TLJ News from September 16-20, 2005

SEC Commissioner Discusses Use of Internet and the SEC's Point of Sale Initiative

9/20. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Paul Atkins gave a speech in the state of Nevada to the National Association of State Treasurers. He discussed, among other topics, the SEC's mutual fund disclosure regime, the point of sale initiative, and the role of the internet.

Paul AtkinsAtkins (at right) said that "One of the costs of overly prescriptive approaches to rulemaking is decreased investor choice. Investors should be able to invest in companies and products of their own choosing. In order for them to make informed decisions, they need accurate and straightforward disclosure. I am optimistic that new technologies and more widespread access to the Internet will facilitate the provision of such disclosure. One initiative for which new technologies appear particularly promising is our ``point-of-sale´´ initiative."

He added that "the point-of-sale proposal still needs work so that it better takes into account the unique characteristics of each of the products to which it applies. In considering how to proceed from here on this initiative, we should look at whether the Internet can be harnessed to present information in an interactive manner that is meaningful to investors."

Former SEC Chairman Donaldson gave a speech on March 14, 2005, in which he made similar comments. See, story titled "Donaldson Says Internet Disclosure May Be A Part of Mutual Fund Disclosure Reform" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,099, March 21, 2005.

See also, the SEC's notice, dated February 28, 2005, soliciting comments on proposed rules that would require broker-dealers to provide their customers with information regarding the costs and conflicts of interest that arise from the distribution of mutual fund shares, 529 college savings plan interests, and variable insurance products. The point of sale initiative is addressed in Section II.

Author's Guild Sues Google for Copyright Infringement

9/20. The Author's Guild and others filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against Google alleging copyright infringement in connection with the Google Print project. The plaintiffs seek class action status.

The Author's Guild stated in a release that "Google is reproducing works still under the protection of copyright as well as public domain works". It accuses Google of "massive copyright infringement" in "its unauthorized scanning and copying of books through its Google Library program".

On December 14, 2004, Google announced that it "is working with the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford as well as The New York Public Library to digitally scan books from their collections so that users worldwide can search them in Google." See, Google release. See also, Oxford release titled "Google checks out Bodleian Library books".

The 2004 Google release describes a program identified as "Google Print". The release adds that "Users searching with Google will see links in their search results page when there are books relevant to their query. Clicking on a title delivers a Google Print page where users can browse the full text of public domain works and brief excerpts and/or bibliographic data of copyrighted material. Library content will be displayed in keeping with copyright law."

Google responded in a September 20, 2005, release that "any copyright holder can exclude their books from the program". Google added that "Google doesn't show even a single page to users who find copyrighted books through this program (unless the copyright holder gives us permission to show more). At most we show only a brief snippet of text where their search term appears, along with basic bibliographic information and several links to online booksellers and libraries."

Hence, it asserts that its copying of copyrighted works is protected by the fair use doctrine, which is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 107.

See also, story titled "University Publishers Accuse Google of Systematic Infringement of Copyright on a Massive Scale" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,142, May 25, 2005.

2nd Circuit Stays District Court Injunction in National Security Letter Case

9/20. The U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir) heard oral argument on the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Emergency Motion for Stay Pending Expedited Appeal in Doe v. Gonzales, a case pertaining to National Security Letter authority under 18 U.S.C. § 2709. The Court of Appeals granted a stay of the District Court's ruling of September 9 which enjoined the gag provisions of § 2709.

The Court of Appeals also announced the schedule for an expedited appeal process. The DOJ's brief is due by September 27. The ACLU's brief is due by October 4. (The ACLU is a named plaintiff, and the ACLU Foundation is counsel for plaintiffs.) The DOJ's reply brief is due by October 10. See, ACLU release of September 20.

See, full story.

