Sunday, January 29, 2006
This is an important new area of practice that many of our members can contribute to both in ABA as well as in their 'day jobs.' Note the parallel efforts by our Joint Working Group on Transferability of Electronic Financial Assets, which is on the verge of publishing its white paper (created jointly with the Open Group) on the questions of 'control' in electronic chattel paper (see UCC 9-105). It's an example of the promise of eCommerce that we spoke of so glowingly a few years ago and then began to wonder if it was really going to happen. Well, it is.
The use of electronic documents to originate mortgages is increasing. The shift from paper documents with wet ink signatures to electronic documents brings the promise of improved efficiency and higher data quality to the home buying process. Freddie Mac continues to be a notable contributor to this evolution through our participation in industry standards groups.
Since the publication of our Preliminary Specifications for Electronic Mortgage Loan Documentation in 2001, the industry and our planned electronic mortgage (eMortgage) process have transformed. Our current specifications, which we have captured in our eMortgage Handbook, provide greater detail about our requirements for electronic documents in the mortgage loan file, and the care and storage of these documents throughout the life of a loan. The eMortgage Handbook is intended to provide directional guidance to industry participants as they make decisions regarding the use and implementation of electronic documents.
Mike notes: "In accessing the Handbook, we only request that members remember that it is copyrighted and that copying or re-printing it in whole or part for distribution outside the Cyberspace Committee will require Freddie Mac's written consent. Certainly, quoting or excerpting with citation or downloading a personal copy is permitted."
In nearly every photo, members of the Committee are prominently displaying Coke products. I think we should contact Coca-Cola and ask for some of their ad buy. What do you guys think?
[I'm trying to generate some comments, eh!]
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Prof. Jane Winn presented Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, who informed many of us who are interested in the development of the Universal Business Language -- An implementation of XML designed to form a common set of business contracting documents.
For a quick bit of fun, check out the international form of their data dictionary, with over 600 standard business terms translated over 6 different languages. (Jon left it to the lawyers and others to try and figure out what happens if people disagree on the translations!)
Friday, January 27, 2006
I just wanted to point out to everyone that for the second year (not in a row), it's warmer in Minneapolis than it is in the city chosen for the Winter Working Meeting.
The snow has nearly completed melted, the sun was shining, and it was very much not like Minnesota.
Granted, it's forecasted to be warmer in Wilmington tomorrow than it is in Minnesota, but at least for one day it was nicer here.
Two of our members (at least!) attended the recent WSIS meeting in Tunisia, and we heard some of their reporting on the event. The bulk of the discussion centered on what the Tunis meeting left us to figure out, which is the agreed upon international forum.
UPDATE: As noted in the comments, John Gregory has posted his own summary of the discussion on the Internet Jurisdiction and Global e-Commerce Subcommittee's Web site. Check it out.
The Working Group on Electronic Contracting Practices has become the focus point for the continuing development of the Model Web Site -- Cyberspace's very successful publication meant for practitioners assisting clients who are setting up eCommerce operations within a corporate environment. (Buy it here!) Here, Jason Epstein, who co-chairs the Working Group with Kathy Porter, listens to the lively conversation.
A PDF version of the bill is here.
10:30 - 11:00 Agenda review - any other new hot issues.
11:00-11:30 Cyber currencies
11:30 - 12:30 FDIC Proposed Ruling on Stored value cards and FDIC insurance - issued August 2005
12:30 - 2:00 - LUNCH (half - hour longer than the prescribed lunch period - so people can make calls, etc.)
