by Mike Masnick
Thu, Feb 26th 2009 7:49pm
The NY Times was just recently involved in a intellectual property fight with newspaper publisher Gatehouse Media, over the use of Gatehouse headlines and ledes as part of an aggregator it had set up. Apparently, part of what the NYTimes learned from this episode was that it should go after other aggregators using questionable claims. It's now threatening the site Newser for using a small version of its "T" logo to link to stories from the NY Times. It's pretty difficult to see how this is trademark infringement. Using a small logo hardly implies endorsement. It's just accurately labeling where the news is from. It's difficult to see how that's "confusing" at all. This reminds me of a point made recently by Eric Goldman concerning the AP's "hot news" lawsuit, where he notes that aggregators are put in a tricky position: if they don't properly attribute the content, they may face a copyright infringement lawsuit, but if they do properly attribute the content, they may face a trademark infringement lawsuit. Isn't intellectual property great?
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