|News from June 21-25, 2003|
Representatives Introduce Public Domain Enhancement Act
6/25. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) the "Public Domain Enhancement Act", a bill to allow abandoned copyrighted works to enter into the public domain after fifty years.
The bill would add a new Section 306 to the Copyright Act providing for a "Maintenance fee for published United States works". The bill provides that "The Register of Copyrights shall charge a fee of $1 for maintaining in force the copyright in any published United States work. The fee shall be due 50 years after the date of first publication or on December 31, 2004, whichever occurs later, and every 10 years thereafter until the end of the copyright term. Unless payment of the applicable maintenance fee is received in the Copyright Office on or before the date the fee is due or within a grace period of 6 months thereafter, the copyright shall expire as of the end of the grace period."
Rep. Lofgren (at right) announced the introduction of the bill at an event on Capitol Hill on June 25. She stated that "The public domain has always been a vital source for creativity and innovation. But with the advent of the Internet, it is now more important than ever. No longer are out-of-print books or forgotten songs automatically sentenced to the ash-heaps of our cultural history. The emergence of digital technology and the World Wide Web has created a way to reawaken these hidden treasures, and has empowered more and more of us to become creators in our own right."
She praised the dissenting opinion of Justice Breyer in the case Eldred v. Ashcroft. On January 15, 2003, the Supreme Court issued its opinion [89 pages in PDF], upholding the constitutionality of the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), which retroactively extended the maximum duration of copyrights from 75 to 95 years. See, TLJ story titled "Supreme Court Upholds CTEA in Eldred v. Ashcroft", January 15, 2003.
Lofgren stated that "Justice Breyer hit the problem right on the head. He found that only 2 percent of works between 55 and 75 years old retain commercial value. Yet under the law that was upheld by a majority of the Supreme Court, these abandoned works will not enter the public domain for many years. This prevents commercial entities and the public from building upon, cultivating and preserving abandoned works."
The bill recites in its findings that "the existing copyright system functions contrary to the intent of the Framers of the Constitution in adopting the copyright clause and the intent of Congress in enacting the Copyright Act. Neither is intended to deprive the public of works when there is no commercial or copyright purpose behind their continued protection. It is, therefore, necessary to establish a mechanism by which abandoned American copyrights can enter into the public domain."
Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford University who represented the plaintiffs in the Eldred case, appeared with Rep. Lofgren to announce the introduction of the bill. He made several points about the limited nature of the bill.
First, he stated that it only applies to works that are 50 years old, or older. Second, it only applies to published works. Hence, authors would not be required to disclose or deposit with the Copyright Office works that they wish to keep private. Third, it only applies to United States works. Lessig explained that this limitation means that the bill would not violate the United States' obligation under the Berne Convention.
The bill is supported by Public Knowledge and several library groups, including the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the American Association of Law Libraries.
Commentary: Lofgren Bill Could Prompt Copyright Office to Update Registration Regulations for Internet Media
6/25. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) introduced the "Public Domain Enhancement Act", a bill to allow abandoned copyrighted works to enter into the public domain after fifty years, if the copyright holder does not submit a $1 fee and form prescribed by the Copyright Office (CO). The bill would also require the CO to write regulations. This may also require or prompt the CO to update its existing registration regulations, which are out of date, to the extent that they do not reference the internet, web, e-mail, or works published in any digital formats.
Registration of a copyright with the CO is not required under the Copyright Act. However, registration is a prerequisite for bringing a lawsuit for infringement. See, 17 U.S.C. § 411. The Act also provides certain basic requirements for the registration of copyrights. See, 17 U.S.C. §§ 408 and 409. The CO has promulgated detailed and lengthy regulations governing how to register different types of works, forms for different types of registrations, deposits required for different types of registrations, and fees. See, 37 CFR § 202.3. For example, there are the Form TX, Form PA, Form VA, Form SR, Form SE, Form SE/Group, and so forth.
However, neither the statute nor the CO registration rules have yet been updated to take into account the invention of the internet, the web, e-mail, and the many media in which digital content can be stored. The regulations address daily newspapers and other printed serials, nondramatic literary works such as novels and poetry, visual arts such as photographs and charts, works of the performing arts such as plays and movies, and other types of works. However, except for a reference to microfiche, there is nothing in the regulations that Calvin Coolidge would not understand.
