trade Organization (WTO) decisions the Congress may find itself in the position of revisiting internet gambling related statutes.

R&D Tax Credit. Congress continually enacts temporary extensions of the research and development tax credit. However, there is an absence of roll call votes on stand alone bills with which to assess partisan support. Tech sector trade groups, and many members of both parties, advocate permanent extension. The lack of transparency in this process makes it hard to assess how the change of control of the Congress may affect this subject.

Federal Spending on R&D. Similarly, leaders and many members of both parties advocate more federal spending on research and development.

Judicial Appointments. Regaining control of the Senate will make it easier for Senate Democrats to defeat or delay President Bush's judicial nominees. However, other than in his appointments to the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir), Bush has appointed few judges with any substantial background in any technology related areas of law.

One nominee whose chances for confirmation may have diminished with the change in party control is Peter Keisler. Bush nominated him for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) earlier this year. He is currently Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division. Before that he worked for the law firm of Sidley Austin, where he represented AT&T.

Vietnam to Join WTO

11/8. The World Trade Organization (WTO) General Council approved Vietnam's membership agreement. Vietnam will become a WTO member thirty days after it ratifies the agreement.

This agreement contains numerous commitments regarding copyright protection, patent protection, other intellectual property rights, enforcement of IPR, and civil remedies related to IPR. See, attachment to agreement [MS Word] that addresses, among other things, Vietnam's commitments regarding trade related aspects of IPR, at pages 95-117.

This agreement also contains commitments regarding market access. See, attachment to agreement [MS Word] that addresses, among other things, market access for communications services, internet access services, and e-mail services (see, pages 20-30), financial services, and computer services.

Pascal LamyWTO Director General Pascal Lamy (at right) stated in a release that "Viet Nam has shown how anchoring domestic reforms in the WTO can yield dramatic results. Viet Namís economic growth topped 8% last year, foreign direct investment rose steeply to over $6 billion, and exports surged by over 20%. More must surely follow with the new laws, administrative measures, and commitments on goods and services that are in Viet Namís membership package." See also, speech by Lamy.

Susan Schwab, head of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR), stated in a release that "The world will benefit from the inclusion of this rapidly-growing, dynamic economy in the rules-based trading system.  We now call upon Congress to quickly pass Permanent Normal Trade Relations legislation that will permit U.S. businesses, workers and consumers to benefit fully from Vietnamís accession and to build deeper and stronger bilateral trade ties going forward."

The USTR release also notes that Vietnam "has passed more than 80 laws to implement fully the agreements, including substantial changes to its regime on intellectual property rights protection."

President Bush issued a memorandum to the USTR. He wrote that "Consistent with section 1106(a) of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (19 U.S.C. 2905(a)) (the "Act"), I determine that state trading enterprises account for a significant share of the exports of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) and goods that compete with imports into Vietnam. I further determine that such state trading enterprises unduly burden and restrict, or adversely affect, the foreign trade of the United States or the United States economy, or are likely to result in such burden, restriction, or effect."

The memorandum continues, "Vietnam is seeking to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The terms and conditions for Vietnam's accession to the WTO include Vietnam's commitments that it will ensure that all state trading enterprises within the meaning of section 1106 will make purchases not for governmental use and sales in international trade based solely on commercial considerations (including price, quality, availability, marketability, and transportation) and that U.S. firms will have an adequate opportunity, in accordance with customary business practice, to compete for participation in sales to and purchases from these enterprises on nondiscriminatory terms and conditions. In addition, the Government of Vietnam will not influence, directly or indirectly, commercial decisions on the part of state trading enterprises, including decisions on the quantity, value, or country of origin of any goods purchased or sold, except in a manner consistent with the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement) and the rights accorded to nongovernmental enterprise owners or shareholders."

Bush's memorandum concludes, "The obligations that Vietnam will assume under the WTO Agreement, including Vietnam's protocol of accession, meet the requirements of section 1106(b)(2)(A) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2905(b)(2)(A)), and thus my determinations under section 1106(a) do not require invocation of the nonapplication provisions of the WTO Agreement."

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

The House will meet. See, HConRes 483.

