This week, a U.S. District Court in New York has upheld a “hot news” claim under New York law against a motion to dismiss, finding that the US Copyright Act does not preempt the state law claim. The Southern District of New York is entertaining a case in which the AP has filed suit against All Headlines News Corp. (AHN) for allegedly copying and pasting the AP’s news stories without expending the resources and time to actually research and uncover the stories. According to the Judge, a claim of “hot news” missappropriation is not preempted because the Copyright Act does not preempt claims involving information which is time-sensitive. This is also a case in which the parties are direct competitors, and state law claims have been entertained alongside federal copyright claims when competitors are involved and “free riding” curbs the incentive to create. This is the first time the “hot news” or “breaking news” doctrine has been applied to information on the internet. IP Prospective will keep a watchful eye on it.
The case is Associated Press v. All Headlines News Corp. et al., No. 1:08-cv-00323, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.