The regulations make no reference to new media. And hence, there is uncertainty as to how to register these new works. For example, the regulations address how to register a printed daily newspaper. But, the regulations say nothing about how to register the online version of a newspaper. Is it already covered by registration of the print version? What about additional content published only online? Can it be registered daily? What if it is updated hourly?
Must all web publishers make an additional registration every time a web site is altered? How does one submit a copy of an electronic work for deposit with the CO? Does one register the page view or the source code of a web page? If one registers the source code of a web page that displays a nondramatic literary work, must this be registered under the rules for software programs?
The unanswered questions are legion. These questions create uncertainty as to how to register new media works, and whether existing registrations will be sufficient to maintain an action for infringement.
CO officials periodically speak at legal, policy, and professional conventions and panel discussions. They generally state that the registration rules are out of date, and provide little guidance for how to register new media works.
The CO has not conducted any public rule making proceeding to update its regulations to bring them into the age of the internet. However, on March 7, 2002, the (CO) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it amended its Rule 202.3, regarding registration of copyrights. The change was limited to registering a group of contributions to a periodical. The CO did not invite public comment. That is, it was a secret proceeding. See, Federal Register, March 7, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 45, at Pages 10329.
The Lofgren Doolittle bill does not expressly state that the CO must update its registration regulations. What it requires is payment of $1 for maintaining in force the copyright in any published United States work. The fee is due 50 years after the date of first publication.
However, the bill also requires the copyright holder to submit a form prescribed by the CO. Moreover, the bill requires that the CO provide for electronic submission, which is not currently a part of the registration regulations. Also, the bill requires the CO to establish procedures for this purpose.
Finally, a critical clause in the bill provides that the form for paying the $1 maintenance fee "may be used to satisfy the registration provisions of sections 408 and 409 ..." Hence, the filing required by the Lofgren/Doolittle bill will double as a copyright registration, and the CO must conduct a rule making proceeding regarding this registration process.
If this bill becomes law in its present form, this rule making proceeding just might be the mechanism by which the CO finally brings its registration regulations into the age of the internet.
Finally, the bill contains another notable clause. It requires that the information contained in these forms be "easily accessible to the public". Requiring the CO to make the information in all of these forms available, and to the public, will require a substantial modernization of the CO's systems.
RIAA Announces Plans to Sue Individual P2P Infringers
6/25. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) stated in a release that "Starting tomorrow," it "will begin gathering evidence and preparing lawsuits against individual computer users who are illegally offering to ``share´´ substantial amounts of copyrighted music over peer-to-peer networks."
The RIAA added that it "expects to use the data it collects as the basis for filing what could ultimately be thousands of lawsuits charging individual peer-to-peer music distributors with copyright infringement. The first round of suits could take place as early as mid-August."
Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA, stated in this release that "The law is clear and the message to those who are distributing substantial quantities of music online should be equally clear --- this activity is illegal, you are not anonymous when you do it, and engaging in it can have real consequences ... We'd much rather spend time making music then dealing with legal issues in courtrooms. But we cannot stand by while piracy takes a devastating toll on artists, musicians, songwriters, retailers and everyone in the music industry."
The RIAA also explained how it will gather information for its lawsuits. It "will be using software that scans the public directories available to any user of a peer-to-peer network. These directories, which allow users to find the material they are looking for, list all the files that other users of the network are currently offering to distribute. When the software finds a user who is offering to distribute copyrighted music files, it downloads some of the infringing files, along with the date and time it accessed the files."
Also, the RIAA "can then serve a subpoena on the ISP requesting the name and address of the individual whose account was being used to distribute copyrighted music. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), ISPs must provide copyright holders with such information when there is reason to believe copyrights are being infringed."
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and its Subcommittee on Courts the Internet and Intellectual Property, stated in a release that "Rampant online music piracy deprives the artists of today of a fair return for their work, and it especially hurts the artists of tomorrow. Record labels’ artist development budgets are being slashed, and the real losers are music fans who expect and enjoy great new music. The music community understands it must get a handle on the piracy epidemic. The record companies’ announced plan to bring lawsuits against peer to peer users who are illegally offering their music collection to millions of others is a much needed response."
