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October 1, 2008, Alert No. 1,836.
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Martin Names Comcast Critic FCC Chief Technologist

10/1. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin named Jon Peha, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, to be Chief Technologist at the FCC.

He has been one of Comcast's harshest critics in the FCC's proceeding regarding regulation of the broadband network management practices (NMPs) of Comcast. He has suggested that Comcast be investigated for fraud.

Martin stated in a release [PDF] that "Jon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Commission".

Martin voted on August 1, 2008, for the FCC's order that asserted FCC authority to regulate broadband NMPs. It was a 3-2 vote. See, story titled "FCC Asserts Authority to Regulate Network Management Practices" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,805, August 4, 2008. The FCC released the text [67 pages in PDF] of its order on August 20, 2008. This order is FCC 08-183 in Docket No. 07-52.

The FCC's order cites Peha on several points. For example, it quotes Peha's statement that Comcast's practices are a "possible case of consumer fraud".

The FCC's order imposed minimal requirements on Comcast. Its greater significance lay in the assertion, in the absence of statutory authority, that the FCC has authority to regulate broadband NMPs.

Nevertheless, Comcast filed a petition for review on September 4, 2008. If Comcast prevails, one consequence may be a holding that the FCC lacks authority to regulate broadband NMPs. See, story titled "Comcast Files Petition for Review of FCC's Network Management Practices Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,821, September 4, 2008.

The FCC's release does not state whether or not there is a retaliatory aspect to the appointment of Peha.

Peha on Comcast. On April 4, 2008, Peha submitted a comment [9 pages in PDF] to the FCC in the NMP proceeding. He challenged the veracity of factual statements and legal conclusions made by Comcast and its legal counsel regarding its management of peer to peer traffic on its network.

Peha criticized Comcast's February 12, 2008, comment [80 pages in PDF], and other Comcast statements.

He wrote in his April 4 comment that "It is unfortunate that FCC Commissioners have been receiving so much misinformation about Comcast's practices, and the implications of those practices. For example, despite claims to the contrary in a recent FCC hearing, Comcast did block and/or terminate P2P traffic, and this did degrade the quality of P2P service for consumers. Use of these practices appears to contradict explicit statements Comcast made to its customers, assuming reports of those statements were accurate."

He concluded that "This is presumably enough to justify an investigation into the possibility of fraud."

Peha testified at the FCC's April 17, 2008, hearing at Stanford law school in Palo Alto, California. See, outline of his statement.

Richard Bennett testified at the FCC's February 25, 2008, hearing at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bennett wrote a piece in his web site on October 1, 2008, in which he stated "Peha is the guy who delivered strong testimony denouncing the Comcast management of BitTorrent without bothering to study BitTorrent's use of TCP connections. His testimony was substantially wrong on a factual basis."

Bennett concluded, "Surely the FCC can do better than to employ an advocate in the position that requires depth of technical knowledge and a commitment to impartiality."

Peha on Spectrum Issues. Peha has also submitted comments to the FCC on spectrum issues.

He is a co-author of the September 2008 paper [59 pages in PDF] titled "Quantifying the Costs of a Nationwide Broadband Public Safety Wireless Network".

On May 26, 2008, he submitted a comment [16 pages in PDF] to the FCC regarding implementing a broadband interoperable public safety network in the 700 MHz band. On February 6, 2007 he submitted another comment [19 pages in PDF] regarding a commercially operated broadband network for public safety.

On November 26, 2004, he submitted a comment [5 pages in PDF] regarding unlicensed use of TV white space.

On July 7, 2002, he submitted a comment [9 pages in PDF] in which he advocated market based mechanisms for spectrum management, and more unlicensed spectrum.

Congress Passes IPR Enforcement Bill

9/28. The Senate amended and passed by unanimous consent S 3325 [LOC | WW], the "Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act of 2008" on September 26, 2008. The House passed this bill on September 28, 2008, by a vote of 381-41. See, Roll Call No. 664. The bill is ready for the signature of President Bush.

