TLJ News from October 1-5, 2007

EFF Hires Lobbyists to Oppose Surveillance Immunity

10/5. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced that it has "enlisted" Thomas J. Downey and Adam Eisgrau to lobby the Congress "to try to block amnesty for companies collaborating with the warrantless spying". See, EFF release.

The House and Senate are considering legislation that would amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Michael McConnell (Director of National Intelligence) and Kenneth Wainstein (Assistant Attorney General in charge of the National Security Division) testified before several House and Senate Committees last month. They urged the Congress to provide immunity to communications service providers.

S 1927 [LOC | WW], the "Protect America Act" or PAA, the bill passed by the Congress in August, and signed into law by President Bush on August 5, 2007, contains a six month sunset provision.

The PAA contains a grant of immunity, but only while the PAA is in effect. It provides that "Notwithstanding any other law, no cause of action shall lie in any court against any person for providing any information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with a directive under this section."

People and Appointments

10/5. Richard Rowlenson was named VP and General Counsel for Frontline Wireless. He previously worked for AT&T Wireless, and for Vanguard Cellular before it was acquired by AT&T.

10/5. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Gus Coldebella to be General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He is currently the acting General Counsel. Before joining the DHS in 2005 he was a partner in the Boston office of the law firm of Goodwin Proctor. See, White House release and statement by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

More News

10/5. The U.S. District Court (DC) issued a Memorandum Opinion [PDF] in Andrei Smith v. Cafe Asia, a discrimination action brought under District of Columbia law. This opinion pertains to a pre-trial discovery of images stored on the plaintiff's personal cell phone. The defendant employer filed a motion to compel the inspection and production of the images. The District Court weighed the plaintiff's privacy interest against FRCP Rule 26's purpose of allowing discovery of relevant evidence. The District Court ruled that the plaintiff must preserve the images, and allow inspection by an attorney for the defendant. However, the District Court did not order production, or rule on admissibility at trial.

10/5. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a brief Public Notice [PDF] regarding the potential for interference from low power devices operating in TV white spaces. It states that the FCC's laboratory "will be conducting additional laboratory and field testing of prototype devices". It adds that "Further details about the testing will be released at a later date", and that "Parties that would like to submit devices for testing should advise OET as soon as possible and should deliver their device at their earliest opportunity." The FCC adopted its First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making on October 12, 2006. See, story titled "FCC Adopts Order and FNPRM Regarding TV White Space" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,467, October 12, 2006. The just released item is DA 07-4179 in ET Docket No. 04-186

10/5. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a report titled "Potential Interference From Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) Systems To Federal Government Radiocommunication Systems at 1.7 - 80 MHz: Phase 2 Study".

Jury Returns Verdict Against P2P Infringer

10/4. A trial jury of the U.S. District Court (DMinn) returned a verdict in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas, a music copyright infringement case involving use of the Kazaa peer to peer (P2P) network. The case is also known as RIAA v. Thomas.

The jury returned a verdict of infringement in favor of the record companies, and awarded damages of $220,000. This is the first P2P infringement case against an individual infringer to reach a verdict.

The plaintiffs in this case are Virgin Records America, Inc., Capitol Records, Inc., Arista Records, LLC, Interscope Records, Warner Bros. Records, Inc., and UMG Recordings, Inc. The plaintiffs are members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Tom Sydnor of the Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) stated in a release that "First, by rejecting the defendant's a-neighbor-could-have-done-it defense, the jury indicated that the holder of an internet-access account is responsible for illegal uses of their account. This helps dispel the myth that you can download with impunity and then blame on your roommate ..."

"Second, by awarding damages of $9250 per song -- well above the $750-per-song minimum -- the jury spoke to both the illegality and immorality of unauthorized downloading."

This case is Virgin Records America, Inc., et al. v. Jammie Thomas, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, D.C. No. 06-1497 (MJD/RLE), Judge Michael Davis presiding.

