View Full Version : AP Defeats Online Aggregator That Rewrote Its News

07-14-2009, 01:42 PM

The Associated Press has defeated a news aggregation site it sued under a 91-year-old legal theory that does not rest on copyright ownership.

In a settlement announced Monday, the world’s oldest and largest newsgathering operation forced All Headline News to discontinue its practice of rewriting AP stories and posting them to the AHN site with a new byline and no credit. The site, which sells news to the media, dubs itself as “The Missing Piece to Your News and Content Puzzle.”

The AP’s suit (.pdf) against All Headline News of Florida rested in part on the so-called “hot news” doctrine. A federal judge in the New York lawsuit had ruled in February that AP properly asserted the doctrine, first recognized by the Supreme Court in 1918. While facts can not be copyrighted, under the hot news doctrine news outlets can sue a rival for re-reporting “time sensitive, ‘hot news.’”

The parties announced the settlement Monday afternoon, in which All Headline News also agreed to pay an undisclosed monetary award to the New York-based wire service.

Before the settlement, All Headline News wrote (.pdf) in court briefs that the “hot news” doctrine was pre-empted by the 1976 Copyright Act. All Headline News wrote in a court brief that the lawsuit represented “an attempt by plaintiff Associated Press to accomplish through alternative legal theories what AP is prohibited from accomplishing under the Copyright Act: Preventing another news service from reporting facts about the news after those facts have been published and entered the public domain.”

07-14-2009, 02:53 PM
Hmm, sounds pretty ridiculous to me, but what do I know?

07-14-2009, 02:59 PM
Fuck AP. When they give us news instead of propaganda then they can bitch.