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Chamber Raises Concern over Database Legislation

Monday, September 22, 2003 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce expressed serious concern that draft database legislation would provide copyright protection for information widely used by academics, the business community and the general public.

"There is grave concern that this draft legislation will provide undue protection of general facts and figures," said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue. "This bill threatens the academic and science communities and opens the door for another wave of litigation against American businesses."

In testimony before a joint hearing between House Judiciary and Commerce subcommittees on the "Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act," Donohue indicated that copyrighted information is already protected under existing law. Another law would be redundant and hinder the free flow of information, according to the Chamber's testimony.

"Proponents of new regulations for information have yet to provide any real-world examples or short comings under current law," continued Donohue. "The changes that have been proposed would combine vague terms and excessive penalties to create a frivolous litigation nightmare for businesses in all industries."

The Chamber suggested it would be willing to support legislation that dealt with specific, demonstrated gaps in existing law.

The Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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