Putting a stop to database piracy

Thursday, 25 September 2003, 10:55 AM EST

The latest battle in the war against database piracy took place on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, as the Coalition Against Database Piracy testified before a joint House Judiciary and Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on draft legislation to protect against database thievery.

The legislation, named the Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act, is a narrowly scripted version of similar legislation that has kicked around for some seven years. A past incarnation was dubbed the Database Protection Act.

At issue is the theft and misuse of data published online. One such case involved the online auction site eBay and Bidder's Edge, a shopping bot that collected information on what was being auctioned anywhere online, along with the prices auctioned items were fetching. Bidder's Edge would then publish the data in one central location. eBay filed suit in 1999 to stop Bidder's Edge from ransacking its auction listings, but the bot shop went out of business before an injunction could take effect.

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