Google And Twitter Tell Appeals Court That 'Hot News' Doctrine Is Obsolete

from the and-don't-repeat-that-without-paying-up dept

It looks like Google and Twitter have decided to weigh in on the closely watched lawsuit between TheFlyOnTheWall.com and Barclays, which has helped bring back the hot news doctrine, which creates an monopoly right on news reporting. This is quite worrisome for a whole variety of reasons, and as the appeals court considers the case, Google and Twitter have filed an amicus brief worrying about the implications of allowing the hot news doctrine to stand:
"News reporting always has been a complex ecosystem, where what is 'news' is often driven by certain influential news organizations, with others republishing or broadcasting those facts -- all to the benefit of the public," the companies said in the filing.

Google and Twitter argued that upholding the district court's decision would give those who obtained the news first strong incentives to block others from obtaining the same information.
Hoping to show how silly the concept is, they argue:
"How, for example, would a court pick a time period during which facts about the recent Times Square bombing attempt would be non-reportable by others?"
While I do worry about courts when it comes to copyright cases, the "hot news" doctrine is so far out there that I'll be surprised if the courts don't put it to rest for good. It's difficult to see how anyone can defend the hot news doctrine, and I'm hopeful that the courts will recognize that it has no place in the law.

Filed Under: copyright, facts, first amendment, hot news, reporting
Companies: barclays, google, theflyonthewall.com, twitter


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2010 @ 6:54am

    Re:

    no, the hot news doctrine says 'go get the news yourself'. everyone can report on the news, but they cannot replicate stories from other sources. they cannot just republish or re-use the content of others for a period of time (seems to be one news cycle).

    there is no exclusive right to facts, only exclusive rights to the work of your own reporters. what google wants is the ability to republish in seconds what gets added to a newspapers website, or gets printed in the newspaper. they dont want to hire reporters, they just want to benefit from the efforts of others.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.