The Senate may meet for the introduction of bills. See, HConRes 483.

CANCELLED. 9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. The event will be webcast by the FCC. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Managing E-Discovery Requests Under the New 2006 Federal Rules Amendments". The speaker will be Conrad Jacoby. The price to attend ranges from $80 to $135. For more information, call 202-626-3488. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

Day four of a four day a partially closed conference hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) titled "Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade". The topics to be addressed include "The Changing Nature of Consumer Products, Mobile Devices and Marketing, Data Security and Privacy, Convergence, The Evolving Internet, Payment Systems and Trends, Advertising and Marketing Trends, and Demographic Shifts". The November 9 session is closed to the public. See, notice and conference web site. Location: George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st Street, NW.

Friday, November 10

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

2:00 - 3:00 PM. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) will host a webcast titled "The FTC's Privacy & Data Security Jurisdiction, implications of the BJ's Wholesale Case and Other Recent Enforcement Actions". The speakers will be Stuart Ingis (Venable) and Emilio Cividanes (Venable). See, notice and registration page.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its proposed consent agreements with Information and Real Estate Services, LLC, and other real estate businesses. See, story titled "FTC Charges Real Estate Groups that Limited Publication of Listings on Certain Web Sites" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,469, October 16, 2006, and notice in the Federal Register, October 18, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 201, at Pages 61474-61478.

Saturday, November 11

Veterans Day.

Monday, November 13

The House may return from its elections recess. See, HConRes 483.

Senate may return from their elections recess at 2:00 PM. See, HConRes 483.

12:00 NOON - 1:15 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "The Future of Obviousness: Will Teaching/Suggestion/Motivation to Combine Remain the Test?". The speakers will include Delano Jordan (Kenyon & Kenyon). The price to attend ranges from $15 to $35. For more information, call 202-626-3463. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Legislative Committee will host a brown bag lunch. This is a planning meeting. RSVP to Amy Levine amy dot levine at mail dot house dot gov or 202-225-3861. Location: Verizon, Suite 400 West 1300 I St., NW.

6:00 - 9:15 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Basics of Intellectual Property Taxation". The speakers will be Kenneth Appleby (Foley & Lardner). The price to attend ranges from $80 to $135. For more information, call 202-626-3488. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

Day one of a five day meeting of the Department of Commerce's Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. See, notice in the Federal Register, October 20, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 203, Pages 61958-61959. Location: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building 222, Room A230, Gaithersburg, MD.

6:00 PM. Deadline to submit to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Short Form applications to participate in Auction No. 68, the FM broadcast auction. See, October 6, 2006, FCC Public Notice [60 pages in PDF] (DA 06-1949), and notice in the Federal Register, November 7, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 215, at Pages 65098-65113.

Deadline to submit comments to the Copyright Royalty Board regarding its amendments to the procedural regulations governing the practices and procedures of the Copyright Royalty Judges in royalty rate and distribution proceedings. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 11, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 175, at Pages 53325-53331.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to it notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding compensation of providers of telecommunications relay services (TRS) from the Interstate TRS Fund. The FCC adopted this item on July 13, 2006, and released it on July 20, 2006. It is FCC 06-106. This proceeding is titled "Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals With Hearing and Speech Disabilities" and numbered CG Docket No. 03-123. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 13, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 177, at Pages 54009-54017.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to it further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding maritime Automatic Identification Systems (AIS). The FCC adopted this item on July 20, 2006, and released it on July 24, 2006. It is FCC 06-108 in WT Docket No. 04-344. See, notice in the Federal Register, October 12, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 197, at Pages 60102-60106.

Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding possible changes to the Part 27 service rules applicable to existing and prospective Upper 700 MHz Guard Bands licensees as well as on proposals to modify the existing Upper 700 MHz band plan with respect to the Guard Bands. See, notice in the Federal Register, November 6, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 214, at Pages 64917-64919. This NPRM is FCC 06-133 in WT Docket Nos. 06-169 and 96-86.

