by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jul 13th 2009 1:42pm
There's been a lot of discussion lately about the AP's reliance on a rather ancient precedent that "hot news" can be protected, despite the fact that you can't copyright factual information, in its case against the site All Headline News. This has thrust the concept of "hot news" protection back into the spotlight after most people considered it a dead concept. Now, suddenly, newspapers all over are talking about trying to extend the "hot news" concept and even expanding copyright law to explicitly allow such hot news protectionism, despite the massive harm it would do. For that reason, the lawsuit between the AP and AHN was quite important... and yet, Will alerts us to the fact that the the AP and AHN quietly settled the lawsuit last month (warning: pdf). No details are provided in the settlement announcement, but the key thing for the AP is it lets it act as if "hot news" is definitely still allowed. A full lawsuit with AHN pushing back on the concept could have wiped out the concept of hot news, and clearly the AP didn't want that to happen just as it was about to start threatening and suing a bunch of aggregators. Perhaps that's why the Associated Press didn't even seem to report on its own "hot news."
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