People and Appointments

9/20. Maximilian Grant, Gerald Mossinghoff, and Lisa Norton were named to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) for three year terms. Grant is an associate in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Latham & Watkins, and the local chair of its intellectual property and technology practice group. He represents, among other clients, Veritas Software (now part of Symantec). Mossinghoff is Senior Counsel at the Alexandria, Virginia, law firm of Oblon Spivak. He is a former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and former President of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Norton is an associate in the Washington DC office of the law firm of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray & Cary. She previously worked for Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT). See, USPTO release.

9/20. Ayala Deutsch, Van Leichliter, and Albert Tramposch were named to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) for three year terms. Deutsch is VP and Senior Intellectual Property Counsel at NBA Properties. Leichliter works for DuPont. Tramposch is Director of Trademark Registry Services at the Washington DC law firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius. From 1993 to 2001, he worked for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. See, USPTO release.

More News

9/20. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) fined the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Political Action Committee for the late filing of a 2004 year end report. See, FEC release.

CDT Releases Paper on Broadcast Flag

9/19. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) released a paper [18 pages in PDF] titled "Lessons of the FCC Broadcast Flag Process: Background for the Legislative Debate".

The paper argues that "The creation of any significant new regulatory regime -- especially one that affects rapidly evolving technology industries -- raises concerns that over time the regulatory approval process may be used by established companies in the regulated industry or by third parties with related interests to protect established market interests or block disruptive technologies. The history of the first round of the flag process suggests that, as the regime was implemented in its first trial phase, it was susceptible to this kind of misuse."

The CDT also released an updated version of its paper [8 pages in PDF] titled "Broadcast Flag Authorization Legislation: Key Considerations for Congress". It concludes that "A broadcast flag regime would have significant and lasting consequences. It would create an ongoing role for the FCC in approving a wide range of digital technologies and would have a major impact on the way the public can use digital television. CDT believes that the policy issues surrounding the flag should not be left to unguided FCC discretion. If Congress chooses to authorize implementation of a broadcast flag regime, it should do so pursuant to careful limits and safeguards concerning the FCC’s authority and process; the public's ability to comment on news and public affairs programming; and interoperability problems that the flag may pose for consumers."

Also, on September 19, three interest groups, the Public Knowledge, Consumers Union, and Consumer Federation of America, wrote a letter to Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, urging the Senate "not to pass as part of an appropriations or budget package any legislation giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the authority to impose its ``broadcast-flag´´ technology mandate."

They argued that "any jurisdictional grant to the FCC of the power to implement a broadcast-flag regulation necessitates giving broad, unprecedented power to the FCC to dictate product design, and to determine the future course of our digital economy. By imposing government-agency control over the design of digital electronics and, potentially, over computer operating systems and other software, the scheme will inevitably slow or stifle the development of innovative consumer electronics and other products. The Commission is not equipped by experience or tradition to be the gatekeeper on this unprecedentedly broad range of technologies."

Background on the Broadcast Flag. A broadcast flag is digital code embedded in a digital broadcasting stream. It signals digital television (DTV) reception equipment to limit redistribution. For it to be effective, DTV equipment must give effect to a broadcast flag. Hence, the FCC wrote rules that contains technology mandates for equipment manufacturers. However, while the FCC has statutory authority to license and regulate the use of electromagnetic spectrum, including devices that transmit and receive radio frequency signals, it does not have statutory authority to protect copyrights, or to regulate consumer electronic equipment for the purpose of protecting copyrights. The Court of Appeals reminded the FCC of this limitation in May of this year.

The FCC adopted its broadcast flag notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on August 8, 2002. The FCC released the text [12 pages in PDF] of this NPRM on August 9, 2002. See, stories titled "FCC Issues NPRM on Broadcast Flag" and "FCC Debates Its Authority to Promulgate Broadcast Flag Rule" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 489, August 12, 2002.

The FCC adopted and released, on November 4, 2003, its rules mandating the broadcast flag in its Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [72 pages in PDF]. See, story titled "FCC Releases Broadcast Flag Rule" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 772, November 5, 2003, and story titled "More Reaction to the FCC Broadcast Flag Item" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 773, November 6, 2003.