Tuesday, November 14

9:30 AM - 4:00 PM. The Antitrust Modernization Commission (AMC) will meet. The agenda of this meeting includes discussion of the role of state attorneys general in merger enforcement, the application of antitrust in regulated industries, and the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA). See, notice in the Federal Register, October 27, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 208, at Pages 62991-62992. Location: Mogan Lewis, 1111 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet by teleconference to discuss proposed U.S. contributions to Study Group 17 (Security, languages and telecommunication software) of the International Telecommunication Union's Telecommunication Standardization Sector. See, notice in the Federal Register, October 31, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 210, at Page 63828.

11:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on pending nominations. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation's (PFF) Digital Age Communications Act (DACA) project's Institutional Reform Working Group will present and discuss a paper that contains proposals for reforming the structure of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The speakers will include Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). Lunch will be served. See, PFF notice and registration page. Location: Room 188, Russell Building, Capitol Hill.

12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Annual Seminar Committee will host a brown bag lunch. RSVP to Yaron Dori at ydori at hhlaw dot com. Location: Harris Wiltshire & Grannis, 1200 18th Street, NW.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Joint Cable Practice and Mass Media Practice Committees will host a brown bag lunch titled "Meet the Legal Advisors". The speakers will be Heather Dixon (advisor to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin), Rudy Briochť (Jonathan Adelstein), Cristina Pauzť (Robert McDowell), Chris Robbins (Deborah Tate), and Jessica Rosenworcel (Michael Copps). RSVP to Daphney Sheppard at dsheppard at sidley dot com or 202-736-8019. For more information, contact Erin Dozier at edozier at sheppardmullin dot com or Jennifer Tatel at jtatel at sidley dot com. Location: Sidley Austin, 6th floor, 1501 K St., NW.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to discuss the upcoming meeting of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector's Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) for the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference, to be held on February 19 through March 2, 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. See, notice in the Federal Register, October 10, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 195, at Page 59580. Location: Boeing Company, 1200 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) regarding it notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, and recites its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the mandatory reporting of transactions with foreign person involving services (including telecommunications, information services, and news gathering) and intangible assets (including intellectual property). See, Federal Register, September 15, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 179, at Pages 54448-5445. The current rule is codified at 15 C.F.R. ß 801.10 [3 pages in PDF]. See also, story titled "Commerce Department Proposes to Mandate Reporting of International IP Transactions" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,451, September 18, 2006.

5:00 - 7:00 PM. The AEI-Brookings Joint Center will host a lecture by Roger Noll (Stanford) titled "Still Reforming Regulation". See, notice. Location: American Enterprise Institute, 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

Day two of a five day meeting of the Department of Commerce's Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. See, notice in the Federal Register, October 20, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 203, Pages 61958-61959. Location: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building 222, Room A230, Gaithersburg, MD.

Wednesday, November 15

TIME? The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold another of their series of hearings on single-firm conduct. This hearing will address exclusive dealing. Location?

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Day one of a two day public meeting of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). See, notice in the Federal Register, July 12, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 133, at Pages 39318. Location: Room 7C13, GAO Building, 441 G St., NW.

9:30 AM - 12:00 PM. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold another of their series of hearings on single-firm conduct. This hearing will address exclusive dealing. The speakers will be Jonathan Jacobson (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati), Howard Marvel (Ohio State University), Richard Steuer (Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw), Mary Sullivan (George Washington University), and Joshua Wright (George Mason University School of Law). See, notice. Location: Conference Room A, FTC Conference Center, 601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a lunch. The speaker will be FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. See, registration form [PDF]. Prices vary. Registrations and cancellations are due by 5:00 PM on November 9. Location: Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave., NW.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "Counterfeiting -- Defining the Problem and Providing Solutions". The speakers will include Brian Brokate (Gibney Anthony & Flaherty), Travis Johnson (International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition), and Leigh Ann Lindquist (Sughrue Mion). The price to attend ranges from $15 to $30. For more information, call 202-626-3463. See, notice. Location: Bell Labs, Suite 620W, 1100 New York Ave., NW.

