Two plans moving through the Illinois General Assembly would fight so-called patent and copyright "trolls." These are companies that falsely accuse people of using a protected idea without permission. The trolls often target small businesses who don't have the resources to fight back in court. More often than not, the business will end up paying the troll to go away. Mark Denzler, with the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, says it's fairly easy to allege copyright infringement:
"You could have someone send you a letter, send the radio station a letter saying, 'Hey, we're alleging a violation of copyright law. You pay us $5,000 and you can use it. They may not even have the copyright on it. They just may be a troll that's trying to get money paid for it."
Both anti-troll bills could still be approved before lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn for the summer tomorrow.
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