|News Briefs from June
ICANN Conducts Survey
6/10. The ICANN published
in its web site an online survey
being conducted by its Domain Names Supporting Organization (DNSO) regarding the
6/9. The USTR announced that the U.S. and
the PRC "have reached consensus on remaining bilateral concerns related to
China's WTO accession, indicating that both countries plan to work together in
Geneva to complete China's WTO accession. In addition, both countries will work
closely with other WTO members to build on the consensus reached by the United
States and China this past week in Shanghai." See, USTR release.
Computer Export Controls
6/8. The Center for Strategic and International
Studies (CSIS), a Washington DC think tank, held a press conference to
release a report titled "Computer Exports and National Security in a Global
Era: New Tools for a New Century." (See, Executive Summary [PDF].)
The report recommends ending export controls on computers and microprocessors.
The speakers were John Hamre, who is the President and CEO of the CSIS and a
former Defense Department official in the Clinton administration, Brent
Scowcroft, who is a trustee of the CSIS and a former National Security Adviser
for the elder President Bush, and James Lewis, who is the author of the report.
See also, CSIS release.
The report and the speakers state that current export controls on computer
hardware that are based on MTOP levels are
no longer relevant or useful. James Lewis stated that the capacity of a computer
is not important. First, people can cluster computers together with readily
available software to obtain supercomputing capacity. Second, the Internet can
be used to create virtual supercomputers. Third, the amount of capacity needed
for most defense design work is less than that of some current off the shelf
laptops. John Hamre stated that not only has the technology changed, but the
threats faced by the U.S. have changed. He said that there ought to be export
controls, but not on computer hardware. He stated that there should be controls
on precursor chemicals for chemical weapons, missile technology, biological
weapons, genetic sequencing equipment, and proprietary software used for certain
defense related functions. Brent Scowcroft said the the current export control
regime "has largely seen its day." It was based on the old cold war
conflict. Today, the export policy is trying "to play King Canute" and
hold back the tide, said Scowcroft.
There are two bills pending in the Congress that would reform the export control
regime, S 149,
the Export Administration Act of 2001, and HR 1553, and
untitled bill. S 149, sponsored by Sen. Mike
Enzi (R-WY), is a major overhaul of export control laws. It passed the
Senate Banking Committee on March 22, 2001 by a vote of 19-1. However, it faces
opposition in the Senate from Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN), Sen. John Warner
(R-VA), and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). HR 1553 is a short bill sponsored by Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) that would
simply end export controls on high performance computers.
Intel v. Intergraph
6/8. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Intel
v. Intergraph, upholding the District Court's judgment for Intel
on the issue of violation of antitrust laws. The Appeals Court previously
held in Intergraph v. Intel, 195 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 1999), aka Intel I, that Intel did not violate the antitrust laws by
withholding certain proprietary information and product samples from Intergraph, following upon Intergraph's
assertion of its Clipper patents against Intel products. On remand, the District
Court then held that Intel I precluded relitigation of the antitrust issues.
Intergraph appealed. The Appeals Court affirmed in a short opinion. Intergraph's
patent infringement and other claims are still pending.
PPI Advocates National E-Commerce Strategy
6/8. The Progressive Policy Institute, a
Democratic think tank, released a report [PDF]
titled "The Failure of Cyber-Libertarianism: The Case for a National
E-Commerce Strategy." The report states that "While cyber-
conservatives resist government action, cyber- liberals focus principally on
regulation and redistribution, rather than on fostering the growth of
e-commerce. They advocate immediate taxation of e-commerce sales, strict
regulations on privacy and consumer protection, and limited intellectual
property protection on digital content. Moreover, for the left, government's
most important role is addressing the digital divide."
The report continues that "limiting an Internet and digital agenda to
simply a no-tax and deregulatory regime, as the right would advocate, or to a
digital divide agenda, as the left proposes, will not take us far enough or fast
enough toward the goal of a society and an economy where digital technologies
are widely and extensively used." It concludes that "government needs
to intervene in areas where market failures and other limitations lead to less
than optimal outcomes" and that there should be "a national e-commerce
strategy". The report specifically advocates that the government fund
research and development, resist middlemen who seek to block disintermediation,
promote e-government, promote free trade, and promote international rules
Robert Atkinson, who wrote report, will also speak on the same subject at a PPI
sponsored event at 2:30 PM today in Room 121 of the Cannon Building. See, notice.
