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Tuesday, March 5, 2013, Alert No. 2,530.
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Obama Administration Urges Creation of DMCA Anti-Circumvention Exemption for Unlocking Cell Phones

3/4. David Edelman, Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, & Privacy in the Executive Office of the President (EOP), wrote a short policy statement titled "It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking".

He wrote that it is the position of the "White House" that "consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties". Also, "the same principle should also apply to tablets".

Unlocking is the circumvention of computer programs on mobile phones or tablets to enable such devices to connect to alternative wireless networks. Carriers sell consumer phones at discounted prices, in return for the consumers signing wireless service contracts with a minimum fixed term. Carriers use locking to prevent these consumers from switching service providers.

Edelman asserted that this as a "telecommunications issue", and wrote that "the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with its responsibility for promoting mobile competition and innovation, has an important role to play here."

In fact, this is a Title 17 matter involving copyright and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), over which the Library of Congress's (LOC) Copyright Office (CO) has rulemaking authority. The LOC released a statement that suggests that it will not reopen this matter.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, like FCC Chairmen and other Commissioners before him, has often adopted rules and taken adjudicatory action without statutory authority. Moreover, while the President has no authority to direct or fire the Register of Copyright, Genachowski has often acted as if he were a loyal member of the Obama administration.

Genachowski wrote in a statement on March 4 that "From a communications policy perspective," the CO's decision "raises serious competition and innovation concerns, and for wireless consumers, it doesn't pass the common sense test. The FCC is examining this issue, looking into whether the agency, wireless providers, or others should take action to preserve consumers' ability to unlock their mobile phones."

It might be recalled also that the FCC under the leadership of former Chairman Michael Powell ventured into copyright policy with the adoption of broadcast flag rules in 2003. However, the Court of Appeals held that it lacked statutory authority. See, story titled "DC Circuit Reverses FCC's Broadcast Flag Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,131, May 9, 2005.

Edelman also wrote that "The Obama Administration would support a range of approaches to addressing this issue, including narrow legislative fixes in the telecommunications space that make it clear: neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation."

Edelman's statement refers to an online petition titled "Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal" in an Obama administration web site. That petition states, "We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal."

There is no law that prohibits cell phone or tablet unlocking. However, there are contracts between service providers and consumers, which the President is powerless to abrogate.

Second, there is the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA directs the LOC to conduct a proceeding every three years to adopt rules that create exemptions to the ban on circumvention. Nominally the rules are adopted by the Librarian of Congress, but in fact the Register of Copyright and her staff attorneys write these rules. These triennial rules are codified at 37 C.F.R. 201.40.

Unlocking of wireless devices may violate the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. Only the CO can create an exemption for this.

The CO's fourth triennial rules contain exemptions related to unlocking. See, story titled "Copyright Office Releases 4th Triennial DMCA Exemptions" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,115, July 30, 2010.

The CO's fifth set of rules, now in effect, do contain an exemption for unlocking phones, but only through the end of January of 2013. See, story titled "Librarian of Congress Adopts 5th Triennial 1201 Exemptions" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,467, October 24, 2012.

The purpose of the exclusive rights of copyright is to incent creation, by protecting the creator's or assignee's ability to derive revenue from the sale, licensing or streaming or copyrighted works. The object of the DMCA is to further this purpose by banning circumvention of technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works.

The process of unlocking entails circumventing a technological measure that controls access to copyrighted software. But, that software is not being sold or licensed. Rather, it is part of the process of enforcing a business model that ties a phone to a wireless service contract. That is, the DMCA is being invoked by service providers in a manner not envisioned by the members of the Congress that enacted the DMCA back in 1998.

Text of the CO Exemptions. The 4th set of rules which are not longer in effect contained two exemptions that relate to the app store business models, and wireless service provider business models:

    "Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset."

    "Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network."

The 5th set of rules which are now in effect include these two exemptions:

    "Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset."

    "Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable a wireless telephone handset originally acquired from the operator of a wireless telecommunications network or retailer no later than ninety days after the effective date of this exemption to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network, if the operator of the wireless communications network to which the handset is locked has failed to unlock it within a reasonable period of time following a request by the owner of the wireless telephone handset, and when circumvention is initiated by the owner, an individual consumer, who is also the owner of the copy of the computer program in such wireless telephone handset, solely in order to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network, and such access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network."

That is, the exemption first created in the 4th set of rules applies only to mobile phones acquired prior to the effective date of the exemption or within 90 days thereafter. The effective date was October 28, 2012. 90 days thereafter fell in late January. Hence, there is now no phone unlocking exemption.

