|News from September 1-5, 2004|
Copyright Office Releases Draft Version of Inducement Bill
9/3. The Copyright Office (CO) released a discussion draft version of S 2560, the "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004", on September 2, 2004. This version was drafted for the purposes of facilitating discussion and comments by interested entities.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and others introduced the original version of S 2560 in the Senate on June 22, 2004. See, story titled "Senators Introduce Bill to Amend Copyright Act to Ban Inducement of Infringement", in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 925, June 24, 2004.
See, full story.
AEI Brookings Study Backs Use of Information Markets by Government
9/3. The AEI Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies released a paper [16 pages in PDF] titled "The Coming Revolution in Information Markets". Its authors, Robert Hahn and Paul Tetlock, argue that information markets "have the potential to revolutionize the way government, the non-profit world, and the private sector do business. Moving to a performance-based policy paradigm could have great benefits for consumers and the economy. In addition to providing economic benefits, this approach would also promote greater accountability and transparency in the development of policy."
They define information markets as "markets for contracts that yield payments based on the outcome of an uncertain future event".
John Poindexter, during his recent and brief tenure as head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information Awareness Office (IAO), proposed using an information market to assist in the prediction of terrorist events. Criticism of this proposal was one of the reasons that he resigned in August of 2003. Before being abandoned, it went by the name of Futures Markets Applied to Predict, or FutureMAP for short.
On August 12, 2003, he wrote a public letter [5 pages in PDF] addressed to Anthony Tether, Director of the DARPA, in which he explained and advocated the activities of his office, including FutureMAP. See, story titled "Poindexter Writes About Uses of Information Technology to Fight Terrorism" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 719, August 15, 2003.
Hahn and Tetlock argue that Poindexter's idea, in theory, was "not a bad idea". The problem was that he picked "the really hard case first".
These information markets would utilize the internet. Hence, Hahn and Tetlock argue that anyone who sets up such a market could be regulated by 50 different state gambling commissions. They argue that the federal government should preempt state gambling commissions from regulating information markets.
People and Appointments
9/3. Jonathan Liebowitz was sworn in as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He replaces Mozelle Thompson. Liebowitz was previously VP for Congressional Affairs of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Before that, he was a long time staff assistant to Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI). See, FTC release.
9/3. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that "The Official Gazette notice, published on August 24, 2004 entitled "All Electronic Copies of Patent Application Records Will Now Be Provided as Certified Copies in Electronic Form" (1285 Off. Gaz. Pat. Off, August 24, 2004) is hereby rescinded. The USPTO is reinstating, until further notice, the procedures in effect prior to July 30, 2004 for providing certified copies of patent application records with paper certification statements. The USPTO will also offer electronic certified copies of patent application records at the requester's option." See, USPTO release.
9/3. The U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [36 pages in PDF] in Polar Bear Production v. Timex, a copyright case and trademark case, in which the Court addressed damages and interest. This case is Polar Bear Production, Inc. v. Timex Corporation, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, App. Ct. Nos. 03-35188 and 03-35245, appeals from the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, D.C. No. CV-00-00141-SEH, Judge Sam Haddon presiding. Judge Margaret McKeown wrote the opinion of the Court, in which Judges Melvin Brunetti and Ronald Gould joined.
9/3. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments relating to the high cost universal support mechanisms for rural carriers and the appropriate rural mechanism to succeed the five year plan adopted in the Rural Task Force Order. Comments are due by October 15, 2004. Reply comments are due by December 14, 2004. See, Federal Register, September 3, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 171, at Pages 53917 - 53923.
FCC Releases Agenda for September 9 Meeting
9/2. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the agenda [4 pages in PDF] for its meeting on Thursday, September 9, 2004.
AWS/3G. The agenda states that the FCC will consider a Sixth Report and Order, Third Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Fifth Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning spectrum for the provisions of new services, including Advanced Wireless Services (AWS).
The FCC's agenda states that this item involves four proceedings. First, this item pertains to "Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission's Rules to Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced Wireless Services, including Third Generation Wireless Systems". This is ET Docket No. 00-258.
Second, this item pertains to "Petition for Rulemaking of the Wireless Information Networks Forum Concerning the Unlicensed Personal Communications Service". This is RM-9498. Third, this item pertains to "Petition for Rulemaking of UTStarcom, Inc., Concerning the Unlicensed Personal Communications Service". This is RM-10024. Fourth, this item pertains to "Amendment of Section 2.106 of the Commission's Rules to Allocate Spectrum at 2 GHz for use by the Mobile-Satellite Service". This is ET Docket No. 95-18.