6/8. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion
Business in Telecommunications v. FCC, a petition for review of FCC
orders pertaining to 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) service. The Court
of Appeals dismissed the petition for review with respect to the Upper Channel
First Reconsideration Order and denied the petition with respect to the Lower
Channel Report and Order and the Lower Channel Reconsideration Order.
6/8. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Acromed
v. Sofamor, affirming the District Court's JMOL in this patent
infringement action involving spinal surgery technology.
6/8. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Apotex
v. Merck, a patent infringement suit. The Appeals Court
affirmed the District Court's grant of summary judgment to Merck holding that
the claims of two patents are invalid. The patents in suit, U.S. Patents
5,573,780 and 5,690,962, relate to a process for producing a formula for use in
treating high blood pressure.
Director General Mike Moore gave a speech in
Geneva, Switzerland, titled "Promoting Openness, Fairness and
Predictability in International Trade for the Benefit of Humanity." He
again advocated the launch of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations.
6/8. Napster appointed Jonathan
Schwartz to the new post of General Counsel. He was previously Principal
Associate Deputy Attorney General U.S. Justice Department. See, Napster release.
Senate Passes TEACH Act
6/7. The Senate passed S 487, the
Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act by unanimous
consent. The bill would amend §§ 110(2) and 112 of the Copyright
Act to extend the distance learning exemptions enacted in 1976 to digital
delivery media. The TEACH Act incorporates many of the recommendations made by the U.S. Copyright Office in 1999 in a
study mandated by the the DMCA. Under current
law, there are exemptions for "face-to-face" and
"transmission" teaching activities; but Internet based education is
Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), a sponsor of the
bill, stated on the Senate floor that "This legislation will help clarify
the law and allow educators to use the same rich material in distance learning
over the Internet that they are able to use in face-to-face classroom
instruction. The Senate has been focused on education reform for the past two
months. The legislation we report today reflects our understanding that we must
be able to use new technologies to advance our education goals in a manner that
recognizes and protects copyrighted works."
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), another sponsor
of the bill, stated that "Distance education, and the use of high
technology tools such as the Internet in education, hold great promise for
students in States like Utah, where distances can be great between students and
learning opportunities. ... Any education reforms moved in the Congress this
year should include provisions that help deploy high technology tools, including
the Internet, ..."
P3P Resolution Introduced in House
6/7. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Cal Dooley (D-CA), Rep. James Moran (D-VA), Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), and Rep. Richard Larsen (D-WA) introduced H Res 159,
a resolution expressing the sense of the House that machine readable privacy
policies and the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project specification,
commonly known as the P3P specification, are important tools in protecting the
privacy of Internet users. The resolution further states that commercial,
nonprofit, Congressional, and federal web sites should deploy P3P compliant
privacy policies. The resolution was referred to the House Commerce Committee,
House Administration Committee, and the House Government Reform Committee.
"One of the key elements of the privacy debate – and something that often
gets lost in the shuffle – is the need for consumers to be able to effectively
manage their personal information online," said Rep. Smith in a release. "The P3P
specification fills this need because it allows consumers to make decisions
about how much information they want to share with web site operators. As
Congress considers privacy legislation, P3P is an immediate way to address
consumer concerns without onerous regulation."
The P3P is developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, which describes it as
"an industry standard providing a simple, automated way for users to gain
more control over the use of personal information on Web sites they visit."
Not all groups are enthusiastic about the P3P. See, for example, report by the EPIC
and Junkbusters titled "Pretty Poor Privacy: An Assessment of P3P and
Privacy and DOD Web Sites
6/7. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) gave a speech
in the House regarding online privacy. He stated that "We just received the
other day the audit report of the Department of Defense Web sites. We found
disturbing information. Of 400 sites that were reviewed, over a quarter of them
had privacy violations where Americans' privacy rights were being abused by
which is essentially a system used to collect personal information on your
system placed there by a government Web site. There were 100 sites that had no
privacy notice. Perhaps most disturbing, there were seven sites where the
government agencies had used Web bugs which essentially are capable of tracking
an individual's uses of the Internet." See, Congressional Record, June 7,
at page H2961.
