|House Passes Competes Reauthorization
5/28. The House amended and passed the "America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of
2010". The vote on final passage was 262-150. See,
Roll Call No. 332. Democrats voted
245-0 in favor. Republicans voted 17-150. The Senate has yet to pass this bill.
Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), the Chairman of
the House Science Committee (HSC), has introduced
two bills with this title. First, there is HR 5116
WW]. Second, there
is HR 5325 [LOC |
The just passed bill is an amended version of HR 5116.
On Wednesday, May 19, 2010, the House rejected HR 5325. The House then voted 261-148
under suspension of the rules. See, Roll
Call No. 277. See also, story titled "House Rejects America Competes Reauthorization
Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,086, May 21, 2010.
The two votes were almost identical. However, a two thirds majority was required for passage
on May 19. The May 28 vote was conducted under a simple majority rule.
This bill authorizes the appropriation of over $85 Billion over five years for
the National Science Foundation (NSF),
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),
Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies.
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) stated in the
House that "our country faces a serious challenge. We are in danger of falling
behind our global competitors in Europe and Asia in the critical fields of innovation and
technology." See, Congressional Record, May 28, 2010, at Page H4188.
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) stated
that this bill "reauthorizes our basic research programs and lays the groundwork
for doubling funding levels for the National Science Foundation, the Department
of Energy Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and
Technology. Funding through these programs has been critical to many of the
faculty, staff, scientists and investigators in my district who rely on funding
from these agencies to support their research."
Republicans spoke little during floor debate on May 28.
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), the ranking Republican
on the HSC, demanded roll call votes on amendments. However, he and other
Republicans participated in debates on May 12 and May 19.
For example, Rep. Hall stated in floor debate on May 19 that "I believe long-term
investment in science and technology, coupled with policies that reduce tax burdens, streamline
Federal regulations, and balance the Federal budget are very vital for our Nation to remain
competitive in the global marketplace. However, we must also put our fiscal house in order to
ensure that we're not leveraging the future of our children and our grandchildren."
He added that "the bill before us today continues to take us in a much more costly
direction and authorizes a number of new programs which have little to do with prioritizing
investments in basic science, technology, engineering, and math research and
development." See, Congressional Record, May 19, 2010, at Page H3578.
The House amended the bill to provide that "None of the funds authorized under this
Act may be used to pay the salary of any individual who has been officially disciplined for
violations of subpart G of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive
Branch for viewing, downloading, or exchanging pornography, including child pornography, on a
Federal Government computer or while performing official Federal Government duties." The
vote was 409-0. See,
Roll Call No. 329.
The House also amended the bill to provide that "None of the funds authorized under
this Act shall be available to make awards to or provide grants for an institution of higher
education under this Act if that institution is prevented from receiving funds for contracts
or grants for education under section 983 of title 10, United States Code."
10 U.S.C. § 983 already bars universities that bar military recruiters from receiving
The vote was 348-68. See,
Roll Call No.
330. All of the no votes were cast by Democrats, many of whom represent districts that
include large universities that are financial beneficiaries of this bill.
Phil Bond, the head of TechAmerica, urged passage
of this bill. He was head of the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Technology Administration in
the Bush administration.
|AT&T Announces New Pricing Plans for
6/2. AT&T announced in a
that it is instituting new pricing for wireless data services for new customers. Existing
customers' prices remain unchanged. For new customers AT&T will charge more for
customers who consume more. The perennial critics of internet access providers called
for more regulation.
AT&T stated that there is a plan titled "DataPlus" that allows a maximum of
200 megabytes (MB) of data per month for $15. Then, "If customers exceed 200 MB
in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage
for $15 for use in the cycle."
There is a second plan titled "DataPro" that allows a maximum of 2 gigabytes
(GB) of data per month for $25. AT&T added that "Should a customer exceed 2 GB
during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for
use in the cycle."
AT&T also stated that "Customers can also use unlimited Wi-Fi at home, in the
office or elsewhere if available."
AT&T currently prices unlimited access by iPad users at $29.99. Under its new
pricing, it will charge $25 per month for its 2 GB plan.
Chris Riley of the Free Press stated in a
release that "While AT&T asserts that its high-end 2 GB cap will only impact the
heaviest users, the fact is that today's heavy user is tomorrow's average user."
He also accused AT&T of "price gouging", and added that "This pricing
system is clearly divorced from the actual underlying cost of service."
Riley also argued that this demonstrates that "wireless markets are not competitive.
Unfortunately, until the FCC takes seriously the need to promote meaningful competition in the
wireless industry, Americans will continue to face a market of high prices and poor service.