2:00 - 4:00 - FDIC + Fed Reserve - Reg E Interim Final Rule - Payroll Cards
4:00- 4:40 - Stored Value - AML Risks
4:40 - 5:00 - Wrap up for the day
Starting half-hour late - 8:30 - 9:30 - Stored Value - Gift Cards - FTC call for an investigation; Simon Mall Litigation
9:30 - 11::00 - Stored value cards in the news - Disaster Relief - (extra time to discuss possible program/article/etc)
11:00 - 11:30 "Sponsored ATMs" and state regulations
11:30 - 12:00 - Wrap up and next steps
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Plenary Session
Committee Chair Candace Jones has opened the meeting with our "newbie" session -- A presentation for those who have not been to WWM or Cyberspace in the past. We are pleased to see a large group of first timers to join the many old souls, and it's always great to see the fresh minds to join us.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
UBL, the Universal Business Language, is the product of an international effort to define a royalty-free library of standard electronic XML business documents such as purchase orders and invoices. Developed in an open and accountable OASIS Technical Committee with participation from a variety of industry data standards organizations, UBL is designed to plug directly into existing business, legal, auditing, and records management practices, eliminating the re-keying of data in existing fax- and paper-based supply chains and providing an entry point into electronic commerce for small and medium-sized businesses.
Jane and Jon have provided materials for your review prior to the presentation. Pick them up here and here.
This looks to be interesting, and quite appropriate for our group given how the founders of this very committee were deeply involved with the early efforts to put a legal framework around EDI.
Join us at 8 AM Saturday in the Atrium for this presentation.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
If you’ve been reading here lately, you know that I’m no fan of the Sensenbrenner/Conyers analog hole bill. The bill would require almost all analog video devices to implement two technologies called CGMS-A and VEIL. CGMS-A is reasonably well known, but the VEIL content protection technology is relatively new. I wanted to learn more about it.
So I emailed the company that sells VEIL and asked for a copy of the specification. I figured I would be able to get it. After all, the bill would make compliance with the VEIL spec mandatory — the spec would in effect be part of the law. Surely, I thought, they’re not proposing passing a secret law. Surely they’re not going to say that the citizenry isn’t allowed to know what’s in the law that Congress is considering. We’re talking about television here, not national security.
After some discussion, the company helpfully explained that I could get the spec, if I first signed their license agreement. The agreement requires me (a) to pay them $10,000, and (b) to promise not to talk to anybody about what is in the spec. In other words, I can know the contents of the bill Congress is debating, but only if I pay $10k to a private party, and only if I promise not to tell anybody what is in the bill or engage in public debate about it.
Worse yet, this license covers only half of the technology: the VEIL decoder, which detects VEIL signals. There is no way you or I can find out about the encoder technology that puts VEIL signals into video.
PLEASE, someone ask the Senator how Congress can pass a bill that enshrines a secret technology into the law and forces everyone to use it and to pay for the privilege? Regardless of how you feel about DRM technology and the current fight regarding the proper limits of IP protections, this question deserves to be asked.
If you want to review the bill, here's the link.
Everyone (whether formally affiliated with the working group or not!) is urged to consider the following:
1.) Make comments on www.Safeshopping.org , which we will consider at the winter working meeting. Comments are especially welcome from those who cannot come to the meeting—whether made before, during or afterwords. Send them to me along with your views of whether we should take up such a project at email@example.com or come to the meeting and we can discuss them there!
2. Another topic on which we need broad input is whether to work up an ABA website on Identity Theft. We touch on the subject briefly in Safeshopping and have a link to the excellent FTC site and to the site for getting credit reports, www.annualcreditreport.com. There are a number of good websites, so the question is whether we should work up our own to add to the ABA series that is developing (including a site-in-progress on Safeselling). Please send me links to or information about any sites you have found particularly helpful. Among the major ones I have found are:
“OnGuardOnline.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.” http://onguardonline.gov/idtheft.html
FTC’s ID Theft Website. http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/
A fairly new site funded and hosted by Microsoft which has this description:
“staysafe.org is an educational site intended to help consumers understand both the positive aspects of the Internet as well as how to manage a variety of safety and security issues that exist online. The guidance given on this site is focused on helping consumers understand those issues and how to take steps to prevent or repair their effects. That guidance may include both behavioral and product and technical solutions. Although this site is non-commercial, various products will be discussed in order to provide consumers with good decision making guidance. The content presented on this site may originate from corporations and non-profit, media and governmental organizations that focus entirely or in part on Internet safety education, consumer protection and consumer products. This site is funded and hosted by Microsoft Corporation and honoraria are paid for some content simply to enable its availability. If you have any questions please contact us.” http://staysafe.org/
There are also materials on such sites as Citibank, Visa and Equifax. There is also http://www.identitytheftassistance.org/home/index.cfm a site which is described as “a cooperative initiative of the financial services industry that provides a free victim assistance serevice for customers of member companies.”