On May 6, 2005, the U.S.Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion [34 pages in PDF] in American Library Association v. FCC, overturning the FCC's broadcast flag rules. See, story titled "DC Circuit Reverses FCC's Broadcast Flag Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,131, May 9, 2005.

People and Appointments

9/19. President Bush nominated Alice Fisher to be an Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division. See, White House release. The Criminal Division is responsible for many matters related to the CALEA, cybercrime, enforcement of intellectual property laws, wiretaps, and electronic surveillance, searches and seizures involving new information technologies. She currently holds this position by recess appointment. Bush first nominated her back on March 29, 2005. See, story titled "Bush to Nominate Alice Fisher to Head DOJ's Criminal Division" TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,107, April 1, 2005. However, the Senate did not vote on her nomination. The delay relates to the partisan politics of Guantanamo Bay, not technology related issues.

More News

9/19. Microsoft announced that it filed eight complaints in U.S. District Courts around the U.S. alleging distribution of infringing or counterfeit copies of various Microsoft software products. See, Microsoft release.

9/19. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a notice in the Federal Register pertaining to its proceedings regarding the source of income derived from certain space and ocean activities, and the source of income derived from international communications activity. This notice withdraws one notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), and announces, describes, and sets the comment deadline for, another NPRM. There will be a public hearing on December 15, 2005. The deadline to submit comments is November 23. See, Federal Register, September 19, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 180, at Pages 54859 - 54878.

11th Circuits Rules Courts Can Compel Disclosure of Intellectual Property of Non-Party Without Compensation

9/16. The U.S. Court of Appeals (11thCir) issued an opinion [18 pages in PDF] in Klay v. Humana. This case is a large class action suit brought by physicians and independent physicians' associations (Leonard Klay and others) against large managed care providers (Humana and others) alleging a racketeering conspiracy by the managed care providers by systematically underpaying for health care services rendered by the plaintiffs. However, the present opinion concerns only the intellectual property rights of a non-party, the American Medical Association (AMA). The Court of Appeals held that the AMA must disclose intellectual property (IP), for free, even though it licenses it to others. The Court's discussion of the non-rivalrousness of IP may be of interest to some readers.

Introduction. The AMA has long collected survey data from physicians. It produces annual reports, which it licenses, pursuant to written contract, for a fee. Humana and the other defendants, which are some of the largest managed care providers in the US, subpoenaed the AMA, not for only its reports, but also for its underlying collection of data, which the AMA does not disclose or license. Moreover, Humana wants it for free. The AMA seeks its regular licensing fees.

The AMA charges for profit entities $13,000 per year and non-profit entities $6,500 per year for the reports. The AMA also requires its licensees to sign a written contract that the data cannot be disseminated to or used by persons other than the licensee without the consent of the AMA.

The District Court, and the Court of Appeals, concluded that Humana is entitled to all of this information for free. The Court of Appeals treated this as the compelled disclosure of intellectual property case in which Rule 45 controls. It did not specify what species of intellectual property is involved.

Neither the state of Florida, nor the 11th Circuit, is home to any major IP based industries. Hence, a relatively small portion of the case in the federal courts in Florida and the 11th Circuit involve IP issues. This opinion may reflect this lack of experience and expertise. (The three judge panel did include one member from the 9th Circuit, sitting by designation. The 9th Circuit, which includes California, hears many IP cases. However, this Judge was Arthur Alarcon, an 80 year old former state prosecutor and state court judge who has long been on senior status.)

Human subpoenaed the reports and data pursuant to Rule 45, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The U.S. District Court (SDFla) ordered the AMA to turn over its reports and data, without compensation. The District Court's order provided that the reports and data could not be used "for any purpose other than the prosecution or defense of this litigation." The Court of Appeals affirmed.

The Court of Appeals reasoned that this case involved IP, and that Rule 45 requires compensation for the taking of intellectual property, but the compensation in this case is nothing. The Court of Appeals offered an analysis based upon its understanding of the non-rivalrous nature of IP. In the key portion of the opinion, it cited no IP cases and no IP treatises. Rather, it relied primarily upon a non-IP case, Alabama Power Company v. FCC, 311 F.3d 1357 (11th Cir, 2002).