This pricing ploy further illustrates why we need the FCC to put an end to the anti-consumer
practice of handset exclusivity. For the wireless market to be competitive, consumers must
be free to choose both devices and services, and take their devices to any compatible
|Public Knowledge Urges Anti-Circumvention
5/13. The Public Knowledge (PK)
released the third
pages in PDF] in a series on reforming copyright law. This paper is titled "Updating
17 U.S.C. § 1201 for Innovators, Creators, and Consumers in the Digital Age".
This paper proposes to create exceptions to the anti-circumvention provisions of
17 U.S.C. § 1201, which was enacted as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
It proposes to allow circumvention for any non-infringing purpose, and the manufacture,
importation and sale of circumvention devices for any non-infringing purpose.
Currently, Section 1201(a)(1) provides, in part, that "No person shall
circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work
protected under this title."
Section 1201(a)(2) provides, in part, that "No person shall manufacture, import,
offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service,
device, component, or part thereof, that -- (A) is primarily designed or produced for the
purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work
protected under this title ..."
The PK proposes to amend Section 1201 to provide that notwithstanding the above quoted
provisions, "it shall not be a violation of this section to circumvent a technological
measure in connection with access to, or the use of, a work if such circumvention is for the
purpose of engaging in noninfringing use of a work protected under this title", and
"it shall not be a violation of this section to manufacture, import, offer to the
public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component,
or part thereof capable of enabling substantial noninfringing use of a work protected under
These proposals, if enacted, would have the effect of rendering ineffective this
anti-circumvention statutory regime.
For example, any device manufactured for the purpose of allowing users to circumvent
technological measures to engage in fair use copying of protected works would also be purchased
and used to circumvent for infringing purposes, and injured copyright holders would have no
effective recourse under under the DMCA.
This paper argues that "The anticircumvention provisions of the DMCA are overbroad,
have had numerous unintended consequences for creators, consumers, educators, innovators and
the public generally, and have not solved the problems Congress targeted in creating them.
Congress should enact the reforms proposed in this Report in order to remedy these unintended
consequences and restore balance to copyright law, protecting the rights of copyright owners
while supporting the public’s interest in access to copyrighted works, diversity of expression,
research into and development of innovative products, and marketplace competition."
This PK proposal is similar to bills introduced in past Congresses by
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA). None of these bills
have been approved by any Committee. See:
- HR 5544
(107th Congress), the "Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2002", and
"Reps. Boucher and Doolittle Introduce Digital Media Consumer Rights Act" and
"Summary of the Digital Media Consumer Rights Act" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 532, October 4, 2002.
- HR 107 (108th
Congress), the "Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003", and story titled
"Reps. Boucher and Doolittle Introduce Digital Fair Use Bill" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
582, January 14, 2003.
- stories titled "Chairman Barton Says Commerce Committee Will Mark Up Boucher
Doolittle Bill in July", "House Commerce Committee's Primary Jurisdiction Over
HR 107", and "Judiciary Committee Leaders Condemn Jurisdictional Power
Grab" in TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 924, June 23, 2004.
- HR 1201
(109th Congress), 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.
titled "House Commerce Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Fair Use" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,256, November 18, 2005.
- HR 1201 (110th Congress)
"Freedom And Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007" or
"FAIR USE Act", and story titled "Rep. Boucher Introduces FAIR USE Act"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,545, February 27, 2007.
The authors of this latest PK paper are Pan Lee, Daniel Park, Allen Wang, and
The PK released the first two papers in this series in February. See,
[15 pages in PDF] titled "Introduction to the Copyright Reform Act", and
paper [37 pages
in PDF] titled "Report 1: Updating Fair Use for Innovators and Creators in the Digital
Age: Two Targeted Reforms". See also, story titled "Public Knowledge Proposes Changes
to Copyright Law" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,045, February 16, 2010.
5/28. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's
(NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) released its draft
NIST IR-7298 Rev. 1 [207 pages in PDF] titled "Glossary of Key Information
Security Terms". The deadline to submit comments is June 30, 2010.
5/27. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's
(NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) released its draft
SP 800-126 Rev. 1 [71 pages in PDF] titled "The Technical Specification for the
Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP): SCAP Version 1.1". The deadline to
submit comments is June 28, 2010.
5/27. The Cato Institute published a
book [Amazon] titled "Terrorizing Ourselves: Why
U.S. Counterterrorism Policy is Failing and How to Fix It". It is edited by
the Cato's Benjamin Friedman, Jim Harper, and Christopher Preble. The book is on
sale in hardback from Amazon for $16.47, and from the
Cato Book Store for more.