The Senate amendment, among other things, changed the title from "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act" to "PRO-IP Act". A similar bill, HR 4279 [LOC | WW], which is not the bill passed by the Congress, was also titled "PRO-IP Act".

This bill addresses remedies for infringement and counterfeiting, and the organization and funding of government efforts to enforce intellectual property rights (IPR).

Legislative History. Both the House and Senate worked on IPR enforcement bills in the 110th Congress. S 3325 is the Senate bill, while HR 4279 was the House bill.

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced HR 4279 on December 5, 2007. See, story titled "Representatives Introduce PRO IP Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,683, December 5, 2008.

On March 6, 2008, the House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellecual Property amended and approved this bill. See, story titled "House Subcommittee Amends PRO-IP Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,727, March 5, 2008.

On April 30, 2008, the HJC amended and approved the bill. See, story titled "House Judiciary Committee Approves PRO IP Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,758, May 1, 2008.

On May 7, 2008, the House approved the bill by a vote of 410-11. See, Roll Call No. 300. See also, story titled "House Passes PRO IP Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,763, May 8, 2008.

The Senate, however, did not take up this House bill.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced S 3325 on July 24, 2008. On September 11, 2008, the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) amended and approved the bill. See, story titled "Senate Judiciary Committee Approves IP Enforcement Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,824, September 12, 2008.

On September 26 the full Senate amended and approved the bill.

The House then approved the Senate bill, without further amendment, on Sunday, September 29, 2008, by a vote of 381-41. The voting was nonpartisan.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), who tends to advocate a weakening, rather than a strengthening of IP rights and enforcement, voted against the bill.

Some of the votes against the bill were cast by members from northern California, Oregon, Washington and Utah, including Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. David Wu (D-OR), Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT).

Bill Summary. Previous versions had contained language that would have enabled the Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring civil actions for copyright infringement. Currently, the government can only bring criminal actions, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 506, or decline to take action. However, this language was removed from the bill by its amendment in the Senate on September 26.

Title I of the bill as passed addresses civil remedies. Section 101 contains a copyright registration harmless error exception. That is, it would amend 17 U.S.C. 411 to provide that "A certificate of registration satisfies the requirements of this section and section 412, regardless of whether the certificate contains any inaccurate information, unless -- (A) the inaccurate information was included on the application for copyright registration with knowledge that it was inaccurate; and (B) the inaccuracy of the information, if known, would have caused the Register of Copyrights to refuse registration."

Section 102 amends 17 U.S.C. 503, regarding "Remedies for infringement: Impounding and disposition of infringing articles" to allow a court to order the impounding of "records documenting the manufacture, sale, or receipt of things involved" in a violation. Currently, only infringing items, and things used to make infringing items can be impounded.

This section then adds language to protect individual privacy. It adds that "For impoundments of records ... the court shall enter an appropriate protective order with respect to discovery and use of any records or information that has been impounded. The protective order shall provide for appropriate procedures to ensure that confidential, private, proprietary, or privileged information contained in such records is not improperly disclosed or used."

Section 103 amends the Trademark Act to allow for the award of treble profits or damages for use of a counterfeit mark or designation.

Section 104 amends the Trademark Act, at 15 U.S.C. 1117, to increase statutory damages in counterfeiting cases

Section 105 would amend the Trademark Act, at 15 U.S.C. 1124, which currently pertains to "Importation of goods bearing infringing marks or names forbidden", to also cover transshipment and exportation.

Title II of the bill contains changes to statutes related to criminal enforcement of IP laws by the DOJ.

One provision in Title II that is opposed by some members of the House allows the federal government to obtain by civil forfeiture "(A) Any article, the making or trafficking of which is, prohibited under section 506 of title 17, or section 2318, 2319, 2319A, 2319B, or 2320, or chapter 90, of this title" and "Any property used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part to commit or facilitate the commission of an offense referred to in subparagraph (A) ..."

Title III, the longest title of the bill, creates a new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) in the executive branch. The IPEC would be appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Senate.