The FCC will also consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing licensing, technical, and operational rules to govern the use of additional spectrum designated for Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) in the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2175-2180 MHz bands.
Intermodal Number Porting. The FCC will consider a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (2ndFNPRM) seeking comment on the recommendation of the North American Numbering Council (NANC) for reducing the time interval porting between wireline and wireless carriers. This is CC Docket No. 95-116.
Digital Low Power TV. The FCC will consider a Report and Order amending Parts 73 and 74 of the FCC's rules to establish service rules and policies for digital low power television and television translator stations and modifying certain rules applicable to digital Class A television stations.
The FCC adopted its NPRM (FCC 03-198) on August 6, 2003, and released it on August 29, 2003. This is MB Docket No. 03-185. See also, notice in the Federal Register (September 26, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 187, at Pages 55566 - 55573) summarizing this NPRM.
Digital TV and Children Obligations. The FCC will consider a Report and Order concerning the obligation of television broadcasters to serve children. This is MM Docket No. 00-167.
Previously, in this docket, the FCC adopted a NPRM [MS Word] on January 15, 2003, which it released on January 27, 2003, regarding several issues pertaining to conversion to digital television, including public interest obligations. See, especially, paragraphs 107-112 on children's television. The FCC also adopted a NPRM [29 pages in PDF] on September 15, 2000, which it released on October 5, 2000, specifically addressing the children's television obligation of DTV broadcasters.
Other Items. Finally, the FCC will hear one presentation, and consider two written reports. Representatives of the FCC's International Bureau will present an annual report on "satellites, the market and the FCC".
The FCC will consider Ninth Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions with Respect to Commercial Mobile Services. The FCC released its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) requesting data and information on March 24, 2004. See, notice in the Federal Register (April 23, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 79, at Pages 22032 - 22042) summarizing this proceeding. This NOI is FCC 04-38 in WT Docket No. 04-111.
The FCC will consider a Fourth Report concluding its inquiry concerning the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This is GN Docket No. 04-54.
The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 9, 2004, at 9:30 AM at the FCC in the Commission Meeting Room, TW-C305, at 445 12th Street, SW. Attendance is free, and open to the public. The event will also be webcast by the FCC.
FCC Releases Second Secondary Markets Report and Order
9/2. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the text [pages in PDF] of its second report and order in its proceeding on secondary markets for spectrum usage rights.
The deadline to submit comments in response to the NPRM portion, which addresses the use of private commons, is November 17, 2004. The deadline to submit reply comments is December 17, 2004.
The FCC adopted, but did not release, this item at its July 8, 2004 meeting. See, story titled "FCC Adopts Second Secondary Markets Report and Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 934, July 9, 2004.
This item is titled "Second Report & Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking". It is FCC 04-167 in Docket No. 00-230.
The FCC opening this proceeding on November 9, 2000 with its original NPRM [61 pages in PDF]. See, TLJ story titled "FCC Discusses Secondary Markets for Wireless Spectrum", and TLJ news analysis titled "Mobile Internet Access Devices and the Internet", both dated November 10, 2000.
On May 15, 2003 the FCC announced that it adopted a R&O and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) which allows certain FCC spectrum licensees to enter into leasing arrangements with third parties. See, FCC release [4 pages in PDF] and story titled "FCC Adopts Order Allowing Some Secondary Leasing of Spectrum" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 663, May 16, 2003. However, the FCC did not release this R&O and FNPRM [198 pages in PDF] until October 7, 2003. See, story titled "FCC Finally Releases R&O and FNPRM in Secondary Spectrum Markets Proceeding" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 755, October 8, 2003.
Office of the Solicitor General Backs FCC in Brand X Case
9/1. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), the DOJ's Antitrust Division, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari [37 pages in PDF] with the U.S. Supreme Court in FCC v. Brand X. See, full story.
Appeals Court Judge Rips AT&T's Billing and Litigation Shell Game
9/1. The U.S. Court of Appeals (7thCir) issued its divided opinion [28 pages in PDF] in Gutierrez v. AT&T Broadband LLC, a case involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which is codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq.