More Reaction. The Library of Congress, of which the Copyright Office is a component, released a polite but unbending statement regarding the Obama administration statement. It noted that the DMCA "does not permit the U.S. Copyright Office to create permanent exemptions to the law".

It also explained that the CO conducted a thorough rule making proceeding.

Most significantly, the statement makes no reference to re-examining its decision.

On the other hand, the CO will likely commence its 6th triennial rulemaking proceeding in less than two years.

The CTIA stated in a release that "The Librarian of Congress concluded that an exemption was not necessary because the largest nationwide carriers have liberal, publicly available unlocking policies, and because unlocked phones are freely available in the marketplace -- many at low prices."

It added that "Customers have numerous options when purchasing mobile devices. They may choose to purchase devices at full price with no lock, or at a substantially discounted price -- typically hundreds of dollars less than the full price -- by signing a contract with a carrier. When the contract terms are satisfied, or for a reason that is included in the carrier's unlocking policy -- such as a trip outside the U.S. -- carriers will unlock a phone at their customer's request."

Sherwin Siy of the Public Knowledge (PK) wrote in a short piece on March 5 that "the White House statement doesn't reverse the Library's decision".

He added that "The problem here is one created by statute, and thus it falls to Congress to repair the damage. The Library of Congress's statement certainly doesn't suggest that it's likely to start some new process of reversing itself".

More on the DMCA. The anti-circumvention provisions are codified at 17 U.S.C. 1201, et seq. Subsection 1201(a)(1)(A) provides that "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title ...".

Then,  1201(a)(2)(A) provides 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;"

Furthermore,  1201(b)(1)(A) provides 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 protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof; ..."

Then, Subsections 1201(a)(1)(B) through (E) provide for rulemaking proceedings conducted by the Copyright Office (CO) every three years to establish exemptions to the prohibition of (a)(1)(A) for certain non-infringing uses.

Cato Urges Free Trade in Online Education

3/4. The Cato Institute released a paper titled "Liberalizing Cross-Border Trade in Higher Education: The Coming Revolution of Online Universities". The author is the Cato's Simon Lester.

The paper states that higher education is moving online, that this increases international competition between universities, that this is international trade, and that US universities will seek protectionist policies, but that the government should reject such demands.

The Cato Institute has a long history of free trade advocacy.

Lester wrote that "Recent developments in higher education, with leading institutions starting to offer courses online, suggest that the Internet is going to disrupt this industry, just as it has already disrupted the music and book industries and many others. We are entering a period of experimentation with new business models for higher education, with MOOCs (massive open online courses) the most prominent among these." (Parentheses in original.)

He predicted that "there is likely to be more competition, lower costs, and higher quality. This is great news for consumers of higher education. However, some existing institutions may fare badly in this transition and are likely to call for government support."

He added that "demands for government protection will be even stronger where foreign online competition is hurting traditional domestic institutions."

He urged that "One way to promote free trade in higher education is with international trade agreements.
Through these agreements, governments can make commitments not to discriminate against foreign online higher education programs."

He elaborated that current General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) rules are old and inadequate for addressing online services. Hence, these rules must be updated to specifically address online higher education.

He offers numerous recommendations. "Treat foreign and domestic online programs alike in accreditation" and "Online degrees should be recognized all over the world".

He also argues that "Subsidies should be for students, not for domestic educational institutions." That is, a government may subsidize education for its lower income students, but "these subsidies should not be used to discriminate against foreign online universities".

He argues that state universities should no longer favor students who are state residents, but "for political reasons, this may be a difficult change to make".

There are also other political reasons for not adopting the GATS rules changes that Lester recommends. For example, this paper focuses on governments, universities and students. However, in addition, faculty have interests, and tend to be organized and politically active. Much of government spending on higher education pays for faculty salaries and benefits. Some spending might be viewed merely as transfer payments from taxpayers to faculty. The sort of international competition envisioned by Lester would threaten the financial interests of many US based faculty.

Also, this paper does not address the related issue of US based state run and non-profit universities seeking government assistance in limiting competition from US based for profit universities, which increasingly are offering online services.

Divided Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Medine Nomination for PCLOB

2/28. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it approved the nomination of David Medine to be Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) by a vote of 10-8. It was a straight party line vote, with Democrats voting yes, and Republicans voting no.