GAO Reports that Lack of Funding and Brain Drain Cause Patent Application Backlog

10/4. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [43 pages in PDF] titled "U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Hiring Efforts Are Not Sufficient to Reduce the Patent Application Backlog".

The report finds that there is a large and growing backlog of patent application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO is hiring more patent examiners, but it is constrained by funding limitations. Also, the report finds that the USPTO is losing many young examiners, in part because USPTO production goals lead examiners to work overtime and while on leave.

The report does not address Congressional diversion of USPTO fees to subsidize other government programs.

The GAO report states that "increases in both the volume and complexity of patent applications have lengthened the amount of time it takes the agency to process them. As a result, the inventory of patent applications that have not yet been reviewed, called the backlog, has been growing for over 15 years -- since fiscal year 2002 alone, the backlog has increased by nearly 73 percent to about 730,000 applications."

The report finds that "the patent application backlog has continued to increase, and it is unlikely that the agency will be able to reduce the backlog simply through its hiring efforts."

"From 2002 through 2006, patent examiner attrition has continued to significantly offset USPTO's hiring progress." It adds that the "USPTO hired 3,672 patent examiners between 2002 and 2006, and 1,643 patent examiners left the agency during this time."

Moreover, the report adds that young examiners are the most likely to leave.

The report also discusses possible causes. It states that USPTO management asserts that examiners leave for personal reasons, while "union officials told us that attrition can primarily be attributed to the insufficient amount of time provided to patent examiners to meet their production goals." The report states that its own survey supports the union viewpoint.

It also states that "to meet their production goals, the majority of patent examiners had to work substantial unpaid overtime in the last 12 months, while many others worked while on annual leave."

The report states that "funding levels" limit how many examiners the USPTO can hire.

The report was prepared for Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Rep. Davis stated in a release that "Everyone needs to understand that the diversion of fees from USPTO to other government programs helped create this problem."

He also commented that the USPTO "has been unable to effectively combat its brain drain."

Treasury and FRB Seek Comments on Proposed Rules Implementing Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act

10/4. The Department of the Treasury (DOT) and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the comment deadline (December 12, 2007) for their proposed rules implementing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).

The House and Senate approved this Act as part of the conference report on HR 4954 (109th Congress), the "Port Security Improvement Act of 2006", on September 29, 2006, just before recessing for the November 2006 elections. The bill is now Public Law No. 109-347. Title VIII of this bill is the UIGEA.

The UIGEA is an attempt to stop internet gambling by regulating the financial transactions that fund what already constitutes unlawful internet gambling. It provides that no one engaged in the "business of betting or wagering" may knowingly accept certain financial transactions, including checks, electronic fund transfers, and credit card debt, in connection with "unlawful Internet gambling".

The UIGEA then requires the DOT and FRB to write regulations that require each "designated payment system" to identify and block these restricted transactions through the establishment of policies and procedures. It requires each "financial transaction provider" to comply with these DOT/FRB regulations.

The DOT/FRB notice states that "the proposed rule designates certain payment systems that could be used in connection with unlawful Internet gambling transactions restricted by the Act. The proposed rule requires participants in designated payment systems to establish policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit transactions in connection with unlawful Internet gambling."

This notice continues that "the proposed rule also exempts certain participants in designated payment systems from the requirements to establish such policies and procedures because the Agencies believe it is not reasonably practical for those participants to identify and block, or otherwise prevent or prohibit, unlawful Internet gambling transactions restricted by the Act."

"Finally, the proposed rule describes the types of policies and procedures that non-exempt participants in each type of designated payment system may adopt in order to comply with the Act and includes non-exclusive examples of policies and procedures which would be deemed to be reasonably designed to prevent or prohibit unlawful Internet gambling transactions restricted by the Act."

