AP Enforcement Action Against Syndicator Survives Dismissal Motion–AP v. All Headline News

19 02 2009

By Eric Goldman

Associated Press v. All Headline News Corp., 08 Civ 323 (SDNY Feb. 17, 2009)

We’ve seen a lot of ruffled feathers over Internet republication of news headlines, ledes and snippets–the most recent being the GateHouse lawsuit and settlement, but we can easily go back at least a dozen years to the old Shetland Times lawsuit to find similar issues. Some of the teeth gnashing is due in part to the ambiguity and paucity of directly applicable law, so any new judicial ruling, even an opinion on a motion to dismiss, is noteworthy.

According to the opinion (which is a little cryptic), All Headline News either rewrites AP stories or copies stories in full, strips out the source identification in some cases, and republishes its version of the stories to a network of paying customers. To the extent All Headline News is a syndication service of real-time news, it appears to be at least a partial competitor of AP. AP alleged a number of claims against All Headline News, and this ruling addresses All Headline News’ motion to dismiss the following complaints:


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