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H.R. 2110 (114th): Consumer Review Freedom Act of 2015


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 29, 2015.


Consumer Review Freedom Act of 2015

Declares a provision of a form contract to be void from the inception if it: (1) prohibits or restricts a person who is a party to the contract from engaging in written, verbal, or pictorial reviews, or other similar performance assessments or analyses of, the products, services, or conduct of a business that is a party to the contract; (2) imposes penalties or fees against persons who engage in such communications; or (3) transfers or requires the individual to transfer any intellectual property rights in any such otherwise lawful communications about the person or the goods or services provided by the person or business. (Thus, bars certain contract provisions that prohibit consumers from commenting publicly about businesses.)

Sets forth exceptions under which a provision shall not be considered void under this Act if the provision prohibits disclosure of certain: (1) trade secrets or commercial or financial information, (2) personnel and medical files, or (3) law enforcement records.

Provides for this Act to be inapplicable to contracts establishing an employer-employee or independent contractor relationship.

Prohibits businesses from offering or entering into form contracts containing a provision that is considered void under this Act. Sets forth authority for the Department of Justice (DOJ) and state attorneys general to enforce such prohibition.

Requires DOJ to bring an action against any business that violates such prohibition for civil penalty of not more than $16,000 for each day that the business requires the use of such a form contract by a distinct person.