Jack Valenti, P/CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) stated in a release that "There is no question that the activities of those being targeted by the RIAA are illegal. It is not a step taken casually, but enforcement is an essential component of any broader approach to staving the tide of piracy. The creative industries cannot sit by idly while under siege by digital thieves who are undermining the creation of new, exciting choices for the majority of honest fans. Ignoring this threat would be to cheat the hundreds of thousands of working people in the music and movie industries who have kids to send to college and mortgages to pay and who rely on the legitimate purchase of their creations for their livelihood."
4th Circuit Affirms in WorldCom v. Boyne
6/25. The U.S. Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its unpublished opinion [10 pages in PDF] in WorldCom v. Boyne, an unjust enrichment action brought by WorldCom against a former employee who left the company after receiving a bonus.
Kevin Boyne went to work for UUNET in 1995. WorldCom acquired UUNET. In 2000, in order to retain top UUNET executives, WorldCom offered cash bonuses and stock options in return for the executives' commitments to remain through July 2002. Former CEO Bernie Ebbers testified that he told these executives that they would have to return the bonus if the left before July 2002. However, there was no written agreement. Boyne received a $900,000 bonus. He left later in 2000. He did not return the bonus.
WorldCom filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (EDVa) against Boyne alleging unjust enrichment. Boyne counterclaimed for fraud, conversion, and tortious interference with contractual relations. The District Court held for WorldCom. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Court also wrote that "Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit."
Tech Crime Report
6/25. Kerry Gonzalez plead guilty in U.S. District Court (SDNY) to making an unauthorized digital copy of the copyrighted motion picture "The Hulk" and uploading it onto the internet in advance of the movie's release in theaters. See, CCIPS release.
6/25. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (NDTex) returned an indictment against Joe H. Glover, Robert W. Moehler, and Paul Owen Ptak, charging securities fraud in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 77q(a) and 77x. Glover was President of Digital Information and Voice Access, Inc. (DIVA), a company whose purpose was to establish an underground shopper Internet site. See, USAO release.
People and Appointments
6/25. President Bush nominated Julie Myers to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce in charge of export enforcement. If confirmed by the Senate, she will replace Michael Garcia. She is currently Chief of Staff to the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division. Before that, she was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Money Laundering and Financial Crimes at the Department of the Treasury's Office of Enforcement. She also previously worked for the law firm of Mayer Brown & Platt. See, White House release and second White House release.
6/25. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge announced the appointment of 18 members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). The HSAC will be chaired by Joseph Grano (Ch/CEO of UBS Paine Webber). Its Executive Director will be Richard Andrews. The membership will include several former top government officials: William Webster (former federal judge and former FBI Director), James Schlesinger (former Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, and Director of the CIA), and Lee Hamilton (former Representative from Indiana). It will also include several current state and local government officials: Anthony Williams (Mayor of Washington DC), Michael Leavitt (Governor of Utah), and James Moore (Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement). It will also include several industry leaders: Richard Davidson (Ch/CEO of Union Pacific), Vance Coffman (Ch/CEO of Lockheed Martin), Sidney Taurel (P/Ch/CEO of Eli Lilly), and Kathleen Bader (Dow Chemical Company). The membership list will also include Jared Cohon (President of Carnegie Melon University), Norman Augustine, Lydia Thomas, Ruth David, and Christopher Furlow. See, DHS release.
6/25. The Annenberg Public Policy Center released a study titled "Americans & Online Privacy: The System is Broken". See, release [PDF], full study with graphics [1.5 MB in PDF], and study without graphics [137 KB in PDF]. Annenberg recommends that the Congress pass legislation. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF), which has conducted its own study, argued in rebuttal that the "privacy practices of commercial web sites are improving in response to consumer concerns." It recommends against legislation. See, PFF release.
6/25. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell stated in a release that "I am pleased that Fox has joined the other major networks by committing to high definition programming. I’ve often said that content is the engine that will drive the DTV transition forward. This announcement is the latest indication that the transition is beginning to shift into overdrive. I look forward to the launch of Fox’s high-definition programming at the earliest possible date."
6/25. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register regarding its decision to disseminate all future editions of the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office -- Trademarks (OG-T) solely in electronic format. See, Federal Register, June 25, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 122, at Page 37803.