The DOT/FRB notice adds that "The proposed rule does not specify which gambling activities or transactions are legal or illegal because the Act itself defers to underlying State and Federal gambling laws in that regard and determinations under those laws may depend on the facts of specific activities or transactions (such as the location of the parties)." (Parentheses in original.)

See, Federal Register, October 4, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 192, at Pages 56680-56699.

People and Appointments

10/4. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) announced that he will not run for re-election to the Senate next year. See also, statement by President Bush.

10/4. The Senate confirmed Jennifer Elrod to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. See, Congressional Record, October 4, 2007, at S12828.

10/4. The Senate confirmed Richard Jones to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. See, Congressional Record, October 4, 2007, at S12828.

10/4. The Senate confirmed Roslynn Mauskopf to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. See, Congressional Record, October 4, 2007, at S12828.

10/4. The Senate confirmed Sharion Aycock to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. See, Congressional Record, October 4, 2007, at S12828.

10/4. The Senate confirmed Thomas O'Brien to be the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California for the term of four years. See, Congressional Record, October 4, 2007, at S12828.

More News

10/4. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an Order on Reconsideration [36 pages in PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the Matter of Recommendations of the Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks". This item grants in part, and denies in part, six petitions for reconsideration of the FCC's rules regarding emergency backup power sources of local exchange carriers (LECs) and commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers. This item is FCC 07-177 in EB Docket No. 06-119 and WC Docket No. 06-63.

10/4. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and others introduced HR 3753 [LOC | WW], the "Federal Judicial Salary Restoration Act of 2007". This bill would raise the annual salary of District Court Judges to $233,500, Appeals Court Judges to $247,500, Associate Justices of the Supreme Court to $286,900, and the Chief Justice of the United States to $299,800. The bill has bipartisan support. It was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which Rep. Conyers chairs.

10/4. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) released its SP 800-73-2, titled "Interfaces for Personal Identity Verification". See, part 1 [43 pages in PDF], part 2 [29 pages in PDF], and part 3 [19 pages in PDF]. The deadline to submit comments is 5:00 PM on November 4, 2007.

GAO Finds FCC Gives Some Stakeholders Nonpublic Information

10/3. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [43 pages in PDF] titled "Telecommunications: FCC Should Take Steps to Ensure Equal Access to Rulemaking Information".

This report describes the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rule making process, and focuses on just one aspect of the the FCC's lack of transparency -- that "some stakeholders had access to nonpublic information that could give them an advantage in the rulemaking process".

See, full story.

Net Neutrality Proponents Seek Congressional Hearings

10/3. The Open Internet Coalition (OIC) sent letters to the Chairmen and ranking Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees asking them to hold hearings on "recent anti-consumer and anti-free speech actions by Verizon, AT&T and Comcast". See, for example, letter to Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee.

The members of the OIC include Earthlink, Google, eBay, PayPal, Skype, Tivo, and YouTube. The OIC wants the Congress or Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose network neutrality mandates on broadband service providers.

The letter asserts that recently "several industry members have taken blatantly anti-consumer actions that call into question the industry’s commitment to serving the interests of consumers." It argues that these actions "demonstrate that the telephone and cable companies should not be trusted to safeguard our basic Internet freedoms. For two years, we have urged Congress to adopt legislation that would preserve an open and interconnected Internet ... Now, more than ever, the open Internet is increasingly threatened by telephone and cable companies who enjoy the public rights of way to provide Internet access to consumers' homes."

The OIC letter states that hearings should "explore the activities of the telephone companies and consider legislation that would protect a fundamental tenet of the Internet, which is to allow citizens to communicate without threat of censorship or other anti-consumer behavior from a handful of gatekeepers."

The OIC's allegation against Verizon relates to text messaging by an abortion policy group. See also, story titled "Verizon Wireless and Net Neutrality Advocates Clash Over Text Messaging" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,647, September 27, 2007.

The OIC's allegation against AT&T is that it "censored a live Webcast of a Pearl Jam concert when the lead singer made statements that were critical of the Bush Administration".

