New legislation pending in Congress could have a significant impact on students, educators, and other internet users who reproduce factual information taken from subscription-based databases such as LexisNexis, a popular online archive used in schools.

Known as the Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act (H.R. 3261), the bill would make it a crime for anyone to copy or redistribute large portions of factual databases, such as those containing online legal records, stock quotes, school data, or sports scores, among other widely circulated nuggets of information.

Although the...

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