Times and AP win copyright case

A federal judge ruled that an online news aggregation enterprise could not publish news stories without paying for them. The ruling held that the online company committed copyright infringement and was not protected by the fair use doctrine. In the case the Associated Press and the New York Times sued Meltwater, a media-monitoring website. (Reporter Committee for Freedom of the Press, March 22, 2013, by Lily Chapa)

In ruling against Meltwater, the judge said the click-through rates were only about 0.8% compared with the click-through rate for Google News of 56%. He also said that Meltwater stole the heart of the story by using the lede. (Memeburn, March 25, 2013, by Nur Bremmen)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation called the ruling “troubling” and made three arguments protesting the ruling, calling into question the court’s fair use analysis; challenging the “heart of the work” theory and the court’s argument on the use of ledes; and contesting the court’s dismissal of the value of robot.txt files to provide permission. (Electronic Frontier Foundation, March 21, 2013, by Corynne McSherry and Kurt Opsahl) -db