Who owns the facts? The AP and the “hot news” controversy

6 05 2009

What do bloggers and a 1918 newspaper syndicate have in common? According to the Associated Press, both are wretched hives of scum and villainy—parasites, if you will, sucking a healthy living from the AP’s expensive newsgathering operations.

And the AP means to do something about it, reviving a legal doctrine it helped to create back during World War I: the concept of “hot news.” Here’s what you need to know about facts and the quasi-property rights that news organizations can exert over them… sometimes.

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