One Entertainment Business Publication Sues Another For Copyright Infringement For Having The Same Stories

from the idea-expression,-nikki dept

Nikki Finke, the infamous editor of is apparently suing the Hollywood Reporter for copyright infringement... because it wrote stories on the same news events as Seriously. Here's Finke's quote:
"PMC (the company that owns is taking a stand against desperate and copycat news organizations and media outlets such as THR that constantly monitor PMC’s websites for the sole purpose of copying and imitating PMC websites’ news stories and original content within minutes after online publication. These copycat media outlets such as THR, rather than conducting their own independent reporting and investigation, developing their own sources and insiders, and generating their own leads and stories, simply steal PMC’s content and pawn it off as their own. In truth, THR, faced with the harsh reality that it had become a second-rate entertainment industry news source unable to attract insiders’ attention anymore."
THR, for its part, claims the whole thing is ridiculous, and many of the stories mentioned were on both sites because Hollywood publicists sent the same info to both sites:
"An initial review of the complaint shows that it is replete with examples of stories that originated from widely-released press releases from publicists, or widespread confirmations from publicists to numerous outlets, including both The Hollywood Reporter and It is not copyright infringement to report these stories, even if on occasion posts them first."
While I don't always agree with THR's coverage, on this one, I'm on their side. Reporting on the same story -- even if you find out about it from the other site -- is not copyright infringement. It's often how news works. Someone should explain to Finke the idea/expression dichotomy in copyright law, as well as the important tidbit of information that you can't own facts, and others are free to write about the same facts.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What's with the attitude? So you* are right, and Mike's wrong. That's what the comment section is for: to provide useful insight.

    What do you want now? A medal? What about the other 52 times (yes, I was counting) that you were wrong? Where is MY medal?

    It was me that posted the link. Don't let the snowflakes fool you.

    What I want is for Pirate Mike to do basic Journalism 101 stuff, like verify if the central premise of an article is accurate. Just look at the headline: "One Entertainment Business Publication Sues Another For Copyright Infringement For Having The Same Stories." Nope. Wrong. With two minutes of research I was able to determine that Mike had this wrong.

    I tried to explain this sort of thing to Mike just the other day, but he denied that he does anything wrong when researching and writing these articles. The fact is, he should do more research before publishing his "debunking" articles.

    Having people point out his mistakes in the comments afterwards doesn't cut it, Mike. Your job is to do basic, minimum research up front. That you don't admit your own shortcoming in this regard is just more intellectually dishonesty.

    It's fucking ridiculous. You should be ashamed. I know you only care about spreading FUD, but shame on you, chubby. Shame on you.

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