The Senate confirmed other members of the PCLOB late in the 112th Congress.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the SJC, said that "I have serious concerns with his views regarding limitations on foreign nationals coming to this country from certain high risk countries. Specifically, Mr. Medine views that it would be inappropriate, those are his words, for the federal government to profile foreign nationals from high risk countries based solely upon the country of origin."

Sen. Grassley said that "This is troubling. All of the other members of the Board correctly stated at their hearing that foreign nationals do not have the same Constitutional or statutory rights as U.S. persons, and the government may lawfully and appropriately use  country of origin as a limiting factor for the purpose of admissions to the United States."

David Medine is currently an Attorney Fellow in the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Division of Corporate Finance, where he work on financial privacy issues.

Before that he worked for a decade at the law firm of Wilmer Hale. Before that he worked in the Executive Office of the President at the end of the Clinton administration. Before that he worked for over a decade at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its Financial Practices Division, where he worked on privacy issues.

See also, story titled "Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on PCLOB Nominees" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,375, April 19, 2012, and story titled "Senate Judiciary Committee Approves PCLOB Nominees" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,385, May 23, 2012.

Divided Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Orrick for NDCal Judgeship

2/28. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it approved the nomination of William Orrick to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (NDCal) by a vote of 11-7. It was a nearly straight party line vote, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no. However, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) voted yes by proxy.

If confirmed by the Senate, he would become a Judge in the District that includes Silicon Valley and which hears many of the most important technology related cases.

President Obama first nominated Orrick on June 11, 2012. See, story titled "Obama Nominates Two for USDC Northern District of California" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,397, June 15, 2012. The SJC approved that nomination. However, it was the subject of a filibuster. The President nominated him again on January 3, 2013.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the SJC, suggested that Republicans will not filibuster Orrick this time.

Orrick has worked at the San Francisco law firm of Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass for 25 years. He also campaigned, raised money for, and contributed to Obama in the 2008 election cycle. He also contributed to Obama's 2004 Senate campaign.

In 2010 he was appointed a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Division. His responsibilities included overseeing the Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL). His OIL related activities are the main cause of Republican opposition to his nomination.

He left that position, and returned to Coblentz Patch, shortly after his first nomination last summer.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the SJC, spoke at the meeting. He said that Orrick had "failed to answer many of my questions", and that his answers to written questions were "non-responsive". He also expressed substantive concerns about his positions on immigration.

See, Orrick's 2012 questionnaire responses [32 pages in PDF], responses [40 pages in PDF] to questions mostly from Sen. Grassley and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and responses [6 pages in PDF] to questions from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Sen. Grassley's and Sen. Session's extensive written questions reflect Republican concern about Orrick's role at the DOJ with respect to enforcement of immigration laws by the Obama administration. The Senators asked questions about the Obama administration asserting executive discretion to decline to enforce the statutes passed by the Congress.

Secondarily, their questions reflect a concern about Orrick's involvement in seeking to overturn the Congressionally passed Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) defended Orrick, and his actions at the DOJ, in brief comments.

Sen. Grassley then said, "Senator Feinstein, just in case my remarks were interpreted by you that we are going to fight to the death to keep this guy from getting confirmed, I am going to vote against him, but we are not going to hold it up." Sen. Feinstein responded, "Thank you. That is the best news of the morning."

It is highly unlikely that a District Court judge would have any significant impact on immigration law or the DOMA. Also, while Orrick has been nominated for the District that decides many of the most important patent and copyright cases, neither Sen. Grassley nor Sen. Sessions asked any written questions about these subjects.

But also, neither his SJC questionnaire responses nor his Coblentz Patch biography disclose any experience or expertise in patent, copyright, or other technology related areas of law. Coblentz Patch touts his experience in breach of contract, business torts, employment, and real estate and construction litigation, and other largely state law matters, over which the federal courts have jurisdiction only in diversity cases.

In short, there were many other persons who might have been nominated who possess better qualifications for serving as a Judge in this District. But secondly, Republican opposition to Orrick has very little to do with his qualifications to serve as a Judge in this District.

In This Issue
This issue contains the following items:
  Obama Administration Urges Creation of DMCA Anti-Circumvention Exemption for Unlocking Cell Phones
  Cato Urges Free Trade in Online Education
  Divided Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Medine Nomination for PCLOB
  Divided Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Orrick for NDCal Judgeship
  More Judicial Appointments
  More People and Appointments
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Tuesday, March 5

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for morning hour, and at 12:00 NOON for legislative business. See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security will hold a hearing titled "Hearing on Enhancing American Competitiveness through Skilled Immigration". The witnesses will be Bruce Morrison (IEEE), Dean Garfield (Information Technology Industry Council), Deepak Kamra Canaan Partner), and Benjamin Johnson (American Immigration Council). See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGRC) will hold a hearing titled "Time to Reform Information Technology Acquisition: The Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act". Location: Room 2154, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The House Appropriations Committee's (HAC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the Department of Commerce (DOC). See, notice. Location: Room H-309, Capitol Building.

