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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
9/30/1980--Introduced. Earth Data and Information Service Act of 1980 - Establishes the Earth Data and Information Service within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to collect, interpret, compile, and distribute data obtained by remote sensing satellites and other sources on the Earth's resources and environment. Directs the Service to: (1) provide rapid processing of, and ready access to, such data at a reasonable cost to both foreign and domestic users; (2) promote competition among suppliers of equipment and services to the Service; and (3) make available to all users remote sensing data and basic information products and services. Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to: (1) plan, initiate, construct, acquire, own, manage, and operate an Earth Data and Information System to provide a reliable source of useful data and basic information products to users; (2) include in such system remote satellites, ground facilities and other necessary equipment; (3) establish communication networks to transmit such data and products to users on a timely basis. Requires the Secretary to consult with the Federal Communications Commission in establishing such networks. Stipulates that the communication services needed for such networks, insofar as practicable, shall be procured from the private sector. Permits the Secretary to: (1) recommend continued research and development by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on remote sensing components and systems for both space and ground operations of the System; (2) arrange for the participation of specified personnel in operating and planning the System; and (3) widely disseminate the data and basic information products to the users. Permits the Secretary, under the President's supervision, to participate in a program of international activities related to the functions of the Service. Directs the Secretary to establish a schedule of user charges for products and services provided under this Act. Sets forth penalties for unlawful reproduction for sale or distribution of any data or basic information products produced by the Service. Specifies procedures by which the President may transfer to the Service related functions of any other Federal department or agency. Requires the Secretary to present to the President, who shall transmit to Congress in January of each year, a report containing a description of the activities and accomplishments of the Service during the preceding year. Authorizes appropriations to carry out the purposes of this Act.