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The Associated Press has won a copyright case against Meltwater U.S. Holdings Inc. and its news service, which it claimed was using its content without paying licensing fees.
The AP filed the lawsuit last year, alleging that Meltwater had been selling AP content without paying fees.
“This ruling makes it crystal clear that Meltwater wrongly used news content from AP to create its own content, while paying none of the costs associated with creating original news content,” AP CEO Gary Pruitt said. He called it an “important ruling for AP and others in the news business who work so hard to provide high-quality original news reports on which the public relies.”
Meltwater later issued a statement saying it was “disappointed” with the judge’s decision. “We're considering all of our options, but we look forward to having this decision reviewed by the Court of Appeals, which we are confident will see the case a different way,” founder Jorn Lyseggen added.
According to Reuters, Meltwater is a subscriber-only service. The company’s corporate subscribers would use the service to keep an eye on news coverage of their companies.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote did not release her opinion on the case, only ruling in the AP’s favor, with “one exception,” which she didn’t say.
Other publishers, such as the New York Times and Gannett joined in court documents to say that their businesses would also be damaged if Meltwater’s practices continued. BurrellesLuce, Meltwater’s chief competitor, said that it would continue to be at a disadvantage, sicne it does pay the licensing fees as it should.