10:00 AM. The House Appropriations Committee's (HAC) Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the Department of Energy's (DOE) science budget. See, notice. Location: Room 2362-B, Rayburn Building.

11:30 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will hold a hearing on HR 367 [LOC | WW], the "Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2013" or "REINS Act". The witnesses will be James Gattuso (Heritage Foundation), Eric Claeys (George Mason University), and Ronald Levin (Washington University School of Law). See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

12:00 NOON - 2:15 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host an event titled "Taking the long view: Strategies for peacetime competition with China". The keynote speaker will be Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA). The other speakers will be Dan Blumenthal (AEI), Jim Thomas (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments), Toshi Yoshihara (US Naval War College), and Thomas Mahnken (US Naval War College). Webcast. Free. See, notice. Location: AEI, 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

2:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a hearing titled "Excessive Litigation's Impact on America's Global Competitiveness". The witnesses will be Paul Hinton (NERA Economic Consulting), Rocky Flick, Neil Vidmar (Duke University School of Law), and Henry Butler (George Mason University School of Law). See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) will hold a closed hearing on undisclosed topics. See, notice. Location: Room 219, Hart Building.

4:00 PM. The House Ways and Means Committee's (HWMC) Subcommittee on Trade will hold its organizational meeting for the 113th Congress. See, notice. Location: Room 1105, Longworth Building.

Wednesday, March 6

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for morning hour, and at 12:00 NOON for legislative business. See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) will meet. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, Room TW-C305, 445 12th St., SW.

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing titled "Oversight of the Department of Justice". The witness will be Attorney General Eric Holder. Webcast. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in eBay v. Kelora Systems, App. Ct. No. 2012-1474, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (NDCal) in a patent case. Location: Courtroom 201.

10:30 AM. The House Homeland Security Committee (HHSC) will hold a hearing titled "DHS Cybersecurity: Roles and Responsibilities to Protect the Nation's Critical Infrastructure". The witnesses will be Janet Napolitano (Secretary of Homeland Security), Anish Bhimani (Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center), Gary Haynes (Centerpoint Energy), Dean Garfield (Information Technology Industry Council), and Michelle Richardson (ACLU). See, notice. Location: Room 311, Cannon Building.

11:00 AM. The House Appropriations Committee's (HAC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the budget for the National Science Foundation (NSF). See, notice. Location: Room H-309, Capitol Building.

3:00 PM. The Copyright Office (CO) will host a presentation by David Nimmer titled "50th Anniversary of Nimmer on Copyright". See, notice. Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave., SE.

Thursday, March 7

The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

9:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "Abusive Patent Litigation: The Impact on American Innovation & Jobs, and Potential Solutions". The witnesses will be __. See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of several gun bills, and the nominations numerous judicial nominees: Sheri Chappell (USDC/MDFl), Kenneth Gonzales (USDC/DNMex), Michael McShane (USDC/DOre), Nitza Alejandro (USDC/EDPenn), Luis Restrepo (USDC/EDPenn), and Jeffrey Schmehl (USDC/EDPenn). See, notice. Webcast. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Apple v. ITC, App. Ct. No. 2012-1338, an appeal from the U.S. International Trade Commission in a Section 337 proceeding involving whether Motorola Mobility mobile devices and software infringe Apple patents. The proceeding is USITC No. 337-TA-750. Location: Courtroom 203.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in TecSec v. IBM, App. Ct. No. 2012-1415, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (EDVa) in a patent infringement case involving encryption technology. Location: Courtroom 203.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) and Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (SHSGAC) will hold a joint hearing titled "The Cybersecurity Partnership Between the Private Sector and Our Government: Protecting our National and Economic Security". The SCC's notice states that this hearing will examine President Obama's Executive Order of February 13, 2013. See, story titled "Obama Signs Cyber Security Order and Policy Directive" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,525, February 19, 2013. Webcast. Location: Room G-50, Dirksen Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) will hold a closed hearing on undisclosed topics. See, notice. Location: Room 219, Hart Building.

Friday, March 8

Rep. Cantor's schedule states that no votes are expected in the House.

