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Summary:

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel agreed to dismiss two counts of the Associated Press lawsuit against All Headline News but will hear the ne…

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel agreed to dismiss two counts of the Associated Press lawsuit against All Headline News but will hear the news coop’s claims that the aggregator is misappropriating “hot news.” AHN wanted the case, now in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, to be considered under Florida law, where it is based and which they claim has already rejected the “hot news” argument — and it claimed federal copyright law preempts the claim. Neither argument won over the judge. The idea of treating “hot news” or “breaking news” differently from other news dates back to International News Service v. Associated Press, a 1918 Supreme Court decision holding that breaking news is the “quasi property” of a news-gathering organization and that allowing one news agency to profit from the work of another “would render publication profitless, or so little profitable as in effect to cut off the service by rendering the cost prohibitive in comparison with the return.

  1. Not really a clear victory for AP or All Headine News. It looks like the defendant was simply looking to peel away a few layers of a complex lawsuit. Even the judge says that the issues raised are best left for "summary judgment or trial phases".

    in the 1918 INS case Hearst was bribing AP reporters for stories and telegraphing then to his Calif papers. a theory of "Hot News" was born out of that case. Note that most US states don't recognize that theory. Only NY I think does and most states have ruled it "Bad Law"

    I think that this case really comes across as a dispute between a big 1000 pound gorilla, and a smaller competitor.

    It's also no secret that many of us feel that CNN and the internet killed AP's business model. Tribune and other MAJOR papers are canceling their AP contracts and more newspapers find that the AP has become obsolete. In fact AP has becoming competitive to their own members and the newspapers are finding that they have no need for an intermediary like the Associated Press

    I don't think that this will fair so well for the Associated Press if this ever goes to a jury. News Hotness is mere minutes and more and more people are paying attention that AP has been trying to arbitrarily recast accepted fair use principles. Just Google 'AP Fair Use'. it's an interesting read.

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  2. I find it telling and suspect that the AP had a "news story" out so quickly. Everything that AP does anymore makes them look greedy, monopolistic and a very very bad company.

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