Title IV provides for grants to local law enforcement, authorizes $25 Million for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013, provides improved investigative and forensic resources and funding, and imposes detailed reporting requirements by the DOJ.

Title V requires Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports and audits. It also articulates numerous "Sense of the Congress" statements.

Senate Debate. There was little Senate debate on the bill. Supporters discussed the importance of IP industries to the U.S. economy, and the harm caused by infringement and counterfeiting.

Sen. Leahy stated in the Senate on September 26 that "Intellectual property is the lifeblood of our economy, and protecting that property from theft and misappropriation is important to preserving our place at the economic forefront of the world. Combatting intellectual property offenses can help us save jobs for Americans, increase tax revenues from legitimate businesses, and bolster our productivity, with all the gains that come from that."

He said that "Some of the provisions in this bill authorize significant resources to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to better take on the tasks of battling intellectual property crimes."

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), another supporter, said that "It is necessary for the Federal Government to protect and enforce intellectual property rights domestically and internationally. I believe we are on the way to achieving this goal with S. 3325, but we have to ensure that the agencies this bill tasks with enforcement of intellectual property rights are held responsible."

Sen. Leahy responded that "I am committed to vigorous oversight of the Justice Department in all its functions, and as the champion of S. 3325, I am especially interested in ensuring that these programs are effectively and efficiently managed." He is the Chairman of the SJC, which oversees the DOJ and FBI.

Rep. John ConyersHouse Debate. On September 27, Rep. Conyers (at left) stated that "I think this bill retains most of the most basic and fundamental reforms that we accomplished, including changes to civil and criminal IP laws that will afford rights holders more protection and the enhancements in penalties for IP violators who endanger public health and safety."

Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) said that "The version of the PRO-IP bill that was written by the House Judiciary Committee and passed this body by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 410-11 in May contained a number of new initiatives and authorities that I would have preferred to see included in this bill. That said, the glass is by no means half empty. Its enactment will help our law enforcement agencies better detect, prosecute, and deter counterfeiters."

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Sheila Lee (D-TX) also spoke in support of the bill.

Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) spoke in opposition. They were particularly concerned about the differences in the forfeiture language between the original House bill and the bill just passed.

Rep. Cannon voted for HR 4279 in May, but voted against S 3325 on September 28. He explained that the House bill was "a very good bill", but "the bill that has come back is dramatically different from the bill that went over to the Senate."

He continued that "the Senate has included in this bill the power for Federal law enforcement agencies to seize equipment that may be used in violation of the act. And what that means is, if you have got a kid who downloads music improperly, your computer may be seized."

Rep. Lofgren spoke in greater detail, and with more vehemence. She said that "the unbounded forfeiture provision in this bill isn't about going after criminals, it's about going after the Internet."

She said that the May House bill "had some measures to ensure that there was a meaningful connection between the property subject to seizure and the underlying offense", but that the bill just passed removed these protections.

See also, related story in this issue titled "Rep. Lofgren Addresses PRO-IP Act and Direction of Copyright Law".

Praise for the Bill. Patrick Ross, head of the Copyright Alliance, stated in a release that "Congress is being asked to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in failing Wall Street firms, but artists don't want handouts. They just ask that existing copyright laws are enforced so they can continue to produce creative works with the hope of earning a living wage while doing so."

He argued that "Increased copyright enforcement, combined with better coordination of intellectual property policy across the federal government, will be a boon to all of us who love creative works, as we can look forward to U.S. artists and creators maintaining their leading role in the world of producing creative works that enrich our culture and drive our economy."

Mitch Bainwol, Ch/CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), stated in a release that "This bill truly is music to the ears of all those who care about strengthening American creativity and jobs. At a critical economic juncture, this bipartisan legislation provides enhanced protection for an important asset that helps lead our global competitiveness. The intellectual property industries are widely recognized as a cornerstone of the U.S. economy. Additional tools for intellectual property enforcement are not just good for the copyright community but for consumers who will enjoy a wider array of legitimate offerings."