U.S. Focuses on Trade and Tech in Islamic Nations
6/24. On June 23, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan. He stated that "in a nearby valley, adjacent to the campus of Jordan University, you can see the offices of Estarta Solutions, where 170 Jordanians are busy developing advanced business software. This dynamic company produces a variety of products, from Arabic word processors for Macintosh computers to banking software. Last year, under the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, Estarta earned $1 million in export sales to the United States, and Microsoft announced that it would be making a major investment in the company."
He continued that "The president and co-founder of this start-up, Ennis Rimawi, is one of a new generation who are making their mark as innovators and entrepreneurs in the global economy. Rimawi and his colleagues are reviving a proud past -- when the Middle East was the vibrant core of global trade -- and charting a brighter future: for Jordan, the Middle East, and the world."
See also, Microsoft release of May 22, 2002.
Zoellick noted the economic success of Arab Americans living in the U.S., and concluded that "A rebirth of commerce and intellectual discovery awaits only an awakening of economic liberty throughout their homelands."
Zoellick (at right) added that "Open markets and trade have a long lineage in this part of the world. The Holy Quran urges the faithful to ``Let there be trading by mutual consent.´´"
Zoellick was also in Bahrain. On June 19 he held a press conference with Bahrain Minister of Finance and National Economy Abdullah Saif. Zoellick said that "we're very proud about the prospect of launching a free trade agreement with Bahrain." See, transcript.
He stated that when the U.S. negotiates free trade agreements, "we make then very comprehensive economic partnerships". He said that in addition to removing "all tariffs or taxes on goods or agriculture ... we also try to open up the services market, we try to have a high standard for intellectual property, we try to develop openness in transparency rules, we try to open up government procurement ..."
He added that "our agreement will not only deal with goods and services, but will deal with concepts about e-commerce."
He was asked when a U.S. Bahrain FTA will be signed. He responded that "we have to negotiate it first". However, he added that "we believe that the steps that Bahrain has already taken to open up its economy, to strengthen its intellectual property rights, to open up its telecommunications system could mean that we hope we can proceed relatively quickly ..."
In addition, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf traveled to Washington DC and met with President Bush on June 24. The White House press office released a document which states that "A Trade and Investment Framework Agreement will be concluded to create a formal structure that will expand our bilateral economic partnership and promote investment. An additional $75 million in private sector lending to Pakistan will be guaranteed by OPIC. A Five-year trade capacity-building program will be launched under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program." It also provides that "A Science and Technology Agreement will be concluded to promote cooperation in these areas, especially in support of scientific exchanges."
Musharraf stated at a joint press conference with President Bush that "As a result of this commitment, two important agreements will be signed during my visit to the United States. One relates to the trade and investment framework agreement, the TIFA, which would help move towards an eventual free trade agreement, the FTA." He added that "The other relates to an agreement on cooperation in the field of science and technology, which would provide impetus to growth and development." See, transcript.
9th Circuit Construes Section 230 Immunity in Suit Against Listserv Operator
6/24. The U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [41 pages in PDF] in Batzel v. Smith, a case involving the application of California's Anti-SLAPP statute to a suit alleging defamation on an internet listserv. The District Court denied a defendant's motion to dismiss under the Anti-SLAPP statute. The Appeals Court, relying upon the federal interactive computer service immunity provision of 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1), vacated and remanded. See, full story.
6/24. The U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir) issued its opinion in Courtenay Communications v. Hall, a trademark case involving the mark "iMarketing News". Courtenay filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against Patricia Hall and Hallmark Capital Corporation alleging violations of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125( a), and state law claims of libel per se, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion. The District Court concluded that the mark is generic and not entitled to trademark protection. The District Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims, and dismissed the complaint. Courtenay appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded.
6/24. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced S 1322, a bill to require states to make certain information regarding sexually violent predators accessible on the internet. It was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Sen. Schumer is a member.
6/24. Stamps.com filed a complaint in California Superior Court (Los Angeles County) against eBay and PayPal alleging breach of contract, breach of the implied covenants of good faith and fair dealing, interference with contract, and other claims. Stamps.com stated in a release that in June 2002 "Stamps.com and PayPal agreed that Stamps.com technology would be made available to allow PayPal users to buy and print postage online from their PayPal accounts", and that "PayPal did not live up to its contractual obligations in the agreement". eBay announced in July of 2002 that it would purchase PayPal. It completed the transaction in October of 2002.