The defendant corporations prevailed in the District Court, and on appeal, on a mechanical, if not tenuous, reading of the statute. One Judge of the Court of Appeals wrote a vigorous dissent, in which she attacked the contracting, billing, collection, and litigation practices of various AT&T Corp. entities, more than she criticized the majority's interpretation of the statute. She wrote that the defendants "played a shell game with its various corporate affiliates", and that its attorneys "should have been sanctioned" for their litigation practices. She wrote that the defendants' approach "is what has brought the American discovery system into international disrepute."
TLJ normally abbreviates corporate names for the sake of brevity. For example, the "Microsoft Corporation" is usually referred to as merely "Microsoft". However, in this article, full corporate named are used because this case involves what Judge Wood labeled a "shell game" conducted subsidiary corporations of AT&T Corp. by using abbreviated versions of corporate names.
Francis Gutierrez and Joseph Rydel contracted for cable television service by an entity which identified itself to them as "AT&T Broadband". Gutierrez and Rydel disputed charges that were placed on their bills. The cable service entity then turned the claims over to a third party collection agency, which attempted to collect on behalf of "AT&T Broadband".
Gutierrez and Rydel initially filed a complaint in Illinois state court against AT&T Broadband LLC.
AT&T Broadband LLC moved to dismiss the state court action on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not contract with it. Rather, it stated that the plaintiffs contracted with two companies named LaSalle Telecommunications, Inc. and Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc.
AT&T Broadband LLC asserted that AT&T Broadband (with no LLC attached) is not a legal entity. Rather, it is merely a brand name used, not by AT&T Broadband LLC, but by LaSalle Telecommunications, Inc. and Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc.
Moreover, LaSalle Telecommunications, Inc., Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc., and AT&T Broadband LLC share the same parent, AT&T Corp.
Also, while AT&T Broadband LLC asserted that AT&T Broadband is a brand name of Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc., Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc. did not register "AT&T Broadband" as a service mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and did not register "AT&T Broadband" as an assumed name with the state of Illiniois -- that is, until litigation was under way.
When AT&T Broadband LLC made these assertions, Gutierrez and Rydel filed a second complaint in U.S. District Court (NDIll) against AT&T Broadband LLC and Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc. alleging that this billing and collection scheme constituted violations of the FDCPA.
Relevant Sections of the FDCPA. Section 1692 contains the Congressional findings and declaration of purpose of the FDCPA. Section 1692a contains definitions, included that of "debt collector". Section 1692e prohibits false and misleading representations by debt collectors. Section 1692j prohibits furnishing certain deceptive forms.
§ 1692a(6) provides, in part, that "The term ``debt collector´´ means any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another."
§ 1692e provides, in part, that "A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section: ... (14) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization."
§ 1692j provides, in part, that "It is unlawful to design, compile, and furnish any form knowing that such form would be used to create the false belief in a consumer that a person other than the creditor of such consumer is participating in the collection of or in an attempt to collect a debt such consumer allegedly owes such creditor, when in fact such person is not so participating."
Complaint in U.S. District Court. Both plaintiffs alleged that AT&T Broadband LLC violated § 1692j for allegedly designing, compiling, and furnishing "any form knowing that such form would be used to create the false belief in a consumer that a person other than the creditor of such consumer is participating in the collection of ... a debt ..."
Rydel only also alleged that Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc. violated § 1692e, by using a "name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization".
The District Court granted summary judgment to the defendants, AT&T Broadband, LLC and Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc. Gutierrez and Rydel appealed.
Majority Opinion. The Court of Appeals affirmed in a split opinion. Judge Michael Kanne wrote the majority opinion, in which Judge Frank Easterbrook joined. Judge Diane Wood dissented, vociferously.
The majority first rejected the 1692j argument. The Court wrote that the purpose of this section it to prohibit a practice called "flat-rating", or the selling of letterhead by a collection agency to a purported creditor, in exchange for a fee, in order to give demand letters greater intimidation value. It found that the practice employed here is not the kind of deception that the statute was intended to prohibit.
In addition, the Court also found that AT&T Broadband LLC did not design, compile, and furnish the allegedly deceptive forms, as required for a violation of this section.
The majority then rejected Rydel's 1692e argument. It reasoned that for Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc. to be held liable under this section, it must be a "debt collector", but that it could not be a "debt collector" because § 1692a(6) defines "debt collector" as someone who collects debts owed to another. The Court concluded it is the creditor, not a debt collector working on behalf of the creditor.
