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HyperLaw Posting to CNI-COPYRIGHT forum re Coalition Against Database Piracy, October 30, 1997

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Message to CNI-Copyright Forum from Alan D. Sugarman, October 30, 1997
WHO IS Coaltion ?Against Database Piracy.

I am seeking further information about a coalition formed to support
database protection legislation.

At the October 23, 1997 hearing re Rep.  Coble's database protection
bill, a group called the Coalition Against Database Piracy (CADP) was
circulating material in and outside the hearing room and appeared to be
the primary front for the bills real proponents, Thomson and Reed
Elsevier, whose lobbyists and counsel were also in the room

For example, one flyer shows a cow with the caption "Old MacDonald had a
Farm and on his farm he had a computer".  Below, a bold print caption
states' America's Databases Make a Difference.  Protect America's
Leadership.  Protect America's Databases." The flyer also announced a
demonstration: "See Databases at Work - Wednesday, October 22 12:00-2:00
PM in the Rayburn Building, Room 2105." So, apparently this industry
group had its own show in the capital.  That must take swag. 

Of the three people who testified at the hearing, one was Warren
Publishing Co.  on behalf of CADP [the speaker described their
litigation WARREN PUBLISHING, INC.  v.  MICRODOS DATA CORP.  (actually,
based upon my reading of the 11th Circuit en banc case, it seems that
the case was misdescribed.  Read the Warren's testimony at
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/4.htm and compare to the case at
http://www.law.emory.edu/11circuit/june97/93-8474.op.html )]. 

The first evidence of CADP we have was in 2/12/97 when Michael Clipper
and Christopher Meyer registered as lobbyists for the organization.  On
3/17/97, they issued a press release, describing Meyer and Klipper as
counsel and announcing the new coalition.  An article describing the
release in EIPN states that the members include "the American Medical
Association, the Information Industries Association, the McGraw-Hill
Companies, Skinder-Strauss Associates, the Thomson Corp.  [i.e., West],
and Warren Publishing Co." In my view, the companies that carry the day
on this issue at the IIA are Thomson, Reed Elsevier, and McGraw Hill. 

It was surprising to see the AMA on this list, for, apparently, in the
WIPO fight, the AMA had written a letter in support of the db treaty,
but, apparently this was done without the support of the main office of
the AMA and I had though t the letter was withdrawn.  One question I
have is whether the AMA is still part of this. 

The other information I have gleaned is that Meyer was a former senior
copyright counsel at the PTO and Lipper was the former chief lobbyist
that the Association of American Publishers and a former Senate
Judiciary Committee staffer -- so maybe this explains how they got the
capital for their industry trade show display. 

Of course, sitting in the power position in the back corner opposite the
door at the hearing on Oct.  23 was former Minnesota Congressman and
West lobbyist Gerry Sikorski, who is listed on the IIA Web Site as being
head of the IIA Information Infrastructure Policy.  Sikorski a Democrat
had teemed up with another ex Minnesota and influential Republican
congressman in 1995 in the aborted midnight amendment to the Paper Work
Reduction Act fiasco.  See http://www.hyperlaw.com/hill3.htm. 

Head of the IIA Government Information Policy is Eric Massant, of
Lexis-Nexis, who recently on this list sent out a notice about the
Thomson/Reed Elsevier sponsored Tyson study, which study is also
featured prominently on the IIA Web site. 

See http://www.infoindustry.org/ppgrc/ppgrc.htm

Given the line up of CADP, it seems to be very much a creation of
Thomson and the IIA and the IIA is driven by Thomson and Reed Elsevier
on this issue. 

I would appreciate any information that anyone has on CADP and the
present members and who is really driving this.  I recall some other
press releases and articles but cannot find them at the moment. 

I would also appreciate any information on related political
contributions to the House Judiciary Committee. 


Note also that the second person testifying for the database bill was
Laura Tyson who prepared a report commissioned by Thomson and Reed
Elsevier on this topic, as she acknowledged in her testimony. 

The other person who testified for the bill was DR.  ROBERT LEDLEY,
apparently placed there to rebut the opposition by the National Research
Council, the National Academy of Engineering and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science.  His testimony was weak --
does anyone know how he ended up at testifying for this bill.  He took
the position that "In these cases, it is clearly the intent and interest
of the government to assure protection of these databases by the
organization being supported.  Therefore, I think the bill should make
clear that protection of governmentally funded collections developed by
private parties is permitted, subject to the specific terms of any
particular contract or grant." This was pretty extreme, and, I wonder if
he has a contract to produce such databases for the goverment and is
seeking protection for the datbases. 

Oh yea, wonder why Congressman Coble was so irate and took "umbrage"
when I said his bill was special purposed legislation for Thomson and
Reed Elsevier. 


:: Alan D. Sugarman       Federal Appeals on Disc tm CD-ROM  ::
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