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Constitutional Concerns Raised by the Collections of Information Antipiracy Act


The proposed Collections of Information Antipiracy Act raises difficult and novel constitutional questions concerning Congress’s power to restrict the dissemination of information. Congress may not, pursuant to the Intellectual Property Clause of the Constitution, create “sweat of the brow” protection for compiled facts, at least insofar as such protection would extend to what the Supreme Court has termed the nonoriginal portion of such a compilation. Either or both the Intellectual Property Clause and the First Amendment may impose limitations on the exercise of congressional power under the Commerce Clause that would raise serious constitutional concerns regarding the constitutionality of the bill.

Updated July 9, 2014