Thursday, February 16, 2012

AP Targets Aggregator Meltwater News in Copyright Infringement Suit

Image representing Meltwater Group as depicted...Image via CrunchBaseWire and wire clippers are natural foes, which explains the 41-page copyright infringement complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday by The Associated Press, the 166-year-old news agency, against 11-year-old Meltwater News, a San-Francisco-based news clipping service.

As reported by Reuters, the New York Post, the Above the Law blog and elsewhere, AP, a New York nonprofit corporation, sued Meltwater, a Delaware corporation that digitally clips news stories to enable clients to track their own press coverage, in a six-count complaint that includes claims for copyright infringement and hot news misappropriation.

AP alleges the defendant is stealing its copyrighted content and selling the information to Meltwater clients without paying AP a licensing fee.  There's no love lost here, as AP President and CEO Tom Curley released a statement branding Meltwater "a parasitic distribution service that competes directly with traditional news sources without paying license fees to cover the costs of creating those stories." The lawsuit seeks damages and injunctive relief.

AP last July, partnered with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more than two dozen other news organizations to launch NewsRight, a licensing service that monitors the use of copyrighted content on Internet outlets, including blogs and Websites.
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