Dan Glickman, head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), stated in a release that "Through a truly bi-partisan effort, Congress has re-enforced the significance of creative endeavors and sent a clear message that the protection of intellectual property and American industrial innovation is a national priority. In the motion picture industry alone, more than 1.5 million people are employed, and the provisions of this bill will spur even greater production and jobs for American workers. Republicans and Democrats alike have demonstrated their leadership today and their ability to work together when American economic productivity is at stake."

Tom Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, stated in a September 26 release that "This is a win for both parties and, more importantly, for America's innovators, workers whose jobs rely on intellectual property, and consumers who depend on safe and effective products".

Criticism of the Bill. Ed Black, head of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), stated in a release that "At a time when U.S. taxpayers are on hook to rescue the financial industry, why should they also foot the bill for the content industry's financial fees?"

Gigi Sohn, head of the Public Knowledge (PK), stated in a September 26 release that "It is unfortunate that the Senate felt it necessary to pass this legislation. The bill only adds more imbalance to a copyright law that favors large media companies. At a time when the entire digital world is going to less restrictive distribution models, and when the courts are aghast at the outlandish damages being inflicted on consumers in copyright cases, this bill goes entirely in the wrong direction."

However, she praised the Congress for removing an "egregious provision allowing the Justice Department to file civil suits against alleged copyright violators on behalf of copyright holders. This provision was a total waste of the taxpayers' money. We are grateful to Senator Wyden for his leadership in getting that provision removed."

Rep. Lofgren Addresses PRO-IP Act and Direction of Copyright Law

9/28. The House and Senate both passed S 3325 [LOC | WW], the "Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act of 2008".

The votes were overwhelming. The Senate amended and passed the bill without objection on September 26, 2008. The House passed this Senate bill on September 28, 2008, by a vote of 381-41. See, Roll Call No. 664.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) was one of the 41 members to vote against the bill.

During debate on September 27 she argued against a provision in the bill regarding forfeiture to the federal government of things used to commit criminal copyright infringement, or to commit certain other intellectual property (IP) crimes.

Rep. 
Zoe LofgrenRep. Lofgren (at right) condemned the forfeiture language as applied in the context of copyright. She also harshly criticized the general direction being taken by the Congress on IP legislation. She argued that "we are losing sight of the underlying principles of our copyright system".

She represents a Silicon Valley district. She is also a long time member of both the House Judiciary Committee (HJC) and its Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.

S 3325, the bill just passed by the House and Senate, provides that "The following property is subject to forfeiture to the United States Government: ... Any property used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part to commit or facilitate the commission of" certain offenses, such as criminal copyright infringement, unauthorized fixation of and trafficking in sound recordings, and trafficking in counterfeit labels.

This provision pertains to forfeiture to the government under Title 18. Content companies cannot utilize this provision in private actions.

The House passed a related bill on May 7, 2008. It was HR 4279 [LOC | WW], also titled the PRO-IP Act.

That bill provided that "The following property is subject to forfeiture to the United States: ... Any property used, or intended to be used, to commit or facilitate the commission" of one of these offenses "that is owned or predominantly controlled by the violator or by a person conspiring with or aiding and abetting the violator in committing the violation, except that property is subject to forfeiture under this clause only if the Government establishes that there was a substantial connection between the property and the violation ..."

That is, the House bill limited what property of third parties could be seized. Last Spring Rep. Lofgren and others endeavored to get this "substantial connection" language inserted into the House bill.

Rep. Lofgren said that now, "the unbounded forfeiture provision in this bill isn't about going after criminals, it's about going after the Internet."

She said that the House bill passed in May "although problematic in some ways, at least had some measures to ensure that there was a meaningful connection between the property subject to seizure and the underlying offense".

"This bill, back from the Senate, strips away those assurances. It subjects to seizure ``any property used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part to commit or facilitate the commission of an offense. That unqualified language means that virtually anything through which Internet traffic passes is subject to seizure, no matter how incidental the connection to the offense or how innocent the owner."

She continued that "This provision shifts the liability for infringement -- and thus responsibility from enforcement -- onto innocent intermediaries, whether they are ISPs, businesses, schools, libraries, or consumers."

