The AP’s “hot news” lawsuit lives on; are scoops “quasi-property?”

22 02 2009

A New York federal judge ruled Tuesday that The Associated Press can sue its competitors not merely for copyright infringement, but for a “quasi property” right in the news known as the “hot news” doctrine. See the AP’s own coverage.

Well, let it not be said that I fell down on the job when “hot news” crossed my beat. I took a look at both sides’ motions and the judge’s ruling to learn more about the case. The doctrine raises some questions for me about journalistic practice and ethics. And, it has some interesting history to boot.


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