Posts made in April, 2013

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Is Content Aggregation Copyright Infringement?

Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Copyright

A federal district judge in New York ruled for the Associated Press in the case of AP v. Meltwater. The ruling, if upheld on appeal, can have large ramifications throughout the blogosphere and for content aggregators. The Associated Press, or AP, is a not-for-profit group which creates news reports from all over the country. AP’s revenue comes from licensing fees it earns by licensing uses of its articles to newspapers, websites, and other subscribers. Meltwater is an Internet media monitoring service. Their news service is a method for their clients to keep tabs on how they are portrayed in the press. AP alleged that Meltwater is infringing AP’s copyright by republishing AP articles without a license. Meltwater uses a computer program to scrape news articles on the web and provides excerpts of those stories daily to its subscribers. Meltwater did not dispute that it took content from AP stories that is protected by the Copyright Act. Instead, Meltwater claimed an affirmative defense of fair use. Meltwater argued it is a search engine, albeit one which is a closed system for subscribers only. This case revolves around thirty-three Registered Articles of the AP which Meltwater copied and then delivered excerpts of to its subscribers. Meltwater News employs automated computer programs...

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