Supreme Court Upholds Children's Internet Protection Act
6/23. The Supreme Court issued its opinion [56 pages in PDF] in US v. American Library Association, upholding the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) [20 pages in PDF], which provides that for libraries to receive federal subsidies or grants, they must use internet filtering technologies.
The CIPA statute, which was enacted by the 106th Congress, requires schools and libraries receiving e-rate subsidies, pursuant to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program loosely based on 47 U.S.C. § 254(h)(1)(B), and libraries receiving grants under the Library Services and Technology Act (20 U.S.C. § 9101 et seq.), as a condition for receiving subsidies or grants, to use filtering technologies on computers with internet access that are used by children, and to filter images that constitute obscenity or child pormography.
The CIPA was passed as a result of the efforts of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS), and others.
On March 20, 2001, the American Library Association and others filed one complaint, and the Multnomah County Public Library (Portland Oregon area) and others filed a second complaint [64 pages in PDF], both of which challenged the constitutionality of the CIPA as it applies to libraries. These suits did not challenge the constitutionality of the CIPA as it applies to schools.
As required by the CIPA, the case was heard on an expedited basis by a three judge panel of the U.S. District Court. The plaintiffs filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, a venue disposed to finding Congressional statutes unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. The CIPA further provides that a holding by the three judge panel that any part of the CIPA is unconstitutional "shall be reviewable as a matter of right by direct appeal to the Supreme Court".
A three judge panel of the U.S. District Court (EDPa) held the statute unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment. It held that filtering software is a content based restriction on access to a public forum, and is therefore subject to the strict scrutiny test -- that is, it must be necessary to achieve a compelling governmental interest, and be narrowly tailored to further that interest. The District Court held that the federal government has a compelling interest in preventing the dissemination of obscenity, child pormography, or, in the case of minors, material harmful to minors. However, it found that mandating the use of filters is not narrowly tailored to further those interests.
The Supreme Court reversed. Justices wrote several opinions. No one opinion was joined by a majority of the Court. However, six Justices joined in opinions stating that the CIPA is constitutional. Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote an opinion that was joined by Justices O'Connor, Scalia and Thomas. In addition, Justice Kennedy wrote an opinion, that was joined by Justice Breyer, that concurred as to the judgment of constitutionality, but offered a different analysis.
Three Justices dissented. Justice Stevens wrote a solo dissent. Justice Souter wrote a dissent in which Justice Ginsburg joined.
Chief Justice Rehnquist first reviewed the nature of internet access and filtering software. He wrote "there is also an enormous amount of pormography on the Internet, much of which is easily obtained. ... The accessibility of this material has created serious problems for libraries, which have found that patrons of all ages, including minors, regularly search for online pornography. ... Some patrons also expose others to pormographic images by leaving them displayed on Internet terminals or printed at library printers. ... Upon discovering these problems, Congress became concerned that the E-rate and LSTA programs were facilitating access to illegal and harmful pormography."
"But Congress also learned that filtering software that blocks access to pormographic Web sites could provide a reasonably effective way to prevent such uses of library resources", wrote Rehnquist.
He also acknowledged that "But a filter set to block pormography may sometimes block other sites that present neither obscene nor pormographic material, but that nevertheless trigger the filter."
Rehnquist then analyzed the function fulfilled by public libraries, and concluded that, in the context of internet access, public libraries are not "public forums" within the meaning of constitutional analysis.
He wrote that "The public forum principles on which the District Court relied ... are out of place in the context of this case. Internet access in public libraries is neither a ``traditional´´ nor a ``designated´´ public forum."
He reasoned that "A public library does not acquire Internet terminals in order to create a public forum for Web publishers to express themselves, any more than it collects books in order to provide a public forum for the authors of books to speak. It provides Internet access, not to ``encourage a diversity of views from private speakers,´´ ... but for the same reasons it offers other library resources: to facilitate research, learning, and recreational pursuits by furnishing materials of requisite and appropriate quality."
Rehnquist also wrote that "When a patron encounters a blocked site, he need only ask a librarian to unblock it or (at least in the case of adults) disable the filter. As the District Court found, libraries have the capacity to permanently unblock any erroneously blocked site ..." (Parentheses in original.)
Rehnquist also rejected the argument that the District Court judgment should be affirmed on the grounds that the CIPA imposes an unconstitutional condition upon the receipt of federal assistance.
