Dow Jones Is Suing A Trader News Service Under A Surprising 1918 Supreme Court Ruling

Soldiers newspaperAP‘I’m gonna tweet that.’

Every millisecond matters in the modern trading paradigm, with market news consumers hungrier than ever for fast and reliable information.

It’s why a terminal from Bloomberg — whose reporters are financially incentivized to break market-moving news — costs over $US20,000. Or why Reuters let elite traders pay to receive data two seconds early. Two seconds is everything!

Now Dow Jones, the wire service that owns The Wall Street Journal, has filed a lawsuit against RANsquawk, a British “squawk” service that provides traders with breaking news.

DJ argues that RANsquawk essentially lifts their headlines within seconds. Interestingly, as GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram notes, DJ isn’t suing RANsquawk for copyright infringement. They’re suing them under an arcane 1918 Supreme Court ruling regarding “hot news” — which, as Ingram writes, is “the kind whose value rapidly diminishes over time.”

Well, the value of market news rapidly diminishes over time, for fairly obvious reasons. What “edge” do you have once everyone knows the information on which you are trading?

So it’s no surprise that financial wire news services are particularly touchy about the aggregation of their content. Maybe that touchiness is passé by 2014 standards, as the twitterfication of news “game-changes” the industry in real time. People don’t know where their news is coming from. They just want it.

Ingram argues DJ’s case is more or less futile. Breaking news is already broken, he writes. From GigaOM:

The reality, as I’ve argued before, is that Twitter is the news-wire for a growing number of people now, and the life-span of a so-called news “scoop” continues to dwindle rapidly. Dow Jones may not want to believe it, but there are plenty of legal ways that Ransquawk — or anyone else, for that matter — can find out market-moving information within seconds or minutes of Dow Jones moving it on the wire. Suing every provider like Ransquawk is like closing the barn door after the horse has long since moved on to greener pastures.

“We will continue to aggressively pursue the news and produce a world-class product, as we’ve done for nearly 125 years,” said DJ’s Jason Conti. “And when others improperly try to take that product, we’ll aggressively pursue them, too.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Tagged In

clusterstock-us law