News Briefs from June 16-20, 2001

Rep. Sessions Condemns FCC Central Planning
6/20. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) inserted a statement in the Congressional Record criticizing the FCC's spectrum allocation policies. He asked, "are our telecom regulators and regulations serving the New Economy or burdening it?" He also inserted a copy of an editorial published in the Wall Street Journal on the subject of Northpoint's dealings with the FCC. That editorial stated that "The allocation system may have worked well enough when it was designed 80 years ago to broadcast first radio and later TV. But a proliferation of wireless innovations has led to increased demand for spectrum space, and the current method of doling it out, like all attempts at central planning, has resulted in an artificial shortage. Wireless technologies, we'll add here, are but another way to shake America's thirst for broadband Internet access, and we suspect that the slothful deployment of broadband has played a significant role in Nasdaq's struggles of late and the dot-com skid in general. In effect, government control of the airwaves has helped to create virtual queues." See, Congressional Record, June 20, 2001, Page E1167.
House Republicans Announce New e-Contract with High Tech America
6/20. House Republicans leaders announced the latest version of their e-Contract with High Tech America at an event in the U.S. Capitol. Most of its provisions are broad and vague principles, such as "Modernizing and reforming our education system", "Protecting intellectual property rights", "Modernizing our spectrum allocation process", and "Promoting research and development."
One item on the contract is "Allowing high-speed Internet access to flourish." A reporter asked House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) which of the pending broadband bills he supports. Armey said that "I haven't found the answer to that. There are good arguments on both sides of that issue."
Another item on the contract is "Protecting the Internet from predatory, or multiple and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce." Armey was asked about this also. He said that the Congress will likely make the ban on taxes on Internet access permanent, and extend the moratorium on new or discriminatory sales taxes for another three to five years.
Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee stated his Committee's focus will be assuring that there is power for the new economy, and protecting the high tech economy against government regulation, taxation and interference.
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), the Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, stated that his Committee will focus on promoting K-12 math and science education. He also advocated making permanent the research and development tax credit.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, also advocated making permanent the R&D tax credit. He stated that his Committee will take up several tech issues this year, including the Internet tax moratorium, distance education over the Internet, fraud on the Internet, and USPTO funding.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman of the Republican High Tech Working Group, and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the Crime Subcommittee, also participated.
Committee Approves Patent Reexamination Bills
6/20. The House Judiciary Committee adopted two bills pertaining to patent reexaminations, HR 1866 and HR 1886, by unanimous voice votes after a brief discussion. The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property had approved both bills on May 22.
HR 1866 is intended to overturn the 1997 opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) in In Re Portola Packaging. In that case the Appeals Court held that the restriction on the scope of reexaminations to "substantial new questions" precludes the consideration of prior art that was before the examiner. The key language of the HR 1866 amends 35 U.S.C. §§ 303(a) and 312(a). It adds the following: "The existence of a substantial new question of patentability is not precluded by the fact that a patent or printed publication was previously cited by or to the Office." This final clause ("or to the Office") is an amendment added at the June 20 mark up.
HR 1886 affords all participants, including third party requesters, in reexamination proceedings, judicial review before federal appeals courts. It was adopted without any further amendment. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) stated that "while I strongly endorse the professionalism of the Patent and Trademark Office, I also believe that it is necessary to place a check on the PTO's actions by affording all participants judicial review before a federal appeals court." Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) also spoke in favor of the bill. She stated that it is "a good, although small, step, in improving the reexamination procedure, and we note that, and I think the Chairman agrees, that there may be some additional measures that we will need to take."
Committee Approves DOJ Authorization Bill
6/20. On June 19, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced HR 2215, a bill to authorize appropriations for the Department of Justice for FY 2002. The House Judiciary Committee amended and approved the bill on June 20. It authorizes appropriations of $140,973,000 for the Antitrust Division. See, release.