Rep. Lofgren added that "We have seen this before this year and will likely see it again as time goes on. We saw the same type of provisions -- although not as wildly extravagant -- in the Higher Education Act, even after colleges told us it would divert resources from their primary mission of education. We're seeing it in the secret negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that apparently is going to, in some manner, require ISPs to police the conduct of their users, potentially in violation of their privacy rights."

She also said, "I understand why the content industry pushes for these measures. They're trying to protect an analog business model in the digital environment, and that's difficult and expensive; and treating one's customers like criminals is bad for PR. Accordingly, the content industry has every incentive to make others do the work for it."

"What I don't understand is why Congress goes along with these proposals. With each successive Congress, copyright law and policy becomes less of a balanced system of rights to promote creativity and innovation and more of a set of tools by which certain corporate interests protect themselves."

She concluded that "In our unbridled zeal for IP enforcement and utter indifference to the rights of users and consumers, we are losing sight of the underlying principles of our copyright system. This bill takes us further away from those principles. And I would add that I can't think of a single other circumstance where civil libertarians would even consider the concept of seizing the property of innocent bystanders in any other legal scheme, whether it was fraud or any other matter. We wouldn't permit that, and we should not permit it in this case."

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, October 2

The House is scheduled to meet at 12:00 NOON. The agenda includes consideration of HR 2352 [LOC | WW], the "School Safety Enhancements Act of 2007". This bill would amend 42 U.S.C. 3797a to authorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide grants to public elementary and secondary schools for surveillance equipment. See, story titled "House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Bill to Provide Federal Funding to Schools for Surveillance Equipment" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,746, April 14, 2008. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for October 2, 2008.

TIME? The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's (OUSTR) Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) hold a public hearing to hear testimony to assist it in preparing its annual report to the Congress on the People's Republic of China's compliance with the commitments made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). This report is requires by Section 421 of the Trade Act of 1974, the relevant portion of which section is codified at 22U.S.C. 6951. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 31, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 148, at Pages 44783-44785. Location?

9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host an event titled "Trade Tsunami: Will U.S.-Japanese Trade Stay Afloat in a Global Crisis". The speakers will be Wendy Cutler (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative), Kenji Goto (Embassy of Japan), Matthew Goodman (Stonebridge International), Claude Barfield (AEI), and Michael Auslin (AEI). See, notice. Location: 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a program titled "50 Hot Technology Tips, Tricks & Web Sites For Lawyers". The price to attend ranges from $15 to $35. For more information, contact 202-626-3463. See, notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, B-1 level, 1250 H St., NW.

8:00 AM - 12:30 PM. The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section will hold a closed meeting. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 3, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 171, at Page 51493. Location: Hilton Washington DC/Rockville, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD.

10:00 AM. The National Cyber Security Alliance will host a news conference titled "National Cyber Security Awareness Month Launch". For more information, contact Aimee Kirkpatrick at 202-756-3616 or aimee at staysafeonline dot org. Location: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 13th floor, 529 14th St. NW.

12:30 - 2:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) International Telecommunications Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "Discussion on the interplay between Team Telecom, CFIUS, and the FCC, and how to make the review process faster and easier". For more information, contact Troy Tanner at troy dot tanner at bingham dot com or 202-373-6560. Location: Bingham McCutchen, 11th floor, 2020 K St., NW.

1:00 - 2:30 PM. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will host an event titled "Understanding Our Digital Quality of Life". The ITIF will release a report titled "Digital Quality of Life: Understanding the Personal and Social Benefits of the Information Technology Revolution". The speakers will be Craig Mundie (Chief Research and Strategy Officer for Microsoft) and Rob Atkinson (ITIF). Light refreshments will be served. See, notice and r egistration page. Location: Room LJ 162, Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building.

6:00 - 8:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "FCBA Fall Reception with the FCC and NTIA Bureau and Office Chiefs". Prices vary. See, registration form [PDF]. Location: Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave., NW.

Friday, October 3

The House may meet to vote on a bailout bill.

