Monday, August 08, 2005

Cyberspace Plenary Session and Hot Topics

The Committee's Meeting in full was held at 8 AM Saturday. Not surprisingly, this committee attended en masse notwithstanding the early hour (and, in some cases, whatever any of us were doing in Chicago on a Friday night...).

Vince Polley [picture] spoke for a few moments, discussing some Section news. He noted that this Annual is very well attended -- approximately 2200 Business Law members are here -- and that the Section is putting on 22 programs, which is far and away the most prolific of the ABA's sections. Of those 22, Cyberspace is putting on (directly or as a co-sponsor) six. On the publishing side, the Committee has produced 3 new book titles over the past year. In other words, we continue to be amongst the most productive committees in the most productive section.

Vince rattled off the upcoming meetings through the section, including Tampa in April 2006, and Honolulu in August 2006. Vince noted that the Hawaii meeting will have a modified format, including early start and stop times during the days and a smaller set of programs.

Vince handed the podium to Candace Jones, [picture] who will chair the committee going forward. Candace spoke briefly about the coming plans for 2005-2006. The Winter Working Meeting for January 2006 will be held in Wilmington, Delaware. Wilmington is a short ride from the Philadelphia airport, and can be reasonably reached from Baltimore as well. Also, Wilmington is on the Amtrak Acela train, so those in Boston, New York and D.C. (and points in between) have easy access.

Candace noted a few leadership and sub-group changes. Michael Fleming [picture] will be Vice Chairing the Committee, Juliet Moringiello will be Chair of the Publications Subcommittee, and Mattias Hallendorf will be the Co-Chair of the Transferability of Electronic Financial Assets Working Group (a joint project with the UCC Committee).

The Working Group on Spam will be re-purposed to a degree and renamed as the Working Group on Malware. Elizabeth Bowles [picture] will continue to chair the WG. It will expand its portfolio beyond spam and into the wider concept of 'malware' -- put in quotes because task one is probably how to define it.

A new Subcommittee on Privacy, Security & Data Management will be co-chaired by Peter McLaughlin and Michael Power.

After the short remarks, Candace handed off the meeting to our five (!!!) hot topics speakers, who each had to compress their remarkably dense topics into about 15-20 minutes each.

Rhea Fredericks gave a short synopsis of the recent decisions in the Zubulake and similar matters concerning electronic discovery, and particularly corporate obligations to retain and preserve evidence.

Michael Geist spoke on his views of the WGIG report on Internet governance, which included a short history of the governance of the Internet that led up to today's concerns.

John Ottaviani reviewed the Grokster decision and had some thoughts on where we go from here in the P2P world.

Elizabeth Bowles presented some early thoughts on the malware concept, including the ideas around how we can start to define the idea.

Steven Middlebrook spoke on his own personal views of the current controversies on patenting within the financial industry.