Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are circulating a proposed bill that would prevent wholesale copying of school guides, news archives and other databases that do not enjoy copyright protection. The proposed bill would provide a legal umbrella for publishers of factual information such as courtroom decisions and professional directories. The measures would be similar to the copyright laws that protect music, novels and other creative works. The bill has not yet been introduced, but the Judiciary Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a joint hearing on the bill in the coming weeks, a Commerce Committee spokesman said. Backers of the measure say it would allow database providers to protect themselves against those who simply cut and paste databases to resell them or to make them available for free online. Violators could be shut down and forced to pay triple the damages incurred. Full Story
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