(no subject)

Subject: (no subject)
From: Brian Negin (negin@cbs.gov.il)
Date: ke 29 lokaаа 1997 - 07:47:49 EET

Mikael Book wrote:

> Michael S. Hart (founder of the Gutenberg-project, which produces
> electronic texts of fine literature and disseminates them over the
> internet) has sent information about two bills, which have recently been
> introduced in the American Congress.
> The first (hr 2589) is a revision to the copyright law that would extend
> all copyrights now in force for an additional 20 years. See
> http://www.public.asu.edu/~dkarjala/ for rich documentation.
> The second bill (hr 2652) concerns databases. This would remove material
> already belonging to the public domain from the public domain. See
> http://www.essential.org/listproc/upd-discuss/msg00599.html
> What are the (international?) consequences if these bills are passed? What
> are the chances that the American Congress will approve them? How can we
> contribute to the resistance against them? Hope to hear more about all
> this from ecup-list members.

H.R. 2652 (can be found at <http://thomas.loc.gov> use search function to look
up bill) is a renewed attempt to give commercial database producers statutory
protection that was limited after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Feist
(1991). The new bill proposes a misappropiation approach to the protection
"collections of information" (the word database does not appear), without
establishing a new property right in databases. The bill was introduced on
October 9, 1997.

The bill is the response to the tremedous criticism aimed at the suis generis
property regime in databases proposed previously in the US, proposed and
removed from the agenda at the WIPO meetings last December, but adopted by
the European Union and to be implemented in Europe by 1.1.98.

To understand fully the thrust of HR 2652, have a look at the documentation
given to the House Judiciary Committee by those who testified before it on
Oct. 23 at <http://www.house.gov/judiciary/>


Brian Negin, Legal Advisor
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
Tel: 972-2-6553200 Fax: 972-2-6553543

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