Finally, the OIC alleged that Comcast "has cut off Internet customers who the company said were using too much capacity".

People and Appointments

10/3. Scott Wiener was named SVP, Partner Development at Frontier Wireless. He previously worked for Sprint Nextel.

10/3. Richard Murray was named Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC). The Chamber stated in a release that this initiative is "dedicated to making U.S. capital markets the most fair, efficient, and transparent in the world". Murray is currently Managing Director and Chief Claims Strategist of Swiss Re in New York and Zürich.

More News

10/3. The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) released a report [26 pages in PDF] titled "The True Cost of Copyright Industry Piracy to the U.S. Economy". The author of the report is Stephen Siwek. This report states that "copyright piracy from motion pictures, sound recordings, business and entertainment software and video games costs the U.S. economy $58.0 billion in total output, costs American workers 373,375 jobs and $16.3 billion in earnings, and costs federal, state, and local governments $2.6 billion in tax revenue." Patrick Ross of the Copyright Alliance stated that the estimate contained in this report is "quite conservative". He elaborated in a release that "Many industries dependent on copyright protection are not included in this report because of a lack of data -- including publishing industries of all kinds, photography and graphic arts."

10/3. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released initial analysis of audits of the FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF). The OIG found that the erroneous payment rate is almost 13% for the e-rate subsidy program, and over 9% overall, but that this constitutes "compliance with the Commission's rules". See, FCC release [PDF] and e-rate audit [24 pages in PDF].

10/3. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) stated in the House the there is high tech bounty hunting. He said that "high-tech bounty hunting is now occurring in the United States. The Internet allows law enforcement to track down known sex offenders in the United States. States can find convicted sex offenders that must register under the new Adam Walsh Child Safety Act. Failure of a child molester to register is a Federal crime. ... So these convicted sex offenders who do not register with local authorities are now being arrested using LexisNexis Internet tracking. ... Sex offenders are now being held accountable for failing to register; law enforcement is informed of known sex offenders' whereabouts; future recidivism is prevented; and, meanwhile, children are safer because of high-tech bounty hunting." See, Congressional Record, October 3, 2007, at Page H11176.

Appeals Court Rules Against Song Writer on Copyright Registration Technicality

10/2. The U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued its opinion in Torres-Negron v. J&N Records, a copyright case in which an author's failure to comply with registration procedure defeated his ability to enforce his copyright.

Background. Fernando Torres-Negrón wrote the music and lyrics to a song titled "Noche de Fiesta" in 1993. However, he did not then file an application for copyright registration with the Copyright Office (CO).

Others recorded his song, and it was sold on music CDs, without an assignment of copyright. Torres-Negron then filed an application for copyright registration. However, he no longer possessed the sheet of paper upon which he had originally inscribed the notes and lyrics. Rather, he recreated the work, and registered a copy of that, along with an audio recording that he made at that later date.

The Court of Appeals wrote that "It is undisputed that the written lyrics and tape that Torres submitted as his deposit copy were not the originals -- that is, they were not the exact tape or piece of paper on which he first recorded the music or wrote the lyrics of the song. Indeed, the parties agree that Torres gave both the original lyrics and the first recording of the song to Cańuelas. By the time he submitted his copyright registration application, he no longer had access to either the original writing of the lyrics or the tape recording of the song. Thus, in order to comply with the requirement that a ``copy´´ of the song be submitted with the application, Torres reconstructed his original work from memory ..."

He filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DPR) against J&N Records and others alleging copyright infringement.

The trial jury returned a verdict for Torres-Negron. However, the District Court then granted judgment as a matter of law to the defendants on the grounds that Torres-Negron submitted a reconstruction of the work to the CO with his application for copyright registration.

Statute. Registration of a copyright with the CO is not required under the Copyright Act. However, 17 U.S.C. § 411(a) provides that registration of copyright is a prerequisite for filing a complaint for infringement of that copyright.

