“Hot News” claims fail against Perez Hilton and newspaper obituaries

20 04 2009

In February, I wrote about how a judge allowed The Associated Press’ “hot news” lawsuit against an online news service to move ahead. I also wrote up a bit of the history of the “hot news” doctrine, which was created to give news organizations a “quasi-property” right in certain facts, even though facts cannot be copyrighted.

Readers who were interested in that post, and there were quite a few, would be interested to know that cyberlaw guru Eric Goldman has written recently about two more cases that involved “hot news” claims; that’s three times it’s come up in one month, leading Goldman to conclude that it must be “something in the water.” One of those “hot news” claims was against celebrity gossip writer Perez Hilton, while another was part of a newspaper-on-newspaper fight in Pennsylvania over obituaries.


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