8:30 AM. The Department of Labor's (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is scheduled to release its February 2013 unemployment data.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The Net Caucus will host a panel discussion titled "Combating Piracy Online: The Copyright Alert System, A Voluntary Approach". The speakers will be Jill Lesser (Center for Copyright Information), Jerry Berman (Net Caucus), Jules Polonetsky (Future of Privacy Forum), Gigi Sohn (Public Knowledge), Thomas Dailey (Verizon), Mitch Glazier (Recording Industry Association of America), Marianne Grant (Motion Picture Association of America), and Brent Olson (AT&T). Free. A box lunch will be served. See, notice. Location: Room 2168, Rayburn Building.

Sunday, March 10

EXTENDED FROM JANUARY 10. Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in connection with their joint workshop on December 10, 2012, titled "Patent Assertion Entity Activities". See, notice and agenda.

Monday, March 11

1:00 - 2:30 PM. The New America Foundation (NAF) will host a panel discussion titled "Foreign Policy for the Information Age: Managing Transparency and Volatility". The speakers will be Lorelei Kelly (NAF), Gerald Hyman (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Joseph Siegle (National Defense University), Jim Herlong, Tim Maurer (NAF), and Shanthi Kalathil. See, notice. Location: NAF, Suite 400, 1899 L St., NW.

Tuesday, March 12

EXTENDED FROM FEBRUARY 19. Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [205 pages in PDF] regarding incentive auctions. The FCC adopted this NPRM on September 28, and released the text on October 2. It is FCC 12-118 in Docket No. 12-268. See, notice in the Federal Register,  Vol. 77, No. 225, November 21, 2012, at Pages 69933-69992. See also, stories titled "FCC Adopts NPRM on Incentive Auctions" and "FCC Adopts Spectrum Aggregation NPRM" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,455, October 1, 2012. See, extension notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 239, December 12, 2012, at Page 73969.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding IP Captioned Telephone Service. This item is FCC 13-13 in CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123. The FCC adoptd this item on January 24, 2013, and released the text on January 25. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 24, February 5, 2013, at Pages 8090-8096.

More Judicial Appointments

3/4. The confirmed Katherine Failla to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (SDNY). See, Congressional Record, March 4, 2013, at Page S1094. President Obama first nominated her on June 25, 2012. See, White House news office release and release. He nominated her again on January 3, 2013.  She has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2000. Before that, she worked for the law firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

3/4. The confirmed Pamela Ki Mai Chen to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (EDNY). See, Congressional Record, March 4, 2013, at Page S1094. She was previously a long time employee of the Department of Justice (DOJ). She worked in the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, and then in the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

3/4. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) spoke in the Senate regarding judicial nominations generally, and the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir). Republicans have held up her confirmation for years, in part because Democrats held up for years former President Bush's nominee for the same seat. Sen. Leahy argued that "there is no reason to delay further the confirmation of Caitlin Halligan, whose nomination to the D.C. Circuit was first reported nearly two years ago. Senate Republicans justified their filibuster of her nomination a year ago by arguing that the Circuit did not need another judge. Since that time, the number of vacancies on that court has doubled, and it is now more than one-third vacant. It needs Caitlin Halligan. She is the kind of moderate, superbly qualified nominee who should easily be able to be confirmed under any standard by which the Senate has considered judicial nominees in the past. It is well past time to walk back from the precipice marked by the wrongheaded filibuster of Ms. Halligan. The continued filibuster of her nomination does harm to the Senate, to the important D.C. Circuit, and to the American people." See, transcript.

2/28. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it approved the nomination of Nelson Roman (USDC/SDNY) by voice vote. There were no audible no votes.

2/28. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it approved the nomination of Shelly Dick (USDC/MDLa) by voice vote. There were no audible no votes.

2/28. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it held over the nominations of Sheri Chappell (USDC/MDFl), Kenneth Gonzales (USDC/DNMex), Michael McShane (USDC/DOre), Nitza Alejandro (USDC/EDPenn), Luis Restrepo (USDC/EDPenn), and Jeffrey Schmehl (USDC/EDPenn). All six nominations are again on the SJC's agenda for its executive business meeting of Thursday, March 7, 2013. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said that there would likely be a day long mark up of the gun bills on March 7, which may carry over to the following Monday or Tuesday.

More People and Appointments

3/4. Heather Blanchard joined the CTIA as Director of Wireless Internet Development (WID). See, CTIA release.

3/1. The Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) announced new staff appointments. See, release.

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