17 U.S.C. § 408 provides that "the material deposited for registration shall include ... in the case of an unpublished work, one complete copy or phonorecord". However, Section 408 contains no definition of "one complete copy".

17 U.S.C. § 1, the definitional section of the Copyright Act, provides that "``Copies´´ are material objects, other than phonorecords, in which a work is fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. The term “copies” includes the material object, other than a phonorecord, in which the work is first fixed."

Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the District Court.

The Court of Appeals wrote that this requirement is jurisdictional.

The Court of Appeals wrote that "In light of the plain statutory language and the purpose of the registration requirement, we conclude that omission of a proper deposit copy with a copyright application renders the registration invalid and eliminates the federal courts' subject matter jurisdiction over an infringement claim."

The Court of Appeals relied upon two Court of Appeals opinions from other circuits, Kodadek v. MTV Networks, Inc., 152 F.3d 1209 (9th Cir. 1998), and Coles v. Wonder , 283 F.3d 798 (6th Cir. 2002). See also, story titled "6th Circuit Rules in Copyright Registration Case" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 393, March 21, 2002.

The Kodadek case is also know as the Beavis and Butthead case. After MTV had produced its popular TV show, Kodadek came forward and claimed to have drawn cartoon characters that MTV used in the TV show. He did not have an original. He drew a new copy, registered it with the Copyright Office, and backdated it.

The Coles case involved a song recorded by Stevie Wonder titled "For Your Love". Coles claimed he wrote it, and Wonder copied it. After Wonder recorded it, Coles made a new copy, backdated it, and registered it with the Copyright Office.

And finally, the Court of Appeals held that Torres-Negron must pay the record company's attorneys fees.

TLJ Analysis. One rationale for rejecting copyright registrations based upon reconstructions might be that it reduces fraudulent after the fact claims of authorship of works that have proven to be commercially successful. This is a problem, especially with music. In many of the cases relied upon by the Court of Appeals, the defendants also disputed the plaintiffs' claim to authorship.

However, in the present case, there is no dispute as to Torres-Negron's authorship. His claim failed solely upon a registration technicality without a rationale.

Perhaps this case also stands as authority for the proposition that a prerequisite for protection of copyright interests is continuous oversight and representation by expert legal counsel. Authors and creators who do not possess this are at substantial risk of losing the ability to enforce their copyrights.

While the original purpose of copyright protection is to incent creativity, and "To promote the Progress of Science and useful arts" (Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8), this and related opinions may tend to promote the progress of the copyright bar, and businesses that use its services, to the detriment of creativity.

This case is Fernando Torres-Negrón v. J&N Records, LLC, et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, App. Ct. Nos. 06-2058 and 06-2059, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

District Court Issues Ruling in Case Involving Claim That Web Site Violates the ADA

10/2. The U.S. District Court (NDCal) issued a Memorandum and Order [33 pages in PDF] in National Federation of the Blind v. Target, a class action alleging that Target's web site violates federal and state laws banning discrimination against disabled people.

The District Court certified the plaintiff class, and made other determinations regarding class composition and representation.

The District Court also denied Target's motion for summary judgment. Target argued in this motion that the class plaintiff suffered no legally cognizable injury, that he failed to meet the nexus requirement for the purposes of his ADA claim. The District Court ruled that the class plaintiff had not suffered a legally cognizable injury, but allowed the substitution of another class plaintiff who did.

See also, the District Court's September 5, 2006, Memorandum and Order [26 pages in PDF] denying Target's motion to dismiss.

And see, story titled "Commentary: Extending ADA Public Accommodations Treatment to Online Activities" and story titled "DOJ Applies ADA Public Accommodations Status to Online Educational Service" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,649, October 2, 2007.

This case is National Federation of the Blind, et al. v. Target Corporation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, D.C. No. C 06-1802 MHP, Judge Marilyn Patel presiding.

