By Sheri Pan – Edited by Cristina Carapezza
S. 2044 – The Consumer Review Freedom Act
The text of the bill is available here.
S.2044 on Govtrack.us.
On September 16, 2015, the Senate introduced the Consumer Review Freedom Act (CRFA) of 2015. The bill was originally introduced by Senator John Thune (R-SD). On Wednesday, November 4, 2015, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing to discuss the bill.
CRFA voids any form contract provision that prohibits or penalizes individuals for creating reviews, or transfers the intellectual property rights of reviews to the vendor. It covers written, verbal, or pictorial reviews, performance assessments, and analyses of products, services, or conduct. The bill protects against only standardized contracts that the individual did not have a meaningful opportunity to negotiate. The Federal Trade Commission and state attorney generals can bring civil actions to enforce the bill. CRFA does not provide for private individuals to bring causes of action.
The bill provides several exceptions. It allows terms that restrict disclosure of trade secrets, privileged information, confidential information, or personnel, medical, and law enforcement records that implicate personal privacy. It also does not affect duties of confidentiality or defamation, libel, or slander lawsuits. (more…)