Dow Jones Suing Briefing.com For Headlines “Misappropriation”

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The news producers are getting antsier against the aggregators day-by-day, and who else but Rupert Murdoch to lead the charge. Dow Jones, part of News Corp (NYSE: NWS). has filed a lawsuit against Briefing.com, the “live” market analysis service that is sold as a subscription and also available for free on syndicators such as Bloomberg, FactSet, *Thomson Reuters*, *Yahoo* Finance and others. The suit accuses Briefing.com of “systematic and often instantaneous misappropriation of headlines and articles from Dow Jones Newswires,” the newswire service from DJ. “In just one two-week period, Briefing.com copied a substantial portion of at least 100 articles and republished more than 70 headlines within three minutes of the initial publication on Dow Jones Newswires,” the company said in a release.

This wording from DJ falls a bit flat, in this age of Twitter and headline news: “Briefing.com did not rely on its own sources or other newsgathering efforts. Instead, Briefing.com cut and pasted Dow Jones content and included the pirated material in its cheaper product.” That’s what aggregation is for most part. Of course devil is in details, mainly how much of DJ content did Briefing.com use. The lawsuit and release is embedded below.

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Dow Jones Files Suit to Stop Theft of Content
Briefing.com Is Accused of Misappropriating Headlines and Articles

NEW YORK, Apr 20, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Dow Jones & Company filed suit today to stop the theft of its content by Briefing.com.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, details Briefing.com’s systematic and often instantaneous misappropriation of headlines and articles from Dow Jones Newswires, the leading real-time financial newswire.

“Dow Jones invests considerable resources to produce timely and trusted news and business information,” said Mark H. Jackson, general counsel for Dow Jones. “Briefing.com has been brazenly taking a free ride on the reputation of our publications and on the investment Dow Jones makes in quality, real-time journalism.”

In just one two-week period, Briefing.com copied a substantial portion of at least 100 articles and republished more than 70 headlines within three minutes of the initial publication on Dow Jones Newswires.

Briefing.com charges a fee for a subscription to its Web site, and it is also available through Bloomberg, FactSet, Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI) and similar vendors, placing it in direct competition with Dow Jones Newswires.

The lawsuit, which includes claims for copyright infringement and “hot news” misappropriation, says that in this case Briefing.com did not rely on its own sources or other newsgathering efforts. Instead, Briefing.com cut and pasted Dow Jones content and included the pirated material in its cheaper product.

“Dow Jones respects and defends the rights of other news organizations to report on news events in a timely manner. Here, however, Briefing.com did not use its own resources to uncover, verify and describe news events. It waited for Dow Jones to do all the work, and then simply copied the content,” Mr. Jackson said. “In order to continue to offer the quality news and business information customers expect and count on, Dow Jones will take action to stop the misappropriation of its content.”

The law firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler represents Dow Jones in this matter.

ABOUT DOW JONES

Dow Jones & Company (www.dowjones.com) is a News Corporation company and a leading provider of global news and business information. Its principal products include The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Factiva, Barron’s and MarketWatch. Through its Local Media Group, Dow Jones operates community-based newspapers and Web sites. Dow Jones also provides news content to television and radio stations.

SOURCE: Dow Jones & Company

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