Alabama Power is a case involving the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) implementation of the Pole Attachments Act. It is well known to communications lawyers. See, stories titled "11th Circuit Rules on FCC Pole Attachments Rates" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 551, November 18, 2002, and "Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Pole Attachments Case" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 754, October 7, 2003.

That is, without recourse to IP law or the rationales underlying IP law, the Court concluded that IP is like telephone and power polls, and should be treated accordingly. IP lawyers drafting licensing agreements may wish to take note of this opinion when considering choice of forum and choice of law clauses.

Rule 45, FRCP. The Court of Appeals affirmed in an opinion based in part upon the wording of Rule 45.

Rule 45, at (c)(2)(B), provides, in part, that "a person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying may, within 14 days after service of the subpoena ... serve upon the party or attorney designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated materials or of the premises. If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena shall not be entitled to inspect and copy the materials or inspect the premises except pursuant to an order of the court by which the subpoena was issued. ... Such an order to compel production shall protect any person who is not a party or an officer of a party from significant expense resulting from the inspection and copying commanded."

Rule 45, at (c)(3)(B), provides, in part, that "If a subpoena ... (i) requires disclosure of a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information ... the court may, to protect a person subject to or affected by the subpoena, quash or modify the subpoena or, if the party in whose behalf the subpoena is issued shows a substantial need for the testimony or material that cannot be otherwise met without undue hardship and assures that the person to whom the subpoena is addressed will be reasonably compensated, the court may order appearance or production only upon specified conditions."

Analysis of Rule 45. The Court of Appeals provided this analysis of Rule 45.

Humana, and the other managed health care providers, sought the AMA's confidential information by subpoena. Rule 45 governs. The information sought falls within the meaning of 45(c)(3)(B)(i). Rule 45(c)(3)(B) gives the Court only two options when 45(c)(3)(B)(i) confidential information is involved: it can either quash the subpoena or order its production, subject to the party being "reasonably compensated", and subject to "specified conditions". Human meets the "substantial need" test, so an order to produce is appropriate, provided that there is reasonable compensation and conditions.

The Court then provided its analysis of what "reasonably compensated" means in the context of confidential information. The Court, relying in part on the FRCP's drafters' notes, concluded that compelled taking of intellectual property may require compensation. It discussed the example of experts, who are in the business of selling their expertise, are compelled to provide their expertise, pursuant to subpoena. Lawyers should not be able to procure expert testimony by abuse of subpoena powers.

The Court thus concluded that under Rule 45, the AMA is entitled to compensation, but that Rule 45 does not identify what the compensation should be. The Court concluded that "The question before us is the measure of compensation for a forced disclosure of confidential intellectual property."

Measuring Compensation. In short, the Court concluded that the AMA is entitled to compensation, but the compensation to which it is entitled is properly measured at zero dollars.

First, the Court, relying on the authority of the Black's Law Dictionary, wrote that "compensation is required when compliance with a subpoena causes an actual property loss. An expert witness, for example, suffers a property loss when he is forced to testify; the witness no longer has bargaining power relative to the party seeking the witness’s testimony."

The Court then turned to its opinion in Alabama Power, the pole attachments case. This case did not involve any form of intellectual property. Nor did it involve Rule 45, subpoenas, or any form of pretrial discover.

The Pole Attachments Act, which is codified at 47 U.S.C. § 224, provides that cable companies may gain access to the pole networks of power companies at rates set by the FCC. Subsection (f)(1) states that "A utility shall provide a cable television system or any telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to any pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way owned or controlled by it."

The power companies argued that this constitutes a taking under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which provides, "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation". The Court of Appeals issued its opinion on November 14, 2002, in which it rejected the taking clause argument.

