That’s what some people think. Congress is currently considering the Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act, which would make it a crime for for anyone to copy and redistribute a substantial portion of data collected by commercial database companies and list publishers. As you might expect, Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw are supporters of the bill. In an article over at, opponents of the law say it could impact Internet research by preventing news and information sites from displaying previously free materials.