Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Larry Kestenbaum at Polygon writes about a very disturbing development:

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved and sent to the House floor a bill which is claimed to "curb database copying".

The Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act of 2003 would make it possible for facts to be "owned". Disclose owned facts, and face a federal lawsuit from the "fact owner".

Previously, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1991 decision Feist v. Rural Telephone, had declared that facts are not copyrightable. This new legislation is an attempt to overturn the Feist decision.