Bills offer database copyright protection

Computer World –

Database protection has become a hot issue in the U.S. House of Representatives, with two competing bills vying for support. Last week, the House Commerce subcommittee held a hearing on the second database bill, introduced by Chairman Thomas Bliley (R- Va.). The Bliley measure is seen as less restrictive than similar legislation filed by U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.).

Lynn Henderson, president of Doane Agricultural Services in St. Louis, a database publisher who has testified about both bills, criticized the Bliley bill as offering "not much protection." Under it, someone can copy a database and republish it provided they make some changes to it, he said.

But Matthew Rightmire, director of business development at Yahoo Inc., said the bill protects Yahoo's ability to serve as a "card catalogue for facts."

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