Justice Kennedy wrote a short, four paragraph, concurring opinion. He wrote that "If, on the request of an adult user, a librarian will unblock filtered material or disable the Internet software filter without significant delay, there is little to this case. The Government represents this is indeed the fact."
He added that "If some libraries do not have the capacity to unblock specific Web sites or to disable the filter or if it is shown that an adult user's election to view constitutionally protected Internet material is burdened in some other substantial way, that would be the subject for an as-applied challenge, not the facial challenge made in this case."
He continued that "There are, of course, substantial Government interests at stake here. The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree. Given this interest, and the failure to show that the ability of adult library users to have access to the material is burdened in any significant degree, the statute is not unconstitutional on its face. For these reasons, I concur in the judgment of the Court."
Justice Kennedy did not reference public forums. Justice Breyer joined in his opinion.
Judith Krug of the American Library Association (ALA) stated in a release that the decision "is very narrow in that Justices Kennedy and Breyer did not join Chief Justice Rehnquist's opinion, they only joined the judgment ... Justices Kennedy and Breyer joined the judgment because they believe adult patrons need only ask the librarian to ‘please disable the filter’ and need not provide any reason for the request. In light of this, we expect libraries that decide they must accept filters to inform their patrons how easily the filters can be turned off."
The ACLU stated in a release that the statute is "unequivocally a form of censorship". It added that Justice Kennedy's "distinction leaves the door open to additional challenges if libraries do not adopt an adequate unblocking system".
Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League
6/23. The Supreme Court granted certiorari in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League, and related petitions, regarding 47 U.S.C. § 253(a) and state statutes that prohibit political subdivisions from offering telecommunications services. See, Order List [12 pages in PDF] at page 2. See, full story.
More Supreme Court News
6/23. The Supreme Court denied certiorari, without opinion, in Dickson v. Microsoft, a class action against Microsoft and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) alleging violation of antitrust laws. This is S.C. No. 02-1305. See, Order List [12 pages in PDF] at page 8.
6/23. The Supreme Court released several opinions and an order list on Monday, June 23, 2003, and announced that "The Court will take a recess from today until Thursday, June 26, 2003." See, Order List [12 pages in PDF] at page 12.
People and Appointments
6/23. Douglas Wiley was named Senior Vice President of Government Affairs of the Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA). He was previously Director of Government Relations for Alcatel Americas. See, EIA release.
6/23. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register summarizing its Memorandum Opinion and Order (MOO) [3 pages in PDF] denying a petition for reconsideration of its May 16, 2002 Second Report and Order (RO) [PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the matter of Amendment of Part 15 of the Commission's Rules Regarding Spread Spectrum Devices". See, Federal Register, June 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No.120, at Pages 37093 - 37094. The FCC adopted this MOO on May 27, and released it on May 30, 2003. The Second RO became effective on July 25, 2002. This Second RO revised Section 15.247 of the FCC rules to allow new digital transmission technologies to operate under the same rules as direct sequence spread spectrum systems in the 915 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5.7 GHz bands. See, FCC release [PDF] regarding this order. See also, TLJ story titled "FCC Permits Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum Devices in the 2.4 GHz Band", September 4, 2000, regarding the FCC's First Report and Order [PDF] in this proceeding. This is ET Docket No. 99-231. The Petition for Reconsideration [4 pages in PDF] was filed by Warren Havens and Telesaurus Holdings GB, LLC, d/b/a LMS Wireless.
6/23. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register summarizing its Order terminating, without prejudice as to its substantive merits, it proceeding regarding radio frequency (RF) lighting devices operating in the 2.2-2.8 MHz and 2400-2500 MHz bands. See, Federal Register, June 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 120, at Pages 37112 - 37113. The FCC adopted this Order on May 27, and released it on May 30, 2003. This was ET Docket No. 98-42.
6/23. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (WDWash) returned a 62 count indictment [11 pages in PDF] against Richard Gregg charging mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341 and computer fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(4) and (c)(3)(A). Gregg was formerly a Project Coordinator for Windows Development at Microsoft. He is accused of ordering Microsoft software using its Internal Product Ordering system, MS Market, and then selling or otherwise disposing of the software and retaining the proceeds. Gregg was arrested on June 23. See, USAO release.
Go to News from June 16-20, 2003.