FCC Adopts Report on Wireless Competition
6/20. The FCC adopted, but did not release, its sixth annual report on the state of competition in the wireless marketplace. The FCC stated in a release that "the wireless industry continued to experience increased competition and innovation. This has meant lower prices and an increased diversity in service offerings for many consumers."
The FCC stated that "The mobile telephony sector experienced another year of strong growth and competitive development. In the twelve months ending December 2000, this sector generated over $52.5 billion in revenues, increased subscribership from 86.0 million to 109.5 million, and produced a nationwide penetration rate of roughly 39 percent." The FCC also said that "at the end of 2000, digital customers made up 62 percent of the industry total, up from 51 percent at the end of 1999 and 30 percent in 1998".
The FCC also addressed developments in mobile data services, including "paging / messaging services; mobile telephone Internet access; data services offered over handheld personal digital assistant (PDA) devices with a mobile Internet connection; and mobile data offerings by dedicated data network operators." The FCC said that "the mobile data sector has continued its transition from paging / messaging to mobile Internet access services."
FCC Adopts NOI on Video Competition
6/20. The FCC adopted, but did not release, a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) into the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming. The FCC stated in a release that "The NOI seeks information that will allow the FCC to evaluate the status of competition in the video marketplace, prospects for new entrants to that market, and its effect on the cable television industry and consumers. The NOI also solicits information regarding the extent to which consumers have choices among video programming distributors and delivery technologies." Comments are due by August 3. Reply comments are due by September 5. (CS Docket No. 01-129.)
Sen. Frist Addresses Telecom Act and Local Competition
6/20. Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) spoke in the Senate regarding the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the state of local competition. He stated that "it is imperative that we maintain a stable regulatory framework." He also stated that "Making fundamental changes to the structure of the 1996 Act will destabilize the already shaky competitive local exchange industry, depriving consumers of even the prospects for meaningful choice.
House Holds Hearing on Campaign Finance Bill
6/20. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held a hearing on campaign finance proposals impacting broadcasters, cable operators and satellite providers. At issue is the Torrecilli amendment to the McCain Feingold campaign bill, S 27. See, opening statement of Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and opening statement of Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA). See also, prepared testimony of witnesses: Lillian BeVier (University of Virginia Law School), Dwight Morris (Campaign Study Group), Andrew Wright (Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association), Jack Sander (Belo Corporation), Joshua Sapan (Rainbow Media Holdings), and Paul Taylor (Alliance for Better Campaigns).
House Holds Hearing on Internet Education Bill
6/20. The House Education and Workforce Committee's Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness held a hearing on HR 1992, the Internet Equity and Education Act of 2001, sponsored by Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), the Chairman of the Subcommittee summarized the purpose of the bill in a prepared statement. He said that "In the early 1990s, Congress and the Administration enacted a number of reforms aimed at fighting abuses in our federal financial aid programs. Examples of these abuses included correspondence courses that offered little value to the student or recruitment practices in which "bounty hunters" were paid on a per-head basis to bring students in to a particular school. In order to end these abuses, Congress and the Administration may have ultimately imposed a straightjacket on all of higher education where handcuffs on a few bad actors would have sufficed. The legislation we are considering today will remove the straightjacket while maintaining program integrity and implement some of the recommendations of the Web-based Education Commission."
See also, prepared testimony of witnesses: Stanley Ikenberry (American Council on Education), Joseph DiGregorio (Georgia Tech), Richard Gowen (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology), Omer Waddles (ITT Educational Services), and Lorraine Lewis (Department of Education).
Bush Nominates DC Judges
6/20. President Bush nominated John Bates and Reggie Walton to be Judges of the U.S. District for the District of Columbia. See, release. Walton is a Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was deputy drug czar under the elder George Bush. He was also an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia before becoming a judge. Bates is a former Deputy Independent Counsel in the Office of the Independent Counsel, where he worked on the Whitewater matter. He is also a member of the Washington DC law firm of Miller Chevalier. See, MC bio.