1:30 AM - 4:00 PM. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold another of their series of hearings on single-firm conduct. This hearing will address exclusive dealing. The speakers will be Stephen Calkins (Wayne State University Law School), Benjamin Klein (UCLA), Abbott Lipsky (Latham & Watkins), and Joseph Farrell (University of California at Berkeley). Farrell was previously chief economist at the FCC and Antitrust Division. See, notice. Location: Conference Room A, FTC Conference Center, 601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding its Draft Special Publication 800-103 [70 pages in PDF] titled "An Ontology of Identity Credentials, Part I: Background and Formulation".

Day three of a five day meeting of the Department of Commerce's Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. See, notice in the Federal Register, October 20, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 203, Pages 61958-61959. Location: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building 222, Room A230, Gaithersburg, MD.

Deadline to submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) regarding the European Communities (EC) complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding U.S. zeroing and anti-dumping duty orders on certain products from the EC. See, notice in the Federal Register, October 27, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 208, at Pages 63053-63055.

Thursday, November 16

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advisory Committee for Engineering. The agenda includes "Critical Infrastructure Systems", "New Frontiers in Nanotechnology", and "Update on Cyberinfrastructure and Simulation-Based Engineering Science". See, notice in the Federal Register, October 17, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 200, at Page 61073. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 1235, Arlington, VA.

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Day two of a two day public meeting of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). See, notice in the Federal Register, July 12, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 133, at Pages 39318. Location: Room 7C13, GAO Building, 441 G St., NW.

10:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to discuss proposed U.S. contributions to the Committee on Information Services and Policy (CISP) and Working Party on the Information Economy (WPIE) meetings of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). See, notice in the Federal Register, October 31, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 210, at Page 63828. Location: Room 2533A, Harry Truman Building.

12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Communications Law, Copyright, and Digital Rights Management Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "Copyright and the Internet". The speakers will be Rick Lane (Newscorp) and Jonathan Potter (Digital Media Association). RSVP by November 13 to Ben Golant at bgol at loc dot gov or 202-707-9127. Location: National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), 1771 N Street, NW.

12:30 - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "CALEA Implementation: A Practical Overview". The speakers will include Maura Quinn (Unit Chief, CALEA Implementation Unit, FBI), Paul Kouroupas (VP, Regulatory Affairs, Global Crossing), Tony Rutkowski (VP, Regulatory, Verisign), and Matthew Brill (Latham & Watkins). The price to attend ranges from $15 to $20. 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 "Trade Secrets in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia". The speakers will include Milton Babirak (Babirak Vangellow & Carr). The price to attend ranges from $90 to $135. For more information, call 202-626-3488. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

7:00 - 9:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee and the FCBA Foundation will host an event titled "17th Annual Charity Auction". See, notice. Location: Marriott at Metro Center, 775 12th Street, NW.

Day four of a five day meeting of the Department of Commerce's Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. See, notice in the Federal Register, October 20, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 203, Pages 61958-61959. Location: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building 222, Room A230, Gaithersburg, MD.

People and Appointments

11/8. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps announced temporary changes in his staff. Jessica Rosenworcel, who has been his legal advisor for media issues, is on maternity leave. Bruce Gottlieb, who has been his legal advisor for spectrum and international issues, will temporarily handle media issues. John Branscome, who has been Chief of the Spectrum and Competition Policy Division of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, will temporarily be Copps' legal advisor for spectrum and international issues. See, FCC release [PDF].

More News

11/2. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (SFC), and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the ranking Democrat on the SFC, wrote a letter [PDF] to Mark Everson, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding its Free File program for electronic filing of tax returns. The wrote that "the IRS has been putting the taxpayer second in line behind the tax preparation industry and the result is negatively affecting participation in the Free File Program and the overall growth of electronic filing." They also wrote that "The IRS needs to provide better oversight of the Free File Program this coming filing season and should encourage the members of the Free File Alliance to provide services to taxpayers that are truly free. If the tax preparation industry cannot provide free basic filing services without hidden costs and traps, perhaps it is time to consider having the IRS provide a direct filing portal to enable all taxpayers to file electronically without cost." See also, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's (TIGTA) September 29, 2006, report titled "Use of the Free File Program Declined After Income Restrictions Were Applied".

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