Local Newspaper Sues Other Local Paper Over 'Stolen' Obituaries

from the hot-news,-dead-news dept

What is it with newspapers suing each other these days, rather than actually focusing on adding value? Eric Goldman alerts us to the news that the Scranton Times sued the competing Wilkes-Barre newspaper over “copied” obituaries. There are numerous problems with the lawsuit, not the least of which is that funeral homes often write the obituaries themselves (meaning the newspaper might not have any copyright claim to them in the first place) and distribute them to multiple papers (meaning they probably weren’t even copied directly, but came from the same third party source). Luckily, the court has thrown out most (though not all) of the charges, including another attempt to revive the troubling “hot new” concept. It’s good to see the court shoot that particular argument down quickly. In the meantime, Scranton Times: seriously? Is there really nothing better to be doing with your time and money than suing another paper for having the same obituaries?

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Companies: scranton times

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Comments on “Local Newspaper Sues Other Local Paper Over 'Stolen' Obituaries”

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R. Miles says:

Bright side time!

Look at it this way, if the paper loses the lawsuit (which it should), all those lawyer fees do nothing but send this rag to its grave faster.

So it sounds like a positive to me, not a negative.

Not my problem if they’re squandering cash this way, but subscribers should be on the phone today to cancel future deliveries.

Steve L says:

I work for a small newspaper, we get about 75% of our obits from funeral homes. Even when they are placed by family members, it’s not like we sit there and write it out for them, they are written and ready to go, all we have to do is type them into the system and it’s done. It is a nice stream of revenue though, they are incredibly expensive (lots of lines = lots of money, the bigger the better). Hopefully this dying fad doesn’t go away anytime soon.

So do your local newspaper a favor, when you die, make up a bunch of stuff you accomplished and run a 14in obit.

Anonymous Coward says:

“…funeral homes often write the obituaries themselves … and distribute them to multiple papers…”

Well your only a blogger so no need to try to find who actually wrote the obit’s in question or whether that had anything to do with the bit that were thrown out – brilliant reporting Mike, you’ll replace a news paper yet.

Watch out Goldman doesn’t sue you for copying his blog almost word for word.

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