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west/thomson merger

  At today's hearing on the Thomson/DOJ consent order, Judge Friedman
  complained so much about the provision that required people who license
  the page numbers to agree not to challenge the copyright in court, that
  Thomson agreed to eliminate this requirement from the consent order. 
  The hearing didn't address many of concerns raised in the public comments
  in any detail.  Only Thomson, Lexis, DOJ and the State of California
  (representing the other states) spoke. Lexis was focused mostly on its
  complaints about the Autocite divestiture (not a true divestiture), and
  failure to divest the ARL's. 
  The judge asked some questions about the West assertions of copyright on
  the text of opinions, but did not receive a responsive answer from DOJ,
  and no comment at all from Thomson on this issue.  Lexis, which has a text
  license, did not raise this issue. 
  Lexis was apparently denied discovery in the proceeding.  The Judge did
  not acknowledge our request to reconsider not allowing us to be an amicus. 
  Hyperlaw, which only received the government's filings on Thursday, had
  asked that they be allowed to file their brief after the government
  complied with the requirements for public notice under the Tunney Act. 
  James Love / love@tap.org / P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
  Voice: 202/387-8030; Fax 202/234-5176
  Center for Study of Responsive Law
     Consumer Project on Technology; http://www.essential.org/cpt
     Taxpayer Assets Project; http://www.tap.org