3 Count: Hot Settlement

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Associated Press settles case against AHN Media over copying articles online

First off today, the Associated Press has settled its case with AHN Media, the owners of All Headline News, over their copyright dispute. The AP accused AHN of taking AP article, rewriting them and posting them on the AHN site. Though AHN tried to claim fair use protection for their site, the AP argued and won a judge’s verdict based on the “Hot News” doctrine, a 1918 Supreme Court case involving the AP, which determined that news-gatherers can sue when competitors copy their time-sensitive news content, even though facts are not copyrightable.

The settlement calls upon AHN to pay an unspecified amount in damages and to stop the practice. Most importantly for those interested in copyright issues, it allows the “Hot News” ruling to stand, rather than risking it being overturned on appeal.

This makes it much more likely we’ll see more “Host News” cases coming from the AP, and other news organizations, in the near future.

2: EMI sues music site alleging copyright infringement

Next up today, EMI has sued Grooveshark, a music streaming site who makes it possible to “Play any song in the world, free!” after it appears licensing negotiations broke down. Those negotiations, which had been ongoing between the two for over year were similar to ones Grooveshark had struck with labels such as labels like V2 and Nettwerk.

It is unclear what this means for Grooveshark, but most people seem to be saying that their odds of victory in this case are very slim. Grooveshark, which is a small business founded by two University of Florida students, likely lacks the resources to put up much of a fight and, truth be told, doesn’t seem to have much of a case at this time.

However, in Grooveshark’s defense, they do not actually host any of the files, they just stream audio files hosted on other servers. It seems unlikely that distance will help it much in this case, but it seems likely to be an issue that will be raised.

3: On Leaving Google

Finally today, Alexander Macgillivray, the Senior Product and Intellectual Property Counsel to Google is leaving the company. If you’ve filed notices with Google within the past few years, you probably know his name well as he, among other things, is currently listed as their DMCA contact.

Macgillivray is leaving Google to become lead counsel at Twitter, where he will help guide that company through some very interesting and murky waters.

Magillivray has been a force in many of Google’s recent copyright disputes, including the Google Book Search case. Needless to say, he will be deeply missed at Google and Twitter is very lucky to have him on board.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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