House Database Bill Protects Newspaper Online Classifieds

The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) praised the passage in the House of Representatives of legislation providing federal protection for newspapers against the unauthorized copying and commercial use of databases, such as print and online classified advertisements.

NAA also commended Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) for his leadership in crafting the Collections of Information Antipiracy Act (H.R. 2652) and successfully navigating it through the House.

The bill prohibits the misappropriation of databases for commercial purposes. Newspapers produce and own valuable databases, including their classified ads, which are of primary importance to the industry both as a service to the community and a key revenue source, the NAA said. More newspapers are putting their classifieds online, and the threat of wholesale misappropriation has increased, as other people take these ads and put them on their own sites without authorization.

“Classified advertisements are vitally important to the newspaper industry, and ensuring that adequate remedies are available to protect them is one of NAA’s top priorities. This bill provides newspapers with much-needed protection against piracy and misappropriation,” said John F. Sturm, NAA president and CEO. The bill still must clear the Senate.

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