When an aggregator like Google News publishes newspaper headlines, is the company treading on thin ice? What about aggregators that publish headlines and a one-line excerpt? What about those that simply rewrite the facts contained in the story and publish a new account in their own words?Newspapers have long objected to these practices, arguing that they dilute the value of their own work…
We’ve written extensively about “hot news” in the past. The doctrine has never gone away, though it has always been quite limited (New York state is one of the few places it is regularly recognised by the courts). It sounds like something archaic, but think for a moment how it might apply to bloggers, aggregators, Facebook posters, and even Twitter users today. If you think this stuff doesn’t matter to the news business, then you haven’t been paying attention. This isn’t about copyright; it’s about control of the facts.
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