8:30 - 11:00 AM. The George Mason University law school's Information Economy Project (IEP) will host an event titled "The Gore Commission, 10 Years Later: The Public Interest Obligations of Digital TV Broadcasters in Perfect Hindsight". The speakers will be Thomas Hazlett (IEP), Gigi Sohn (Public Knowledge), Norman Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute), and Henry Geller. This event is free and open to the public. See, notice. For more information, contact Drew Clark at 703-998-8234 or drew at drewclark dot com. Location: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 13th floor, 529 14th St. NW.

12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Cable Practice and Wireline Committees will host a brown bag lunch titled "The effects of the Commission's Network Management Order on broadband providers and their customers". Location: Harris Wiltshire & Grannis, 12th floor, 1200 18th St., NW.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding broadcast low power auxiliary stations operating in the 700 MHz band, such as wireless microphones. This NPRM is FCC 08-188 in WT Docket Nos. 08-166 and 08-167. The FCC adopted this NPRM on August 15, 2008, and announced it and released the text [24 pages in PDF] on August 21, 2008. See, story titled "FCC Releases NPRM on Wireless Microphones Operating in 700 MHz Band" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,817, August 21, 2008. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 3, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 171, at Pages 51406-51415.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding expanding the scope of services and products covered by the FCC's schools and libraries tax and subsidy program. The FCC adopted this item on July 25, 2008, and released the text [26 pages in PDF] on July 31, 2008. It is FCC 08-173 in CC Docket No. 02-6. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 19, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 161, at Pages 48352-48359.

Deadline to submit to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's (OUSTR) pre-hearing briefs and requests to appear in connection with the 2008 Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Annual Review. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 12, 2008, Vol. 73, No 178, at Pages 53054-53056.

Monday, October 6

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a public meeting to work on its 2008 Annual Report to Congress. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 29, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 146, at Pages 43978-43979, and notice in the Federal Register, September 18, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 182, at Page 54205. Location: Conference Room 333, Hall of the States, 444 North Capitol St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking regarding changes to its rules of practice to limit the types of correspondence that may be submitted to the USPTO by facsimile, and to increase the minimum font size for use on papers submitted to the USPTO for a patent application, patent or reexamination proceeding. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 6, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 152, at Pages 45662-45673.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to certain ex parte filings submitted by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, International (APCO), National Emergency Number Association (NENA), AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless regarding the FCC's location accuracy mandates. See, FCC Public Notice [13 pages in PDF], Public Notice [PDF] and notice in the Federal Register, September 25, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 187, at Pages 55473-55495. These Public Notices are DA 08-2129 and DA 08-2149 in PS Docket No. 07-114.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Media Bureau in response to the PPM Coalition's (PPMC) September 2, 2008, filing titled "Emergency Petition for Section 403 Inquiry." This petition asks the FCC to open an inquiry into Arbitron's use of Portable People Meters (PPM). This item is DA 08-2048 in MB Docket No. 08-187.

Tuesday, October 7

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Core Communications v. FCC, App. Ct. No. 07-1381. See, FCC's brief [61 pages in PDF]. Judges Rogers, Tatel and Williams will preside. Location: Courtroom 22 Annex, 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a public meeting to work on its 2008 Annual Report to Congress. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 29, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 146, at Pages 43978-43979, and notice in the Federal Register, September 18, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 182, at Page 54205. Location: Conference Room 333, Hall of the States, 444 North Capitol St., NW.

Day one of a two day conference hosted by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) titled "IdentEvent". See, conference web site. Location: JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

Wednesday, October 8

Yom Kippur begins at sundown.

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a public meeting to work on its 2008 Annual Report to Congress. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 29, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 146, at Pages 43978-43979, and notice in the Federal Register, September 18, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 182, at Page 54205. Location: Conference Room 333, Hall of the States, 444 North Capitol St., NW.

RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 6. 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee will meet to prepare for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council Meeting to be held on November 12-21, 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 22, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 184, at Page 54655. Location: 10th floor, 1120 20th St., NW. See, rescheduling notice in the Federal Register, September 26, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 188, at Pages 55891-55892.