U.S. Has Jurisdiction over French Defendants in Yahoo v. LICRA
6/7. The U.S. District Court (NDCal)
issued an Order
Denying Motion to Dismiss [PDF] in Yahoo
v. LICRA, holding that Yahoo's
declaratory judgment action may proceed to the merits. Yahoo filed a complaint
in the District Court seeking a declaratory judgment that an order of a French
court (that Yahoo render impossible access by people in France to certain
content of the Yahoo web site) is unenforceable in the U.S. as contrary to the
Yahoo is a Delaware corporation based in San Jose, California. The French
defendants, LICRA and UEJF,
who had sued Yahoo in a French court, sought to avoid the jurisdiction of the
U.S. Courts when Yahoo sued them. The French defendants filed a Rule 12(b)(2)
motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The District Court denied
the motion to dismiss, holding that it had personal jurisdiction over the
defendants under California's long arm jurisdiction statute, which permits a
court to exercise jurisdiction to the full extent authorized by the Due Process
Clause of the Constitution. The Court stated that the purposeful availment
requirement was met because defendants had written a demand letter to Yahoo in
California, used U.S. Marshals in California to serve papers on Yahoo, and
sought an order of the French court directing Yahoo's operations in California.
Free speech and technology industry advocates oppose the order of the French
court. See, for example, amicus brief [PDF]
of the Center for Democracy and Technology and
other groups. They wrote: "The French judgment before this Court places our
tradition of free expression in jeopardy. It represents a direct attempt by a
foreign nation to apply its law extraterritorially to restrict the freedom of
expression of U.S.-based online speakers who are protected by the First
Amendment. It does so because the Plaintiff, Yahoo! Inc. ("Yahoo!"),
has chosen the Internet as its means of communication."
Largent Announces Resignation
6/7. Rep. Steve Largent (R-OK)
announced his intent to resign from the House, effective November 29, in order
to run for Governor of Oklahoma. See, release. Largent is a
member of the House Commerce Committee,
and its Telecom Subcommittee, which have jurisdiction over much of the
legislation affecting the Internet and communications. He has been one of the
Committee's most ardent advocates of free market solutions, limited government,
and deregulation. He has also been a proponent of legislation to protect
children from inappropriate content on the Internet. He is also one of the
leaders of the opposition to HR 1542, the
Tauzin Dingell bill.
Esbin Returns to FCC Cable Services Bureau
Esbin was named Associate Chief of the FCC's Cable Services Bureau, effective July 15,
2001. She is currently a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Dow Lohnes. Until recently, she worked at the
FCC. The FCC stated that she will handle "regulatory issues arising from
cable provision of Internet and other advanced information services, cable entry
into telecommunications markets, interconnection, local franchising, federal-
state relations, and related regulatory issues affecting cable operators."
release. Esbin is best known for having authored the FCC's September 1998 report [PDF]
titled Internet Over Cable: Defining the Future in Terms of the Past.
See, TLJ News
Analysis regarding this report.
Trade and Fast Track
6/7. Rep. Phil English (R-PA) gave a
in the House regarding trade negotiating authority of the President. He stated
that "the President of the United States, the leader of the free world and
representative of the largest single economy on the planet, has lacked the
authority to negotiate trade agreements, agreements that could pry open foreign
markets, reduce and even eliminate unfair trading practices and create and
preserve more jobs here at home. All of this is beyond the reach of the
President of the United States." He also stated that "All around us,
our trading partners, tired of U.S. excuses and delays, are joining and forming
new trade alliances without us. Europe is forming new trade pacts all across
Latin America, South America and North Africa. The nations of East Asia are
actively working to form a new regional combine. America is not even a party to
these discussions." Also, he again promoted HR 1446, the
Standard Trade Negotiating Authority Act, which he introduced on April 4, 2001.
See, Congressional Record, June 7, at page H2985.
Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Imported Pharmaceuticals
6/7. The House Commerce Committee's
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on imported
pharmaceuticals, including those sold via the Internet and delivered by
mail. See, opening statements of Rep.
Billy Tauzin (R-LA), Rep. John
Dingell (D-MI), and Rep.
