90-Year-Old Law Used In AP Suit Against Content Site

A federal judge reaffirmed that a 1918 legal doctrine governing so-called “hot news” applies in the Internet age. The Associated Press can now proceed with a copyright-infringement lawsuit against a company accused of redistributing AP stories.

Last month the AP sued All Headline News, a site that provides news, weather, and other content for Websites, wireless, digital signage and interactive applications.

The AP claims AHN Media Corp. copies AP stories from Websites that legitimately carry them and redistributes them on its Website, then sells that content to other news outlets.

The AP released this statement after yesterday’s ruling:

The Court’s ruling reaffirms the viability of the hot news misappropriation doctrine, and thereby protects AP’s investments in news gathering and reporting against copying by free-riders. Unauthorized rewriting and reselling of proprietary AP news stories violates the rights of AP and its licensees.