1:00 PM. The Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) American Health Information Community's (AHIC) Confidentiality, Privacy, & Security Workgroup may meet. AHIC meetings are often noticed, but cancelled. Location: Switzer Building, 330 C St., SW.

Day two of a two day conference hosted by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) titled "IdentEvent". See, conference web site. Location: JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) regarding foreign policy based export controls contained in the export administration regulations (EAR) implementing the Export Administration Act of 1979, as expired. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 8, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 174, at Pages 52006-52007.

Thursday, October 9

Yom Kippur.

1:00 PM. The Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) American Health Information Community's (AHIC) Electronic Health Records Workgroup may meet. AHIC meetings are often noticed, but cancelled. Location: Switzer Building, 330 C St., SW.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) regarding its SP 800-107 [20 pages in PDF] titled "Recommendation for Applications Using Approved Hash Algorithms".

Friday, October 10

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in NCTA v. FCC, App. Ct. No. 07-1356. See, FCC's brief [61 pages in PDF]. Judges Ginsburg, Tatel and Brown will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

12:00 NOON. The Cato Institute will host a discussion of the book [Amazon] titled "The Crime of Reason and the Closing of the Scientific Mind". This book argues that intellectual property laws and government security demands threaten the development of new knowledge. The speakers will be Robert Laughlin (author), Tom Sydnor (Progress & Freedom Foundation), and Jim Harper (Cato). See, notice and registration page. This event is free and open to the public. The Cato will web cast this event. Lunch will be served after the program. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

Book: A Manifesto for Media Freedom

10/1. Brian Anderson of the Manhattan Institute (MI) and Adam Thierer of the Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) authored a book [Amazon] titled "A Manifesto for Media Freedom".

This book covers the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) fairness doctrine, media ownership regulations, localism requirements, net neutrality mandates, and a la carte regulation.

It also covers the Federal Election Commission's (FCC) campaign finance laws. It also covers video game censorship and regulation of social networking sites.

The PFF stated in a release that "A breathtaking abundance of new and old media outlets for obtaining news, information, and entertainment exist today. However, this media cornucopia is under threat from regulations meant to establish fairness, localism, diversity or other lofty ideals which, in practice, would lead to a much less varied and open media universe." See also, MI release.

This is a 200 page, hardcover book, on sale by Amazon for $20.

More News

10/1. Ed Black, head of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, comment on Universal v. RealNetworks. He stated in a release that "Contrary to what the studios are saying, the DMCA was not intended to allow the movie industry to block a competitive business model. This is the same crowd that said the videocassette recorder would be the death of them ... Real's innovative product isn't what the DMCA is supposed to prevent, and if it does, it will be another piece of evidence that the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions are fundamentally anti-consumer." See, complaint [18 pages in PDF] and story titled "Movie Companies Sue RealNetworks for Selling DVD Copying Software" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,835, September 30, 2008. This case is Universal City Studies Productions LLLP, et al. v. RealNetworks, Inc. et al., U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.

9/30. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Deborah Tate gave a speech [10 pages in PDF] to the European Institute. She discussed the unpredictability of technology and markets, broadband deployment, universal service taxes and subsidies, roaming, transitioning to digital television, public safety communications, and "the protection of our children from online predators".

9/30. The U.S. District Court (DC) released a Memorandum Opinion [10 pages in PDF] in Wyeth v. Dudas, a case regarding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) interpretation of the 20 year patent term set forth in 35 U.S.C. 154. This case is Wyeth, et al. v. Jon Dudas, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, D.C. No. 07-1492 (JR).

9/30. The U.S. District Court (DC) released a Memorandum Opinion [13 pages in PDF] and Order in Zhengxing v. USPTO, granting the U.S. Patent and Trade Office's (USPTO) motion to dismiss a complaint against the the USPTO for alleged abandonment of a patent application. This case is Faye Zhengxing v. USPTO, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, D.C. No. 07-1918 (RWR).

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