The gist of the Court's analysis is that it does not matter if it used a name different from its own, even if it was not legally permitted to use such a name. What mattered is that Rydel could not have been deceived. That is, while Rydel might have seen paperwork that said "AT&T" on it, he never knew of the existence of Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc. until well into the litigation process. The Court wrote that the "bills could not have left Rydel, or any unsophisticated consumer, with the impression that a third party was involved in the debt collection process."
Dissent. Judge Dianne Wood was shocked. She wrote in her dissent that "in my opinion there are disputed issues of material fact that render summary judgment in favor of the defendants inappropriate at this time. This is true even taking the record as my colleagues do. Unlike them, however, I would find that the district court abused its discretion in refusing to permit the plaintiffs to conduct further discovery when AT&T pulled key affidavits out of its hat at the last minute. Indeed, throughout the pretrial proceedings, AT&T’s approach to the case was deplorable. It played a shell game with its various corporate affiliates, forcing the plaintiffs to guess which entity was doing what at each moment. To this day, I am not sure myself. This record contains no answers to important questions such as what type of entity Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc. (CCC) is; how is it related to the other AT&T corporate entities at issue here; and where did it derive its authority to use the AT&T name and logo, in combination with the word ``Broadband.´´ Moreover, AT&T’s conduct during discovery bordered on the sanctionable, and at the very least, should not have been allowed to stand uncorrected. I would remand this case for further proceedings."
With respect to the 1692e claim, she wrote that "My colleagues take a ``no harm, no foul´´ approach to the problem of the mis-named service provider, but the FDCPA does not." She also recited the harms to consumers. She added that had they known of the deception, "they may have chosen a different method for receiving television services. Satellite TV is one alternative option for consumers".
This case is Francis Gutierrez and Joseph Rydel v. AT&T Broadband LLC and Communications and Cable of Chicago, Inc., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, App. Ct. No. 03-3484, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, D.C. No. 01 C 7025, Judge Amy St. Eve presiding.
9th Circuit Reverses District Court Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit Against Oracle
9/1. The U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [18 pages in PDF] in Nursing Home Pension Fund v. Oracle, a class action securities fraud case involving the issue of scienter.
The Nursing Home Pension Fund and others filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Oracle, Larry Ellison, and others, alleging violation of §§ 10b-5 and 20a of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The District Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. It held that the plaintiffs failed to raise a strong inference of scienter, as required by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA).
The Appeals Court reversed and remanded. Following the 9th Circuit's approach in In re Silicon Graphics Sec. Litig., 183 F.3d 970 (1999). The Court concluded that "The PSLRA was designed to eliminate frivolous or sham actions, but not actions of substance. This is far from a cookie-cutter complaint. Together, the false representations, both as to current facts and future estimated profits and sales, as well as the improper revenue adjustment and unusual stock sales, provide a basis for the cause of action against Oracle and each of its three top executives."
This case is Nursing Home Pension Fund, Local 144, et al. v. Oracle Corporation, et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, App. Ct. No. 03-15883, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Martin Jenkins presiding, D.C. No. CV-01-00988-MJJ. Judge Warren Ferguson wrote the opinion of the Court, in which Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Richard Paez joined.
Oracle Loses Appeal in Contract Dispute
9/1. The U.S. Court of Appeals (6thCir) issued its opinion in American Trim v. Oracle, a contract dispute regarding the sale of business software. American Trim is a joint venture of Alcoa and Superior Metal Products, Inc., that makes and sells component parts to automobile and appliance manufacturers. It purchased software from Oracle to facilitate the processing of electronic orders.
American Trim filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (NDOhio) against Oracle (based upon diversity of citizenship) alleging breach of contract, breach of express and implied warranties, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent inducement. After a jury trial, American Trim was awarded $3,000,000 in compensatory damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages.
Oracle appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
This case is American Trim LLC v. Oracle Corporation, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, App. Ct. No. 02-4186, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, at Toledo, D.C. No. 99-07265, Judge James Carr presiding. Judge Julia Gibbons wrote the opinion of the Court, in which Judges David Lawson and Suhrheinrich joined.
FTC Stops Deceptive Claims by Security Software Maker
9/1. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an administrative complaint [6 pages in PDF] against Bonzi Software, Inc., it owners and officers, Joe Bonzi and Jay Bonzi, alleging violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act in connection with their deceptive marketing and sale of software named "InternetALERT". The FTC and the respondents also entered into an Agreement Containing Consent Decree [7 pages in PDF].