HP Settles More Injet Patent Cases
6/20. Hewlett Packard stated that it has settled more outstanding patent infringement litigation regarding its thermal inkjet printer cartridges. HP settled proceeding in Germany and France against International United Technology (IUT) and other companies. HP described the settlement as follows: "IUT acknowledges that its inkjet cartridges infringe several of HP's European patents and has agreed to immediately cease and desist from offering and/or selling the infringing cartridges in the relevant European countries. IUT will also make a payment to HP in respect of past sales. Under the terms of the settlement, neither party will disclose additional details." See, HP release.
Senators Introduce FBI Reform Commission Bill
6/20. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S 1074, the FBI Reform Commission Act of 2001. The bill provides for the creation of a commission to conduct a study of, among other things, "the methods used by the FBI to store and securely maintain information, including (i) any methods of securing information from theft and inadvertent release; (ii) the efficacy of information systems used to gather and maintain information; and (iii) any practices and procedures governing the classification and declassification of information". The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Tax Deductions for Donated Computers
6/20. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and others introduced HR 2259, the Community Technology Assistance Act, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code to expand the enhanced deduction for corporate donations of computer technology to senior centers and community centers. It was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Senators Kohl and DeWine Set Antitrust Agenda
6/20. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Business Rights, and Competition, and Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH), the ranking Republican on the Subcommittee, released a joint statement about the Subcommittee's agenda for the remainder of the years. These two Senators have always worked in a bipartisan and cooperation manner on this Subcommittee.
Telecom. They stated that "The Subcommittee will continue to examine competition in telecommunications and work to ensure that the promise of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is fully realized and that true price competition is brought to a wide array of telecommunications services. The Subcommittee will continue its efforts to speed the development of local telephone competition. It will carefully examine proposals concerning building access and stronger enforcement to ensure nondiscriminatory access to essential facilities. It will also strive to increase competition within the multi-channel video programming market by working to ensure that competitive providers have reasonable access to programming and to promote the development of a competitive navigation devices market. The Subcommittee will work to ensure that media consolidation does not diminish the diversity of viewpoints available to consumers."
Oversight of the FTC and Antitrust Division. They also stated that "The Subcommittee will continue to work closely with the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that the agencies can efficiently and effectively carry out their enforcement responsibilities."
6/20. David Priebe joined the Palo Alto office of the law firm of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich as Special Counsel in the firm's securities litigation practice. He previously worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He defends technology companies in securities litigation. See, release.
Muris Appoints More Top Staff at FTC
6/19. FTC Chairman Timothy Muris made three staff appointments at the FTC. Ted Cruz will be Director of the Office of Policy Planning. Sean Royall will be Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition, which handles antitrust matters. Alden Abbott will be Assistant Director of Policy & Evaluation. See, FTC release.
Ted Cruz was briefly Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. Before that, he was a Domestic Policy Advisor on the Bush Cheney campaign. He also assisted in the preparation of briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court on behalf of George W. Bush during the Florida election contest. Before that, he was an associate at the Washington DC law office of Cooper Carvin & Rosenthal. He also clerked for Judge Mike Luttig (4th Cir) and Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Rehnquist was Asst. Atty. Gen. in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Nixon administration. Luttig was briefly head of OLC in the Bush administration. Cooper was head of the OLC in the second Reagan administration, while Carvin was his principal assistant.
Sean Royall was a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, in its Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice Group. He has a law degree from the University of Chicago. He has focused on antitrust litigation and counseling, business litigation, intellectual property, and false advertising. He is a Texan. He went to college at Texas A&M, clerked for Judge Patrick Higginbotham (5th Cir), and was an associate at Baker Botts. See, GDC bio.
Alden Abbott has worked at the Commerce Department since 1994, most recently as Acting General Counsel. Prior to that, he worked as an attorney advisor in the FTC's Office of Policy Planning. He has also worked at the Justice Department, Commerce Department, and as Associate Dean for Technology Policy at George Mason University Law School.