SEC Commissioner Discusses Internet Based Fraud

10/1. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Kathleen Casey gave a speech in Seattle, Washington, in which she discussed internet intrusion fraud, and use of the internet in pump and dump and Ponzi schemes.

Kathleen Casey

Casey (at right) said that "Our internet enforcement group was among the first to discover a new trend in internet-based fraud that has been dubbed the ``intrusion´´ cases."

She explained that "In these cases the perpetrator, sometimes affiliated with a foreign crime syndicate, hacks into an online brokerage account and places purchase orders for large blocks of relatively obscure or lightly traded stocks. The perpetrator then sells this same stock in his own account, quickly posting thousands of dollars in paper gains. The owner of the intruded account is left with a depleted bank account and shares of worthless stock."

She said that Ponzi schemes have been around for almost 100 years, and "despite the enactment of several major laws, the creation of the SEC, the hiring and training of thousands of investigators and prosecutors, and the proliferation of investor education and alerts, Ponzi's scheme survives."

"Perhaps the internet or other new technologies have made it possible to disguise these schemes or employ ever more enticing sales pitches; perhaps it's the greater access to the marketplace brought about by the internet and it's low barriers to entry for those with a sinister idea and a laptop", said Casey.

She also said that "globalization of our markets, fueled by technological innovation, continues to diminish the relevance of geographical boundaries that have historically defined and dictated our approach to regulation".

Supreme Court News

10/1. The Supreme Court of the US (SCUS) denied certiorari Hynix Semiconductor v. Rambus, a patent infringement case. This is Sup. Ct. No. 06-1681. See, Orders List [83 pages in PDF] at page 13.

10/1. The Supreme Court of the US (SCUS) denied certiorari in Gersh Korsinsky v. USPTO, a case regarding the consequences of failure to timely pay patent maintenance fees. This is Sup. Ct. No. 07-185. See, Orders List [83 pages in PDF] at page 46, and April 5, 2007, opinion [7 pages in PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir), App. Ct. No. 2007-1029.

10/1. The Supreme Court of the US (SCUS) denied certiorari in Pfizer v. Apotex, a case involving an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA). This case is Sup. Ct. No. 06-1582. The SCUS's Orders List [83 pages in PDF] at page 74 states that "The motion of Washington Legal Foundation for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. The Chief Justice took no part in the consideration or decision of this motion and this petition." See also, March 22, 2006, opinion [41 pages in PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir), App. Ct. No. 2006-1261

10/1. The Supreme Court of the US (SCUS) denied certiorari in Official Committee v. Adelphia Communications, Sup. Ct. No. 06-1586. The SCUS's Orders List [83 pages in PDF] at page 74 states that "The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition."

10/1. The Supreme Court of the US (SCUS) denied certiorari in Teva Pharmaceuticals v. Eli Lilly, Sup. Ct. No. 06-1642. See, Orders List [83 pages in PDF] at page 74.

10/1. The Supreme Court of the US (SCUS) denied certiorari in Systems Unlimited v. Cisco Systems, Sup. Ct. No. 07-30. The Orders List [83 pages in PDF] at page 76 states that "The petitions for writs of certiorari are denied. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of these petitions."

People and Appointments

10/1. Jim Williams was named SVP and Chief Technology Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). He has worked for the MPAA since 2002. The MPAA stated in a release [PDF] that he will work with "MPAA member companies to advance movie and television producers’ interests throughout the world in various technology-related capacities, including the development and deployment of content recognition and watermarking technologies, standard-setting initiatives, and cross-industry outreach."

10/1. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Annette Nazareth announced her intention to leave the SEC to return to the private sector. She did not set a departure date. See, SEC release.

More News

10/1. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) announced in a release that it is extending its $1 Million rewards incentive program. The BSA pays bounties to employees of companies who confidentially report software piracy by their employers.

Go to News from September 26-30, 2007.