The Court wrote in Alabama Power that "Typically, the subject of a government condemnation proceeding is ordinary property, such as land. In such a case, the "value" of the thing taken is congruent with the loss to the owner ... This is because most property is rivalrous -- its possession by one party results in a gain that precisely corresponds to the loss endured by the other party. In this case, however, the property that has been taken- space on a pole - may well lack this congruence. It may be, for practical purposes, nonrivalrous. This means that use by one entity does not necessarily diminish the use and enjoyment of others. A common example of a nonrivalrous good is national defense."

The Court wrote in the present case that "The measure of the compensation owed in a takings case depends on the nature of the property. In an ordinary takings case, one party's gain directly corresponds to another party’s loss. ... That measure is common because “most property is rivalrous -- its possession by one party results in a gain that precisely corresponds to the loss endured by the other party." (Citations to Alabama Power are omitted here and from quotation below.)

It continued "A different rule prevails for another form of property. If the property is nonrivalrous -- i.e., one party’s use of the property “does not necessarily diminish the use and enjoyment of others” -- compensation for the nonrivalrous use of the property will ordinarily be limited to the marginal cost incurred by that use. ... This limitation is proper even if the taking deprives the owner of the opportunity to sell the use of its property at a desired price, because the “one immutable principle in the law of just compensation ... is that the value to the taker is not to be considered, only loss to the owner is to be valued.”

The Court wrote that "Like the law of takings, Rule 45(c)(3)(B) governs forced disclosures of both rivalrous and nonrivalrous property. Expert testimony is a form of rivalrous property, because the measure of its loss to the owner is the same as the gain to its taker. Confidential information is a form of nonrivalrous property, and that fact affects the measure of compensation for its taking."

Finally, "The gain to the party seeking confidential information through a subpoena is not the measure of compensation reasonably owed to the owner of that information. The measure is the loss to the owner of the property. If the enforcement of a subpoena under Rule 45(c)(3)(B) causes no loss, then the amount of compensation reasonably owed will be zero. If the loss to the owner of the information is substantial, then so will be the amount of compensation even if the gain to the taker of the information is slight."

Then, based upon the foregoing, the Court concluded that the AMA suffers no "loss in the commercial value of its property", and hence, is entitled to zero compensation.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court. The AMA must disclose. The AMA is entitled to no payment.

Commentary. While the Court treats this as a takings case, it is a case involving the intersection of pretrial procedure rules and intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, the Court does not identity what kind of intellectual property is involved. Nor does its recitation of the facts inform readers as to what its conclusion might have been. It refers to the subject matter in various terms, including "confidential information" and "intellectual property". But, it does not state whether it, or any part, is subject to protection under federal copyright, state trade secret law (or what state's law trade secret law would apply), or as a collection of data. There is no discussion of protection under contract law or the law of misappropriation. And, the Court makes no reference to its opinion in Warren Publishing, Inc. v. Microdos Data Corp., 115 F.3d 1509 (11th Cir. 1997) or to the Supreme Court opinion in the Feist case. Identifying the character of the property is relevant to the subject of loss to the owner.

The Court concluded that under the either the takings clause or Rule 45 the measure of compensation is the loss to the owner of the value of his property, and that there is no loss in the value of his property for the taking of non-rivalrous property, including intellectual property.

The rivalrousness argument warrants further analysis. The Court concludes, without much discussion, that intellectual property is non-rivalrous. The Court notes that nonrivalrous means that one party's use of the property does not necessarily diminish the use and enjoyment of others.

Many scholars make the same argument. For example, Lawrence Lessig wrote in The Future of Ideas (at page 57) that "Knowledge ... is nonrivalrous; your knowing something does not lessen the amount that I can know." (See also, pages 20-22.) As Lessig points out, the reading of Einstein's theory is non-rivalrous.

Such is also the case for other types of mass market IP products, such as music and movies.

