Associated Press v. Moreover, a recently-settled copyright infringement and "hot news" misappropriation case in the Southern District of New York, brought up the issue of what search engines can take when displaying the content of others. Moreover is a news aggregator that searches 3.5 million blogs and news sources for content and delivers links to its clients. When Moreover links to AP's content (without asking), Moreover includes 255 characters from the underlying content with the link.
Moreover filed a motion to dismiss on November 7, 2007. A review of the docket sheet shows that AP never responded to the motion and apparently after many extensions of time, agreed on some undisclosed basis to dismiss the action. In the memorandum of law in support of the motion to dismiss, the hot case cited was Perfect 10 v. Amazon, 487 F.3d 701 (9th Cir. 2007), a case I have discussed previously that extolled the virtues of a video engine search.
In this age of Electronic Case Filing, anyone can search a federal court's docket sheet for a civil action through http://www.pacer.gov/ and pull down electronically-filed documents. The documents are in PDF format, and by hitting "Save As" you can copy a document to your computer's directory. There is a modest charge associated with getting an actual document (I think that the Moreover memorandum cost me $2.97). But if you want the blow-by-blow on a case, checking a docket sheet doesn't cost anything and can quickly let you know if you've missed anything.
According to AP's 8/18/2008 press release: "AP is pleased to have resolved the litigation in an amicable manner and appreciates VeriSign and Moreover's efforts to resolve AP's concerns," said AP Vice President and General Counsel Srinandan Kasi.
I looked at the filings dismissing the Moreover case and there was nothing to show how or why it settled.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Associated Press v. Moreover: Hot News, Linking and Getting Legal Documents From Pacer
Partner in Manhattan law firm Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP in New York City litigating in federal and state courts and arbitrations. Experienced trial and appellate practitioner. Author: Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters 2015-2016). The New York Law Journal called it "an indispensable guide". Serve on the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association, served as Chair of the Circuit Vice Presidents, Vice President for the Second Circuit and General Counsel. Member Board of Governors, National Arts Club. President, Network of Bar Leaders (2013-2014). Attorney advertising disclaimer - prior results do not guarantee success. The statements and opinions voiced here are my own and not of my law firm.