White House Fellows Selected
6/19. The White House Press office announced the selection of 12 White House Fellows for 2001-2002. Two appointments are notable for technology: Katherine White, an intellectual property law professor, and Steven Poizner, President of SnapTrack, a Qualcomm subsidiary.
Katherine White is an Assistant Professor of Law at Wayne State University in Detroit. She teaches and writes about intellectual property law.
Steven Poizner is President of SnapTrack, a subsidiary of Qualcomm. He founded and sold SnapTrack to Qualcomm in March 2000 for $1 Billion. SnapTrack developed GPS based technology for portable wireless devices such as cell phones and pagers. Qualcomm is now shipping GPS capable microprocessors for cell phones to Japan. The chips will be sold in devices in the U.S. later this year. These devices provide new safety and other location related services. They also raise privacy issues.
Lofgren Introduces Patent Reexamination Bill
6/19. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced HR 2231, the Patent Reexamination Enhancement Act of 2001. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, of which Rep. Lofgren is a member. She stated that the bill is supported by Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), Chairman of the Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee.
Rep. Lofgren described the bill in a release. "Under the current patent system, individuals can challenge a patent conveyed by the Patent and Trademark Office by two methods, an extremely flawed patent reexamination process or through costly court battles. A patent challenge may come about when one inventor believes that a newly conveyed patent to another person infringes on his/her existing patent. Lofgren’s bill would fix the flaws in the patent reexamination process to help keep challenges from resulting in costly and time-consuming court fights."
"This legislation does not remove the availability of external litigation in cases that have complex factual or legal issues," said Rep. Lofgren. "It simply enhances the internal reexamination process to provide an effective option without being forced into costly court challenges."
6/19. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion in MD/DC/DE Broadcasters Association v. FCC, denying various petitions for rehearing of the court's decision regarding Option B of the FCC's EEO rule. The Court denied petitions for rehearing, in an opinion by Judge Ginsburg. Also, the Court, en banc, issued an order denying petitions for rehearing en banc. Finally, Judge Tatel, joined by Edwards and Rogers, issued an opinion dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc.
Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearings on Bells and HR 1542
6/19. The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on local phone competition and HR 1542, the Tauzin Dingell bill. Senators and witnesses criticized the Bell companies (Verizon, BellSouth, SBC, and US West) for failing to comply with the network opening requirements of the Telecom Act of 1996. Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), the Chairman of the Committee, said that HR 1542 has no chance of passing in the Senate.
Sen. Hollings was blunt. He called the interlata data relief provisions of HR 1542 "the biggest bunch of nonsense I have ever heard of." As for its chance of passing in the Senate, he said "tell our friend Billy that the tread has come off." Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), the lead sponsor of HR 1542, is the Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, which is currently addressing the Firestone issue. Sen. Hollings also criticized the Bell companies repeatedly for challenging the constitutionality of Section 271 of the Telecom Act of 1996 as a bill of attainder. This section provides that the RBOCs must satisfy the FCC that they have opened their local networks to competitors by complying with a 14 point checklist before they can offer interlata long distance services. Sen. Hollings recalled that there were numerous meetings with RBOC representatives before passage of the 96 Act, that the Bells participated in the drafting of the 96 Act, that the Bells knew of its contents, and that then the Bells challenged its § 271 in court.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the ranking Republican on the Committee, was less critical of the Bell companies. He stated that local phone prices have gone up 12%, and blamed it on the lack of local competition. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) stated that "I don't think the Senate is prepared to pass the Dingell Tauzin bill." He also stated that he is concerned about broadband buildout to rural areas, but that taking apart the 96 Act is not the answer. Instead, "it will only happen when there is universal service support."
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) was the lead off witness. He was one of the leaders of the opposition to HR 1542 on the House Commerce Committee. He attacked the Bells for litigating the constitutionality of the 96 Act, for not complying with its market opening provisions, and for consolidating from seven to four companies. He then turned to HR 1542. He argued that "there is a regulatory uncertainty that has been introduced into the market place by the introduction of this bill" and that this is keeping the competitive companies from raising capital. He also stated that the bill "is unnecessary; there is competition in the marketplace." He stated that "it is unfair" to all the competitive companies that it will drive out of business. He stated that "it is undigital", because interlata data relief is impossible from a regulatory standpoint, since data and voice traffic cannot be separated.