But there is also the argument, untouched by the Court, that in the case of sophisticated collections of complex information, collected and organized at great expense, and marketed to a limited number of commercial entities for substantial compensation, that the non-rivalrous characterization is only partially applicable. One business may consume an IP product, not merely for its own enjoyment or information, but also for the purpose of gaining commercial advantage over businesses with which it competes. The value to this consuming business rests in part upon its gaining information that its competitors do not. Moreover, the price it is willing to pay may diminish even as a few others obtain the information. And, when the value to the potential consumer drops, so too does the value of property to the owner.

Assigning the label of non-rivalrous to all informational products fails to distinguish between those produced for mass consumption, and those complex products licensed to a small number (or just one) commercial consumer.

There is also the matter of risk. Normally when a producer sells a physical product on credit, its risk exposure is that the buyer will not pay. If the buyer pays in full, there is still the risk that he will seek rescission, or damages for a defective product. The exposure of the producer is usually only the value of the one product.

Risk in the case of information products is sometimes much different. A producer may license a confidential informational product to 50 buyers, but if one breaches the licensing agreement, and the information is copied on the internet by parties not bound by the agreement, the entire value of the product may be destroyed. That is, one sale can place at risk the entire future revenue stream from that product. Risk plays a role in the seller's pricing decisions, and decisions whether to sell to a particular buyer. The Court did not value the risk to which the AMA has been exposed by ordering the production of all of its data.

There is also the matter of remedies. If the owner of an information product licenses it in a market transaction, he can obtain a signed contract, including provisions regarding remedies. The Court merely ordered production, and ordered Humana not to use the information for non-litigation purposes. If Humana violates the order, the AMA has no contractual remedies. It can only pursue contempt proceedings or discovery sanctions. The Court did not value this.

Finally, there is also the matter of the plain meaning of Rule 45. The Court found that Humana had shown that it had a "substantial need" for the AMA's information. But the full phrase is "substantial need for the testimony or material that cannot be otherwise met without undue hardship". The Court ignored the phrase "cannot be otherwise met". Humana could have easily, like other market participants, paid for the information, and signed the AMA's licensing agreement.

There was a operating marketplace. The AMA collected and licensed the information. Consumers purchased it. The Court in essence compelled the licensing of the information, and replaced the marketplace as the determinant of price with its own decision as to what the price should be.

This case is Leonard Klay, et al. v. Humana, Inc., et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, App. Ct. No. 04-13062, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, D.C. No. 00-01334-MD-FAM. Judge Pryor wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals, in which Judges Tjoflat and Alarcon joined.

People and Appointments

9/16. Timothy Stratford was named Assistant USTR for China Affairs. The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) stated in a release that he "will be responsible for developing and implementing U.S. trade policy toward Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mongolia." Since 1998 he has been General Counsel for General Motors' China operations. Before that, he was a partner in the Beijing office of the law firm of Coudert Brothers. He has also worked in Taiwan with the Mormon church, in Beijing for the Department of State, and in Hong Kong for the law firm of Paul Weiss.

9/16. Theodore Ullyot, the Chief of Staff of the Department of Justice, will leave in October. He joined the DOJ in February of 2005. Before that, he worked at the Executive Office of the President. He was Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Staff Secretary in 2004-2005. He was Associate Counsel to the President in 2003-2004. See, DOJ release.

More News

9/16. A spokesman for EBay, which has announced that it will acquire Skype, told TLJ that "we don't believe that there will be any type of, or any need for an, FCC review of this transaction, and that there are no licenses involved in this deal." A spokesman for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has authority to review the transfer of licenses issued by the FCC, stated that there will likely be no FCC review of this transaction.

9/16. The U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued its opinion in Venegas-Hernandez v. ACEMLA, and a related action, disputes over ownership of the copyrights in musical compositions of Guillermo Venegas-Lloveras, who died in 1993. The Court affirmed in part, and reversed in part. This case is Venegas-Hernandez, et al. v. ACEMLA, et al.,  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, Nos. 04-1934 and 04-1935, appeals from the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, Judge José Antonio Fusté presiding.

Go to News from September 11-15, 2005.