5/27. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a
pages in PDF] titled "Declaratory Ruling, Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
regarding video relay service (VRS). The declaratory ruling (DR) portion of this item
provides that "Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund payments may be
suspended to providers that do not submit to audits". The order portion of this item
provides that an interim rule regarding the certification of provider information for VRS
calls. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) portion of this item proposes to amend FCC
rules regarding detecting and preventing VRS fraud and misuse. The FCC adopted this item on
May 24, 2010, and released the text on May 27, 2010. It is FCC 10-88 in CG Docket No. 10-51.
Comment deadlines for the NPRM portion of this item will be published in a notice in the
Federal Register. See also, FCC
5/26. Mike Wendy of the Progress & Freedom
Foundation (PFF) wrote an
essay in which he proposes to abolish or "dynamite" the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC). However, he would allow the agency to
continue to write Part 68 technical standards, and to promote universal service,
although through subsidies to people rather than to companies. Spectrum, Wendy
wrote, "should be placed on an open market exchange to find its highest
|This issue contains the following items:
• House Passes Competes Reauthorization Bill
• AT&T Announces New Pricing Plans for Mobile Data
• Public Knowledge Urges Anti-Circumvention Exceptions
• More News
New items are highlighted in
|Thursday, June 3
The House will not meet. It will next meet at 2:00 PM on Tuesday,
June 8. See,
The Senate will not meet. It will next meet at 2:00 PM on Monday,
8:00 AM - 12:15 PM. The Public
Knowledge (PK) will host a half day conference titled "Toward a Sustainable
Spectrum Policy: Rethinking Federal Spectrum". Location: Washington Court Hotel
on Capitol Hill, 525 New Jersey Ave., NW.
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) International Telecommunications and Privacy
and Data Security Committees will host a brown bag lunch titled "Addressing Privacy
Issues Abroad, Including Changes to EU Directives, key issues facing the U.S., EU and
Markets Such as Asia, Latin America and Updates on Current Global Privacy Debates".
The speakers will be Christopher Boam (Verizon Communications),
Timothy Tobin (Hogan & Hartson), Tony Hadley
(Experian), Damon Greer (DOC's
International Trade Administration), Yael Weinman
(Federal Trade Commission). For more information, contact
Linda Cicco at Linda dot cicco at bt dot com or Jennifer Ullman at Jennifer dot ullman at
verizon dot com. Location: Willkie Farr &
Gallagher, 1875 K St., NW.
3:30 PM. David Kappos, head of the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will hold a
news conference by teleconference to discuss the USPTO's proposed multi-track patent
examination initiative. Contact Karen Sewell at Karen dot Sewell at uspto dot gov or
571-272-8400 to request the dial in number and passcode.
|Friday, June 4
The House will not meet.
The Senate will not meet.
10:00 AM. The Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) will hold a seminar on the use of eXtensible Business Reporting
Language (XBRL) by mutual funds to comply with new rules that require them to file data
in the risk/return summary section in XBRL format. See,
notice. Location: SEC,
auditorium, 100 F St., NE.
|Monday June 7
The House will not meet.
The Senate will meet at 2:00 PM.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Akamai Technologies v. Limelight Networks,
a patent infringement case regarding technology for web site hosting, App. Ct. No. 2009-1372,
an appeal from the U.S. District Court (DMass).
Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Webzero v. Clicvu, a patent
infringement case, App. Ct. No. 2009-1483, an appeal from the
U.S. District Court (CDCal). Location: Courtroom
402, 717 Madison Place, NW.
2:00 PM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Fujitsu Limited v. Netgear, a patent
infringement case regarding wireless internet technology, App. Ct. No. 2010-1045, an appeal
from the U.S. District Court (WDWisc). Location:
Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress & Freedom
Foundation (PFF) will host a panel discussion titled "The Future of Speech
on the Borderless Internet". The PFF states that panelists will discuss
"trans-national regulation and litigation of defamation, hate speech, indecency and
political dissent". The speakers will be
(Hogan Lovells), Evgeny Morozov (Foreign Policy magazine), and Berin Szoka (PFF).
and registratio page. This event is open to the public, but registration
is required. Location: Hogan Lovells,
555 13th St., NW.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
regarding amending the FCC's amateur radio service rules with respect to amateur
radio operations during government sponsored emergency preparedness and disaster readiness
drills and tests. The FCC adopted its NPRM on March 18, 2010, and released the
[8 pages in PDF] on March 24, 2010. It is FCC 10-45 in WP Docket No. 10-72. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, April 22, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 77, at Pages 20951-20954.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [45 pages in PDF] regarding universal
service low income subsidy programs in Puerto Rico. The FCC adopted and
released this item on April 16, 2010. It is FCC 10-57 in WC Docket No. 05-337,
CC Docket No. 96-45, and WC Docket No. 03-109. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, May 7, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 88, at Pages 25156-25159.
Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Justice's (DOJ)
Bureau of Prisons (BOP) regarding its proposed rule
changes regarding prison communications, including prisoner telephone communications.
This proceeding does not pertain to delivery or use of unauthorized cell phones in federal
prisons. See, notice in the
Federal Register, April 6, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 65, at Pages 17324-17329.
Deadline to submit comments to the
National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding the nexus
notice in the Federal
Register, April 23, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 78, at Pages 21226-21231.
|Tuesday, June 8
The House will meet at 2:00 PM.
10:00 AM. The
U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral
argument in Finjan v. Secure Computing, a patent infringement case regarding
technology for protecting computers and networks from hostile downloadables, App. Ct. No.
2009-1576, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (DDel). Location: Courtroom 201, 717
Madison Place, NW.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications
Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "CLE Seminar on The
Judicial Year in Review and the Impact of the Comcast Decision". The
speakers will include Austin Schlick (FCC General Counsel), Mack Armstrong
(FCC Associate General Counsel), Richard Welch (FCC Associate General
Counsel), Andy Tollin (Wilkinson Barker Knauer), Josh Turner (Wiley Rein), Sam
Feder (Jenner & Block), Jon Nuechterlein (Wilmer Hale), and Harold Feld
(Public Knowledge). See,
notice. Location: Wiley Rein,
1776 K St., NW.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding
numerous proposed changes to the FCC's procedural rules and organizational rules.
The FCC adopted this item on February 18, 2010, and released the
[23 pages in PDF] on February 22, 2010. It is FCC No. 10-32 in GC Docket No. 10-44. See,
notice in the
Federal Register: March 25, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 57, at Pages 14401-14409.
Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding making
minor changes to its rules pertaining to ex parte communications with the FCC. The
FCC adopted this item on February 18, 2010, and released the
pages in PDF] on February 22, 2010. It is FCC No. 10-31 in GC Docket No. 10-43. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, March 25, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 57, at Pages 14409-14417.
|Wednesday, June 9
8:15 AM - 4:30 PM. The U.S.-China Economic
and Security Review Commission may hold a hearing titled "Evaluating China's
Role in the World Trade Organization over the Past Decade". This event is open
to the public. See, notice
in the Federal Register, May 5, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 86, at Page 24775. Location: Room
562, Dirksen Building, Capitol Hill.
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The American Bar
Association's (ABA) Section of International Law will host an event titled
"Obama Administration Export Control Reform". See,
notice for attending in person, and
notice for attending by teleconference. The price to attend ranges from
free to $25. Location: Miller & Chevalier, Suite 900, 655 15th St., NW.
2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary
Committee's (SJC) Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will
hold a hearing titled "Oversight of the Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws".
The witnesses will be Christine Varney (Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ's
Antitrust Division) and Jonathan Leibowitz (Chairman
of the Federal Trade Commission). The SJC will webcast this
event. See, notice.
Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
|Thursday, June 10
1:00 - 2:30 PM. The American Bar
Association's (ABA) Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division will
host an event titled "E-Discovery, Public Records and Metadata CLE
notice. The price to attend ranges from $60 to $150.
|Upcoming Events Outside of
Monday, June 7. 9:00 AM. The
House Judiciary Committee (HJC) will hold a field hearing titled "The
Proposed Combination of Comcast and NBC Universal". See,
Location: Donald P. Loker Conference Center, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los
Wednesday, June 9. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Commissioner Michael Copps
will speak at Stanford University Law School (SULS). For more information, contact
Jodie Carian at jcarian at law dot stanford dot edu. See, SULS
notice. Location: Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.
Sunday, June 13. 1:00 - 8:00 PM. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) will host an event titled "public forum" that pertains to the
FCC's antitrust merger review of the Comcast NBC Universal joint venture. See,
Location: Northwestern University Law School, Thorne Auditorium,
375 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Friday, June 18. 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The
Technology Policy Institute (TPI) will
host an event titled "Internet Governance and ICANN: Emerging Policy Issues".
The speakers will be Shawn
Gunnarson (Kirton & McConkie), Thomas Lenard (TPI),
(Syracuse University), Andrea Renda (Centre for
European Policy Studies), and Lawrence White (New York University business
school). and Location: 1 Place du Congres, Brussels, Belgium.
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