The Committee also heard testimony from eight outside witnesses. Seven of the eight condemned the Bell companies and their bill. See, prepared statements [PDF] of witnesses: Michael Armstrong (AT&T), Margaret Greene (BellSouth), Royce Holland (Allegiance Telecom), Clark McLeod (McLeod USA), David Rolka (Rhoads & Sinon), Dave Sullivan (State Senator, Illinois), and Gene Kimmelman (Consumers Union). Sen. Hollings invited every Bell company to send a witness. Only BellSouth agreed to attend. McLeod said that "HR 1542 has no redeeming qualities" and "moves us towards remonopolization." Holland said that "it is about Bell companies wanting to preserve their government granted monopolies." Armstrong said that "Tauzin Dingell presents a serious threat to local competition" and that "there must be meaningful penalties and damages" for Bell companies that violate the local competition provisions of the 96 Act.
Location Privacy
6/19. The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee hosted a panel discussion titled "Wireless Privacy and the Mobile Internet". The speakers were Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Robert Petit (Wiley Rein & Fielding), James Dempsey (Center for Democracy & Technology), John Collins (Mobility Technologies), Marci Weisler (Vindigo), Lori Fena (TRUSTe), Jonas Niehardt (Qualcomm), and Steve Berry (CTIA).
At issue is the privacy of people who use cell phones, PDAs, in car map and traffic services, wireless tollbooth collection systems, Blackberry e-mail pagers, Bluetooth enabled devices, and anything else which can be embedded with a GPS chip, or other technology, capable of generating location data. Jonas Neihardt of Qualcomm stated that his company has just started shipping GPS capable microprocessors for cell phones to Japan; he added that similar cell phones will go on sale in the U.S. later this year. Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA) stated the problem: "what information will wireless providers collect and with whom will they share it." He added that Congress "should proceed slowly in this area."
Steve Berry of the CTIA spoke about the petition [PDF] which it filed with the FCC on Nov. 22, 2000, requesting a rule making proceeding regarding location privacy. The FCC has noticed a rule making proceeding, and received public comments. (See, WT Docket No. 01-72.)
The 106th Congress enacted, and President Clinton signed, the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999. This bill was S 800, sponsored by Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), and HR 438, sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL). It designated 911 as the universal emergency service number, and promoted wireless 911 service. The bill also amended Section 222 of the Communications Act to include cell phone call location information in the definition of customer proprietary network information (CPNI). However, the FCC has authority to strictly regulate the use of CPNI by telecommunications carriers only. (The FCC has another proceeding concerning CPNI; see, Docket No. 96-115.) The FCC does not have statutory authority to regulate the privacy practices of many other entities that may obtain location data from web enabled devices.
James Dempsey, an attorney with the Center for Democracy and Technology, therefore recommended extending the CPNI requirements to wireless service providers that obtain location data. He also recommended legislation restricting government access to location information. He stated that there should be a probable cause and warrant requirement for the government to obtain location information. Currently, neither statutory nor case law address this subject, and the FBI may be able to obtain location data simply by asking for it from wireless service providers. Dempsey advocated passage of a bill like HR 5018 (106th Congress), which passed the House Judiciary Committee last year, but did not become law.
Identity Theft
6/19. Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), the Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, wrote a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft regarding identity theft and pretexting. The letter inquires regarding existing statutes pertaining to identity theft and pretexting, and any Department of Justice efforts to enforce these statutes.
Bush Addresses Disabilities and Technology
6/19. President Bush gave a speech Washington DC regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and computer and Internet technology. He stated that "The Internet brings a world of information into a computer screen, which has enriched the lives of many with disabilities. Yet, technology creates challenges of its own. The brilliant graphics that add life to many web pages can make it difficult for a visually impaired person to get the information he or she needs from a web site. Video technology is turning many computers into television sets. Yet, without closed captioning, many see a picture and no words. And complex keyboard commands make it difficult for a person with impaired motor skills to tap a computer's full potential."