James Greenwood (R-PA). See also, prepared testimony of witnesses: Rev.
and Mrs. Edwin Rode, Donald
Vereen (Office of National Drug Control Policy), Laura
Nagel (DEA), Elizabeth
Durant (U.S. Customs Service), William
Hubbard (FDA), Alan
Leshner (National Institute on Drug Abuse), Landon
Gibbs (Virginia State Police), Marven
Shepherd (University of Texas), John
Glover (Bristol- Myers Squibb), James
Christian (Novartis), William
Trundley (Glaxo Smith Kline), Gene
R. Haislip, and Donald
deKieffer (deKieffer & Horgan).
Subcommittee Holds Hearing on USPTO
6/7. The House Judiciary Committee's
Subcommittee on Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property held an oversight
hearing titled The Operations of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
Including Review of Agency Funding. The Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), presided. The
ranking Democrat, Rep. Howard Berman
(D-CA), also participated. No other members were present. See, opening
statements of Coble
and Berman. See
also, prepared testimony of witnesses: Nicholas Godici (USPTO),
(Intellectual Property Owners), Nils Montan
(International Trademark Association), and Ronald Stern (Patent
Office Professional Association).
Diversion of USPTO User Fees. Rep. Coble stated that "It pains me
that the focus of our hearing, as it has been in the past, will be the
continuing diversion of PTO funds from the agency to other government programs.
More specifically, by the end of the present fiscal year, the agency will have
lost more than $600 million dollars attributable to diversions, rescissions, and
other budgetary sleights of hand." Rep. Berman concurred: "This
Innovation Tax is leaving the PTO unable and unequipped to perform its very
Legal Challenge to Diversion. Rep. Coble asked Myrick whether the IPO
planned to file a court challenge to the diversion of USPTO user fees. Myrick
responded that the IPO is studying the issue, and will issue a report in two
weeks, but has made no determination. He added that if a legal challenge were
filed, it would allege a violation of the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause and the
ban on direct taxation. Rep. Berman stated that "I am with you on policy,
but I am not sure I am with you on the Constitutional issue." He asked
rhetorically whether the IPO's lawyers were the same ones who argue that minimum
wage laws violate freedom of contract.
Coble and Berman Introduce HR 2047
6/7. Rep. Howard Coble and Rep. Howard Berman introduced HR 2047 on June 6. They
discussed the bill at the June 7 oversight hearing on the USPTO. The bill
contains three provisions. First, it seeks to end the diversion of USPTO fees to
subsidize other government programs. It states that "There is authorized to
be appropriated to the (USPTO) for salaries and necessary expenses for fiscal
year 2002 an amount equal to the fees collected in fiscal year 2002 ..."
On April 3, Rep. Berman and Rep. Rick
Boucher (D-VA) introduced HRes 110, a
resolution providing "That it shall not be in order in the House of
Representatives to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, motion or
conference report that makes available funds to the (USPTO) for any fiscal year
... in amounts less than the total amount of patent and trademark fees collected
by the (USPTO) ... " Rep. Berman stated at the June 7 hearing that "I
believe that HR 2047 and HRes 110 are symbiotic, and I will pursue House passage
HR 2047 would also require the USPTO to develop a strategic plan that sets forth
goals and methods regarding enhancing patent and trademark quality, reducing
patent and trademark pendancy, and developing computer systems. Rep. Berman
explained that the USPTO "needs to clearly and specifically outline how it
would use all the fee revenue to be diverted." Finally, HR 2047 would
authorize $50 Million per year for 2002 and 2003 to develop an electronic system
for the filing and processing of patent and trademark applications.
Boucher & Issa Introduce Internet Distance Learning Bill
6/7. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced HR 2100, a bill
to amend copyright law to facilitate distance learning. The bill would amend
§§ 110(2) and 112 of the Copyright
Act to extend the distance learning exemptions enacted in 1976 to digital
delivery media. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, of which
both Boucher and Issa are members. This bill is similar, but not identical, to
the S 487,
which the Senate passed by unanimous consent on June 7. The Senate bill, but not
the House bill, contains a requirement that the USPTO
prepare a report for the Judiciary Committees "describing technological
protection systems that have been implemented, are available for implementation,
or are proposed to be developed to protect digitized copyrighted works and
First to File Rule in Trademark Litigation
6/7. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its opinion
Network v. Discovery Communications, a trademark dispute.
