Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The New York Times’ new Slack 2016 election bot sends readers’ questions straight to the newsroom
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 26, 2013, 10:58 a.m.
LINK: www.niemanlab.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   February 26, 2013

The New York Times Co., Advance, Gannett, and McClatchy, among others, have filed a brief in support of AP’s suit against Meltwater, which the wire giant filed in February 2012. From AP’s description of Meltwater back then:

As a subscriber only service, Meltwater distributes “Meltwater News,” which styles itself as a modern-day electronic clipping service with a guarantee of “no copyright fees.” Meltwater delivers to its paying customers substantial verbatim excerpts from AP stories and other published news stories based on keywords selected by its customers. As AP’s complaint alleges, Meltwater also offers its customers the ability to store these excerpts, as well as full-text articles, in a customer archive housed on Meltwater’s server and facilitates the incorporation of AP articles into customer newsletters to be further distributed…

“Meltwater free-rides on AP’s significant investments in gathering and reporting news,” said [AP acting general counsel Laura] Malone. “In short, Meltwater earns substantial fees for redistributing premium news content, while bearing none of the costs associated with creating that content.”

AP’s then-CEO Tom Curley called it “a parasitic distribution service.”

Meltwater’s own description of its service: “Meltwater News is more than a traditional media monitoring service, combining the industry’s broadest search capabilities, exclusive analytical tools and a consultative relationship with its clients, Meltwater News delivers the business critical information that executives in organizations worldwide require to gain, and maintain, their competitive edge.”

One of our previous stories about the case was headlined “Is the AP suing an aggregator or a search engine in the Meltwater case?” Well, the amicus brief’s first argument is headlined: “MELTWATER IS NOT A SEARCH ENGINE.”

The rest of its claims: Meltwater’s use of AP material is not transformative; it harms AP’s “existing and potential” markets; it fails the fair use test; and Meltwater had no “implied license” to the material. One claim that does not appear to be advanced in the brief is the often controversial “hot news misappropriation,” which was part of AP’s original claim.

In a statement, Malone (still acting general counsel) said: “AP is very pleased with this support. It demonstrates that the media community stands together in recognizing that Meltwater’s business of appropriating and selling media content cannot be excused as fair use and instead is infringing.”

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The New York Times’ new Slack 2016 election bot sends readers’ questions straight to the newsroom
“Instead of asking you to come to us and be part of this massive room of people shouting over each other, you can bring us to you, and have us be, essentially, one more person in your conversation.”
The Conversation expands across the U.S., freshly funded by universities and foundations
The news site that uses academics as reporters and journalists as editors now boasts 19 paying member universities and is opening up posts in Atlanta (and maybe in the Bay Area).
A Boston public radio station is redesigning its site to make audio “a first-class citizen online”
But: “I’ve tried to be really disciplined about not calling this process just a redesign,” WBUR’s executive editor for digital Tiffany Campbell said. “We’ve built a brand new platform.”
What to read next
0
tweets
Newsonomics: Setting the news table for 2016
The news business hopes it won’t end up one sandwich short of a picnic as the new year’s big trends unfold.
0The sun never sets on The Times: How and why the British paper built its new weekly international app
“We’re pursuing the idea of editions everywhere. An edition is something that can be finished. When you’ve read it, you feel up-to-date; you’ve been told what you need to know for the day or the week.”
0Hot Pod: Is the next front in podcast innovation hardware?
Plus, 21st Century Fox invests in a new podcast network, and some thoughts on the second season of Serial.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Fuego is our heat-seeking Twitter bot, tracking the links the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most on Twitter.
Here are a few of the top links Fuego’s currently watching.   Get the full Fuego ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
ESPN
Creative Commons
The Daily
EveryBlock
Facebook
CBS News
Reuters
Chicago Tribune
Hechinger Report
El País
Grist
American Public Media