AP Sues VeriSign For Copyright Infringement; Mostly Pointless
from the what's-going-on-here? dept
Update: Rafat Ali from PaidContent stopped by in the comments to point to the full lawsuit documents, posted on his site. From there, it appears that the AP's lawsuit is mostly ridiculous, with just a little tiny bit of reasonable thrown in. Most of the claims are about the fact that Moreover is spidering and scraping AP news feeds, and providing both free and paid subscribers headlines and the opening lede. However, it's pretty difficult for the AP to make a copyright claim here, since those links are almost definitely fair use, especially since they point people to legitimate AP licensees. There's a little gray area where Moreover indexes and caches the articles on its own servers -- but Google has been doing that for years without much of a problem -- and if the AP is really upset about it, there's always the old robots.txt solution. The one area where the AP may have a claim (though, the evidence does not seem clear from the exhibits) is in saying that there are times when Moreover will show subscribers a full AP article hosted on its own servers, rather than passing them through to a licensee. If true, then that would likely be copyright infringement -- though the "damages" would be minimal, if anything. Finally, the claim that this is an AP trademark infringement by listing the AP as a news source seems laughable. All in all, the original assessment stands: this is the AP unable to adapt and lashing out at those who are helping to promote their content.