Learning Network filed a complaint against Discovery in the U.S. District Court
for the District of Maryland (DMd). Discovery filed a complaint against Network
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). The
District Court (DMd) issued an order enjoining Discovery from proceeding with
its suit against Network in the District Court (SDNY), pursuant to the first
to file rule. The Appeals Court affirmed in an "unpublished"
9th Circuit Issues Antitrust Ruling
6/7. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion
v. USC, an antitrust suit. Rhiannon Tanaka, a soccer
playing college student, sought to transfer from the University of Southern
California to UCLA, both of which are members of the PAC 10 intercollegiate
athletic conference. USC opposed Tanaka's transfer to UCLA, and sought sanctions
(one year loss of eligibility and financial aid) against her pursuant to a PAC
10's intra conference transfer rule. Tanaka filed a complaint in the U.S.
District Court (CDCal)
against USC alleging breach of contract under state law and violation of the
Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15, predicated on a violation of Section 1 of the
Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. The District Court dismissed the antitrust claim on
the basis that USC's action was basically noncommercial, and declined to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state claim. The Appeals Court
affirmed on other grounds. Tanaka had alleged that the relevant market
was Los Angeles. The Appeals Court reasoned that the market was national, and a
PAC 10 rule could not have a significant anticompetitive effect nationally.
6/7. Napster announced that it entered
into an agreement with Loudeye under which
Loudeye will provide digital "fingerprints" and associated descriptive
data to identify songs. See, Napster release.
Loudeye stated that this "will support Napster's compliance efforts to
filter noticed copyrighted content from its current service." See, Loudeye
6/7. The U.S. District Court (CDCal) entered judgment in
SEC v. Reed
Slatkin, a civil securities fraud action. The Court enjoined
Slatkin from violating the antifraud provisions of federal securities laws,
ordered him to disgorge ill gotten gains, and ordered him to pay of civil
penalties. Slatkin is also a co-founder, former director and substantial
shareholder of Earthlink. See, SEC release.
SBC Withdraws Missouri 271 Application
6/6. SBC Communications withdrew its Section 271 application to
provide long distance service in the state of Missouri. See, SBC
release. The FCC Chairman Michael Powell released a statement
in which he said, "During the FCC Common Carrier Bureau's review of SBC's
Section 271 application for authority to offer long distance service in
Missouri, concerns surfaced related to cost-based pricing in its region and
operations support systems (OSS). Given these concerns, SBC has chosen to
withdraw the application. Accordingly, this Section 271 proceeding is now
terminated until such time as SBC has addressed these issues and is prepared to
resubmit its application."
DOJ Sues to Stop 3D Systems' Acquisition of DTM
6/6. The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil
antitrust action in U.S. District Court (DDC)
against 3D Systems Corporation and DTM Corporation seeking to block 3D System's
proposed $45 Million acquisition of DTM. The DOJ alleged that the transaction
would result in higher prices and less innovation for industrial rapid
prototyping systems. Rapid prototyping (RP) is a process by which a machine
transforms a computer design into three dimensional objects. See, DOJ release. Brian
Service, P/CEO of 3D Systems stated that "We believe the government's case
is without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend the legality of the
transaction." John Murchison, P/CEO of DTM likewise condemned the suit.
Prof. Felton Challenges Constitutionality of DMCA Anti
6/6. Edward Felton and others
filed a complaint
in U.S. District Court (DNJ)
against the RIAA, SDMI Foundation, and others, seeking a declaration that the
anti circumvention provision of the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act is unconstitutional as a violation of free speech.
On April 9, Matthew Oppenheim, Secretary of the SDMI Foundation, wrote a letter to Felton, an associate
professor in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University, and others, warning
them that public release of information concerning the Secure Digital Music
Initiative (SDMI) "could subject you and your research team to actions
under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ..." At the time, Felton had
been scheduled to participate in the 4th International Information Hiding
Workshop on April 25-29 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) is a
music industry group that is attempting to develop a watermark based system to
prevent music piracy. Watermarking embeds copyright information in digital music
files to enable devices like MP3 players and recorders to refuse to make copies
of copyrighted music. Last year the SDMI issued a "Public Challenge"
to help choose among four proposed watermarking technologies. It invited
researchers to attempt to remove the copyright watermarks. Felton responded, and
successfully defeated all four technologies. The SDMI sought to prevent Felton
from presenting or publishing his findings.
