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Summary (5)

There are 5 summaries for H.R.5111. View summaries

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-258 (12/14/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on September 9, 2016. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

(Sec. 2) This bill makes a provision of a form contract void from the inception if it: (1) prohibits or restricts an individual who is a party to such a contract from engaging in written, oral, or pictorial reviews, or other similar performance assessments or analyses of, including by electronic means, the goods, services, or conduct of a person that is also a party to the contract; (2) imposes penalties or fees against individuals who engage in such communications; or (3) transfers or requires the individual to transfer intellectual property rights in review or feedback content (with the exception of a nonexclusive license to use the content) in any otherwise lawful communications about such person or the goods or services provided by such person.

A "form contract" is a contract with standardized terms: (1) used by a person in the course of selling or leasing the person's goods or services, and (2) imposed on an individual without a meaningful opportunity to negotiate the standardized terms. The definition excludes an employer-employee or independent contractor contract.

The standards under which provisions of a form contract are considered void under this bill shall not be construed to affect:

  • legal duties of confidentiality;
  • civil actions for defamation, libel, or slander; or
  • a party's right to establish terms and conditions for the creation of photographs or video of such party's property when those photographs or video are created by an employee or independent contractor of a commercial entity and are solely intended to be used for commercial purposes by that entity.

Such standards also shall not be construed to affect any party's right to remove or refuse to display publicly on an Internet website or webpage owned, operated, or controlled by such party content that: (1) contains the personal information or likeness of another person or is libelous, harassing, abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, inappropriate with respect to race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or other intrinsic characteristic; (2) is unrelated to the goods or services offered by or available at such party's website; or (3) is clearly false or misleading.

A provision shall not be considered void under this bill to the extent that it prohibits disclosure or submission of, or reserves the right of a person or business that hosts online consumer reviews or comments to remove, certain: (1) trade secrets or commercial or financial information; (2) personnel and medical files; (3) law enforcement records; (4) content that is unlawful or that a party has a right to remove or refuse to display; or (5) computer viruses or other potentially damaging computer code, processes, applications, or files.

A person is prohibited from offering form contracts containing a provision that is considered void under this bill.

Enforcement authority is provided to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and states.

The FTC must provide businesses with nonbinding best practices for compliance.

Nothing in this bill shall be construed to limit, impair, or supersede the Federal Trade Commission Act or any other federal law.


Actions Overview (7)

Date
12/14/2016 Became Public Law No: 114-258. (TXT | PDF)
12/14/2016 Signed by President.
12/02/2016 Presented to President.
11/28/2016 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
09/12/2016 Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
09/09/2016 Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rept. 114-731.
04/28/2016 Introduced in House

All Actions (22)

Date Chamber
12/14/2016 Became Public Law No: 114-258. (TXT | PDF)
12/14/2016 Signed by President.
12/02/2016 House Presented to President.
11/29/2016 Senate Message on Senate action sent to the House.
11/28/2016 Senate Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent. (consideration: CR S6520)
09/13/2016 Senate Received in the Senate, read twice.
09/12/2016-5:27pm House Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
09/12/2016-5:27pm House On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. (text: CR H5295-5296)
09/12/2016-5:13pm House DEBATE - The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 5111.
09/12/2016-5:13pm House Considered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H5295-5298)
09/12/2016-5:13pm House Mr. Burgess moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.
09/09/2016 House Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 567.
09/09/2016 House Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rept. 114-731.
Action By: House Energy and Commerce
07/13/2016 House Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by Voice Vote.
Action By: House Energy and Commerce
07/13/2016 House Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held. Markup report CQ
Action By: House Energy and Commerce
07/12/2016 House Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held. Markup report CQ
Action By: House Energy and Commerce
06/09/2016 House Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote .
Action By: House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
06/09/2016 House Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held. Markup report CQ
Action By: House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
06/08/2016 House Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held. Markup report CQ
Action By: House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
04/29/2016 House Referred to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.
Action By: House Energy and Commerce
04/28/2016 House Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
04/28/2016 House Introduced in House

Titles (6)

Short Titles:

Short Titles as Enacted:

Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

Short Titles - House of Representatives

Short Titles as Passed House:

Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

Short Titles as Reported to House:

Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

Short Titles as Introduced:

Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

Short Titles - Senate

Short Titles as Passed Senate:

Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

Official Titles:

Official Titles - House of Representatives

Official Title as Introduced:

To prohibit the use of certain clauses in form contracts that restrict the ability of a consumer to communicate regarding the goods or services offered in interstate commerce that were the subject of the contract, and for other purposes.


Subjects (9)

  • Business education
  • Civil actions and liability
  • Consumer affairs
  • Contracts and agency
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Government information and archives
  • Intellectual property
  • Self-employed

Cosponsors (9)


Committees (1)

Committees, subcommittees and links to reports associated with this bill are listed here, as well as the nature and date of committee activity and Congressional report number.

Committee / Subcommittee Date Activity Reports
House Energy and Commerce04/28/2016 Referred to
07/13/2016 Markup by
09/09/2016 Reported by H. Rept. 114-731
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade04/29/2016 Referred to
06/09/2016 Markup by
06/09/2016 Reported by

Related Bills (1)

A related bill may be a companion measure, an identical bill, a procedurally-related measure, or one with text similarities. Bill relationships are identified by the House, the Senate, or CRS, and refer only to same-congress measures.