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Posted Sep 24, 2003

Congress questions database protection proposal

By Staff

[From Network World Fusion]

Draft legislation that would strengthen some copyright-like protections on the contents of commercial databases Tuesday met with skepticism from members of two U.S. House subcommittees, despite proponents saying creators of databases need more protection against competitors pilfering the information after all the hard work has been done.

The Database and Collections of Information Misappropriations Act, yet to be introduced in the House, would allow owners of commercial databases to sue anyone who sells portions of their databases, if those databases contain time-sensitive material and the owner incurred a "substantial" cost when generating or maintaining the material. But opponents of the draft bill, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Association of American Universities, questioned the need for a new law, with some saying existing copyright and other laws already protect most databases.

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