The RIAA had this reaction:
"Professor Felten's decision to sue the RIAA and the SDMI Foundation is
inexplicable. We have unequivocally and repeatedly stated that we have no
intention of bringing a lawsuit against Professor Felten or his colleagues. It
seems that the professor, or the Electronic Frontier Foundation, would have
preferred that we sue in order to keep their publicity machine running. Since
we've said we have no issue with the publication of the Felten paper, they now
resort to suing us to keep this issue alive." See, RIAA release.
What Happened to the New Economy?
6/6. Federal Reserve Board Governor
Laurence Meyer gave a
in New York City titled "What Happened to the New Economy?" He
identified the "new economy" as "the dramatic acceleration in
productivity tied, to an important degree, to innovations in information
technology." He stated that there is a "sharp slowdown under way ... .
I refer here to the correction in equity prices and the retrenchment of
investment, both of which are centered on the high-tech area." He addressed
the role of monetary policy in recent growth, and the slowdown. He also stated
that "we are still in the new economy ... . The shape of the slowdown has
the new economy written all over it, just as the shape of the earlier expansion
did." He also concluded that "Recent developments have taught or
re-taught us a number of such lessons. Equity prices can go down as well as up.
Firms need profits to survive. Business cycles happen." He spoke to the New
York Association for Business Economics and The Downtown Economists.
Crater v. Lucent
6/6. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Crater
v. Lucent. Plaintiff holds U.S.
Patent No. 5,286,129 pertaining to an underwater coupling device for fiber
optic cable. It filed suit in U.S. District Court (EDMo)
against Lucent and AT&T alleging patent infringement and
breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets under state law.
Federal jurisdiction was based on the patent claim; there was not diversity of
citizenship. Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
and for failure to state a claim, on the grounds that since their use of the
invention was pursuant to contracts with the federal government (U.S. Navy), 18
U.S.C. § 1498(a) provides that the only action available to the plaintiff
is against the government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The District
Court agreed, and dismissed. In addition, the government asserted the military
and state secrets privilege to prevent plaintiff from obtaining information
about infringing use. It intervened in the District Court proceeding to prevent
most discovery in that action. The Appeals Court affirmed the finding that
Section 1498 bars the patent infringement action, but reversed the holding as to
lack of jurisdiction. The Appeals Court held that there was jurisdiction over
the patent claim, and hence, supplemental jurisdiction over the state law
PSLRA Pleading Standard
6/6. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion
[PDF] in Ronconi
v. Larkin, a case regarding pleading standards in securities
class action suits under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA).
The District Court dismissed for failure to state a claim. The Appeals Court
applied the PSLRA, as previously interpreted by the Ninth Circuit in Janas v. McCracken (In re
Silicon Graphics Sec. Litig.), 183 F.3d 970 (1999), to affirm the dismissal.
Computer and Internet Crime
6/6. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (5thCir) issued its opinion
in USA v. James Rhodes, an appeal in a criminal
case. Defendant plead guilty to and was convicted of one count of traveling
interstate with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b). He had been communicating via the Internet
with an undercover police officer. He appealed the District Court's refusal to
withdraw his guilty plea, and his sentence. The Appeals Court affirmed.
6/6. Richard Morris was charged by Information
[PDF] with one count of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and one
count of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. Morris also plead guilty
to both charges in U.S. District Court (NDCal). Morris auctioned non-
existent merchandise on Internet auction sites, including e-Bay and
Yahoo. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Howden prosecuted the case. See, USAO release.
6/6. The Senate Appropriations
Committee's Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies held a hearing
on proposed budget estimates for FY 2002 for the National
Science Foundation and the Office of Science Technology Policy.
6/6. The House Judiciary Committee
held an oversight hearing on the Justice
Department. testified. See, prepared testimony
of Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Go to News Briefs from June 1-5.