Nikki Finke, the infamous editor of Deadline.com is apparently suing the Hollywood Reporter for copyright infringement
... because it wrote stories on the same news events as Deadline.com. Seriously. Here's Finke's quote:
"PMC (the company that owns Deadline.com) 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 Deadline.com. It is not copyright infringement to report these stories, even if on occasion Deadline.com 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.