I look forward to hearing from many of you and to the Wilmington meeting!
clif @ email.unc.edu
Also, for those who are using conference phones for your individual meetings, we will distribute individual conference room direct-dial numbers on Friday morning.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Three members of the Minnesota contingent--Matthias, Kate, and Michael--all happened to find themselves in the same suite at the Minnesota Wild hockey game on Tuesday night. Since none of us will be able to make it to the WWM, we thought we'd take a quick phone cam picture and tell you all to have a good time. The Wild won the game by the way.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Vince, are you silently rejoicing?
I knew some of my favorite Windows software (Google's Picasa for example) wouldn't be available, but I didn't realize that Safari was missing a few features as well. I was forced to download Firefox for the Mac because Safari doesn't allow Rich Text Editing when posting to the blog. Small details, but the Apple Switch hasn't been as fun as I'd hoped it would be.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
Thanks to the great efforts of our hosts at WWM, we will have a VIP speaker at our Friday evening cocktail reception. U.S. Senator Tom Carper (Del.-D) will attend our reception, and will be prepared to make brief remarks about Cyberspace-related issues pending before the U.S. Senate. Tom Carper served five terms as Delaware's sole representative in Congress, and later served two terms as governor of the State of Delaware, during which he served also as chairman of the National Governors' Association. Senator Carper currently serves on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the Environment & Public Works Committee and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, as well as the Special Committee on Aging. He is currently the ranking Democrat on both the Clean Air Subcommittee and Federal Financial Management Subcommittee. In 2004, Senator Carper was named Deputy Whip - the first time since 1881 that a U.S. senator from Delaware has served in a leadership position. Most recently, Senator Carper was named vice-chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, a leading centrist organization formed in the 1980s to promote "New Democrat" messages of national security, economic growth and personal responsibility.
WWM attendees are all strongly urged to join us for the 5 PM Friday reception at the Potter Anderson offices and welcome the Senator to our meeting.
- The closest airport is Philadelphia International. Baltimore's airport is a couple of hours away by car.
- To get from PHL to Wilmington:
- Taxis are available, at a price of course. Taxi services can be picked up at Zone 5 on the Commercial Transportation Roadway at the airport. (The ride is about 20-30 minutes).
- Rental cars are available at PHL.
- Shared rides and airport limos are popular choices. Sedan and Limousine services can be picked up at Zone 6 and Shared ride van services can be picked up at Zone 7 on the Commercial Transportation Roadway. For information regarding transportation go to the Ground Transportation Information desk which is located in each baggage claim area. You should have your luggage prior to making your reservations. The Potter Anderson firm recommends the following services, and also advises reserving in advance:
Eagle Transportation Services
Dave's Limousine Services
- If you are driving from PHL, here are the directions:
- To the Hotel du Pont:
- Take I-95 South through Chester to Wilmington.
Follow I-95 South to Exit 7A marked "52 South, Delaware Avenue."
Follow 11th Street in the middle lane through six traffic lights. Hotel du Pont is on the right. Valet parking is available at Hotel entrance. For self-parking, turn left on Orange Street; Car Park is on left.
- To the Potter Anderson offices:
- Take I-95 South to Wilmington, take the first Delaware Avenue exit. Turn left onto Delaware Avenue, then tbar left onto W. 11th Street. Turn left onto N. Market Street. Hercules Plaza (Potter Anderson's building) is at the corner of 13th and Market Streets.
- Amtrak serves Wilmington for those on the Eastern seaboard.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Breakfasts and lunches will be provided on the lower level outside the Atrium, and the snacks will be provided in the Potter Anderson reception area on the 6th floor. The snacks and drinks for the breaks will be set up at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm on Friday and at 10:00 am on Saturday. The conference rooms will have bottled water. Coffee, tea and sodas will be available at the meals and with the snacks during the breaks.
The Friday evening cocktail reception will be in the Potter Anderson reception area on the 6th floor at 5:00 pm.