Section 5(a) of the FTCA is codified at 15 U.S.C. § 45. It provides, in relevant part, that "Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful."
The complaint states that "InternetALERT is software that monitors Internet traffic entering a consumer's computer and provides alerts when an attacker attempts to access the computer from the Internet without the consumer’s knowledge or permission", and that it is sold for $49 for a one year subscription.
It further alleges that "respondents have represented, expressly or by implication, that InternetALERT significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access into computers and the data stored in them."
The complaint describes what the software actually does. It "monitors and provides alerts to consumers on certain communications ports concerning attempts to gain unauthorized access into computers. Prior to October 2003, InternetALERT automatically monitored up to eleven communications ports. Since October 2003, it has automatically monitored up to twenty-one communications ports. Consumers also may be able to manually select additional ports for monitoring by InternetALERT."
The complaint adds that "If an automatically selected port or manually selected port is closed at the time that InternetALERT is installed, the software will open the closed port to monitor it and provide alerts" and "If an automatically selected port or manually selected port is open at the time that InternetALERT is installed, InternetALERT will not monitor it".
The complaint concludes, that "In truth and in fact, InternetALERT does not significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access into computers and the data stored in them. InternetALERT does not significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access into computers because it provides only limited protection against intrusion into computers ... Moreover, InternetALERT does not provide other security features that can significantly reduce the risk to data stored in computers, such as features that prevent personally identifiable information stored in a computer from being sent over the Internet without a consumer’s knowledge or consent, or that provide computer virus protection."
The respondents simultaneously settled the matter. They agreed not to make any further misrepresentations regarding the extent to which their products will reduce the risk of unauthorized access into computers, or protect privacy and personally identifiable information.
The agreement also requires the respondents to notify by e-mail consumers who purchased their software that they are entitled to refunds, and to make refunds to consumers who so request. See also, FTC release.
People and Appointments
9/1. Linda Blair was named acting Chief of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis (OSP), effective "at the end of September". She is now the Deputy Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau and Deputy Director of the FCC's Homeland Security Policy Council (HPSC). She will replace Jane Mago. See, FCC release. In addition, Mago was named SVP -- General Counsel of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Before heading the FCC's OSP, she oversaw the FCC's Office of General Counsel (OGC). She will replace Jack Goodman who will leave the NAB. The NAB, whose members are licensed and regulated by the FCC, stated in a release that "Mago will report directly to NAB's Executive Vice President of Legal & Regulatory Affairs Marsha MacBride". Marsha MacBride was previously Chief of Staff of the FCC, early in the Chairmanship of Michael Powell. Back on June 17, 2004, the FCC's International Bureau released a working paper [36 pages in PDF] titled "Traits of an Independent Communications Regulator: a Search for Indicators". It states that one indicator of regulatory independence "is whether there is a revolving door for the staff to move between the regulator and the industry. Greater independence is possible if staff serve their entire careers in the regulatory organization."
9/1. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) extended the deadlines for submitting comments in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) [15 pages in PDF] regarding "issues relating to the presentation of violent programming on television and its impact on children." The original deadlines for comments and reply comments were September 15 and October 15, 2004. The extended deadlines are October 15 and November 15. This NOI is FCC 04-175 in MB Docket No. 04-261. See, story titled "FCC Issues NOI on Violent TV Programming" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 950, August 2, 2004. See also, notice in the Federal Register, August 12, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 155, at Pages 49899 - 49904 setting original comment deadlines, and Order [PDF] extending the deadlines.
9/1. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) final rule amending its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by revising the fees charged to entities accessing the National Do Not Call Registry took effect. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 30, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 146, at Pages 45580 - 45586.
9/1. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register that describes and sets comment deadlines for its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding "Internet Protocol (IP) Relay and Video Relay Service (VRS), including the appropriate cost recovery methodology for VRS, possible mechanisms to determine which IP Relay and VRS calls are intrastate and which are interstate for purposes of reimbursement, whether IP Rely and VRS should become mandatory TRS services, whether IP Relay and VRS should be required to be offered 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and whether, when, and how we should apply the speed of answer rule to the provision of VRS." The FCC adopted this NPRM on June 10, 2004, and released it on June 30, 2004. It is FCC 04-134 in CG Docket No. 03-123. Comments are due by October 18, 2004. Reply comments are due by November 15, 2004. See, Federal Register, September 1, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 169, at Pages 53382 - 53385.
Go to News from August 26-31, 2004.