Earlier this year, we noted that News Corp appeared to be testing the waters with a hot news claim
against Briefing.com for copying various Dow Jones Newswire stories. The details of the case suggested there might actually be a copyright issue, in that some of the material appeared to simply be cut-and-pasted from Dow Jones (including typos). Briefing.com has now settled the case, but what's troubling is that in doing so it also admitted to violating hot news as well
. This may not matter in the long run, since a settlement like this isn't precedential and doesn't say one way or the other whether or not the court agrees that "hot news" is appropriate (even if News Corp -- predictably -- claims that this is a vindication for "hot news.") It's just odd that the company would fold on the hot news claim without even testing to see if it's legit. Though, given the fact that the company did appear to cut-and-paste articles, perhaps it's for the best. I could see the hot news issues getting clouded by the company's other bad actions. Still, settlements like this will only encourage more questionable hot news claims to be brought.