Bush also stated that "I'm pleased to announce that when Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, offered by Jim Jeffords, becomes effective for all federal agencies next Monday, there will be more opportunities for people of all abilities to access government information. Section 508 requires federal agencies to make sure that the electronic and information technology they use is accessible for people with disabilities."
Bush said nothing about government regulation of the private sector's use of computer equipment, software or web site design.
NIPC Advisory
6/19. The FBI's NIPC and the FedCIRC jointly issued an advisory regarding a vulnerability in Microsoft's IIS web server. See, also, Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-033. The NIPC advisory states that "Attackers can remotely gain SYSTEM LEVEL ACCESS (root) on any computer running Microsoft's IIS Web server software. System-level access allows a user full access to the server, so as to install malicious code, run programs, reconfigure, add, change, or delete files." Microsoft has a patch available for downloading. (Advisory No. 01-013.)
Forbes Defeats Lucas
6/19. Republican Randy Forbes defeated Democrat Louise Lucas in a special election to fill an open seat from Virginia which had been held by former Rep. Norman Sisisky (D-VA), who died in March.
Supreme Court Grants Cert In Festo
6/18. The Supreme Court of the U.S. granted certiorari in Festo v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki (aka SMC Corp). See, Order List [PDF], at page 2. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its divided en banc opinion on November 29, 2000, narrowing the doctrine of equivalents, which prevents an accused infringer from avoiding liability for infringement by changing only minor or insubstantial details of a claimed invention while retaining the invention's essential identity. (Supreme Court Docket No. 00-1543.)
House Judiciary Committee Report on HR 1542
6/18. The House Judiciary Committee completed its report on HR 1542, the Tauzin Dingell bill. The Judiciary Committee amended the bill, and then reported it unfavorably on June 13.
Trade Promotion Authority
6/18. Sen. Charles Grassley (D-IA) gave a speech in Washington DC to the Global Business Dialogue Conference on the World Trade Organization. He advocated launching a new round of multilateral trade negotiations: "A new round will also allow the world to deal with many new issues which have emerged over the last decade on a global scale." He also said that Congress should grant the President trade promotion authority, formerly known as "fast track" authority. He stated that "The U.S. Constitution gives authority over international trade to the U.S. Congress. Trade Promotion Authority is a way for Congress to assert Constitutional authority over the trade agenda. It lays out specific negotiating objectives that the executive branch must meet in order to bring the agreement back under expedited procedures. Trade Promotion Authority requires intense consultation and notification procedures. It provides a legislative check on the President's ability to negotiate. It provides greater certainty to our executive branch negotiators. It provides greater certainty to Congress that its intent is being followed. And, it provides greater certainty to our trading partners that any agreement reached will get timely consideration and will not be ripped apart by the U.S. Congress."
Audio Fingerprinting
6/18. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and IFPI announced that they will issue a Request For Information (RFI) inviting the owners of audio fingerprinting technologies to make them known and available for evaluation. Audio fingerprinting technology can identify music based on its content, and hence, assist in the protection of copyrighted music on the Internet. The two groups further stated that submissions of information regarding these technologies will be due by July 13, 2001 and the initial evaluation may be completed by the end of September. See, RIAA release.
EU Data Directive
6/18. The European Commission stated that it "has adopted a Decision setting out standard contractual clauses to ensure adequate safeguards for personal data transferred from the European Union to countries outside the EU." See, EU release.
6/18. Timothy Muris had his public ceremonial swearing in as Chairman of the FTC.
6/18. Breton Bocchieri joined the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Perkins Coie as a partner. He was previously a partner at Arter Hadden. He focuses on intellectual property litigation. See release.

Go to News Briefs from June 11-15, 2001.