While print will remain an important medium, newspapers are providing their readers and customers with news and information through a wide variety of digital platforms – from website, desktops, and tablets, to smart phones and other mobile devices. Online newspapers play a vital role in providing the public with up-to-the minute news and information.
Intellectual property protections for newspaper content is important regardless of the platform, but the need for such protections become particularly acute for online content that can be used or copied more easily than printed content. NAA, in collaboration with member companies, works to track, detect and license content being reused on the Internet without permission and emphasizes the important role of the federal government to ensure that intellectual property rights in newspaper content is protected.
Some newspapers, particularly those that publish online, may collect personal information from the readers they serve to provide those readers with targeted information related to the reader’s interests. Data security breaches and fears of identity theft in recent years have led to federal laws or regulations establishing policies for data retention, creating procedures for notification when a security breach occurs, and protecting consumer privacy.
January 19, 2012
The U.S. Copyright Office, as part of its triennial review under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), has received comments on proposals to designate certain classes of works relevant to newspapers as exempt from certain DMCA protections. Section 1201 of the Copyright Act, added by the DMCA, prohibits the circumvention of technological measures that protect access to a work protected under copyright law, or that prevent unauthorized copying.
December 16, 2011
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced in June that it would start accepting applications for new generic top-level domains beginning in January 2012. The new program expands Internet space by increasing the number of Internet domain name endings, or “gTLDs” (to the right of the dot, such as .com, .org or .net), beyond the current 22 to an infinite number of possible domain names.
July 18, 2011
A federal court in Nevada has dismissed a copyright infringement action (Righthaven LLC v. Hoehn, No. 2:11-cv-00050-PMP-RJJ) brought by Righthaven LLC. The defendant, Wayne Hoehn, is a registered user and content contributor to a website on which he displayed an unauthorized reproduction of an article of the Las Vegas Review Journal as part of the content he contributed to the website. His reproduction attributed the source of the work to the newspaper.
July 08, 2011
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reaffirmed in late June that the state law tort of misappropriation of “hot news” survives as a viable cause of action, and is not pre-empted under federal copyright law. Barclay’s Capital Inc. v. Theflyonthewall.com Inc. Although the court found against the particular claim of the plaintiff Wall Street brokerage firms, the long-awaited ruling maintains protection for news organizations from free-riding and unfair competitors who appropriate and resell fresh news at little or no cost.
December 23, 2010
In November 2007 the Federal Trade Commission issued its “Red Flag” Rules as required under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), giving “creditors” one year, until November 2008, to implement a written Identity Theft program for “covered accounts.”
Delays in the effective date unfolded, as groups of lawyers, doctors and accountants challenged the rules’ applicability to their constituents.
November 30, 2010
The England and Wales High Court of Justice rendered its decision in The Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd. & Ors. v. Meltwater Holding BV & Ors,  EWHC 3099 (Ch) (26 November 2010). The case has been closely watched for parallels to unlicensed commercial uses by aggregators and clipping services of U.S. newspaper content, and by businesses that consume and further distribute that content.
November 29, 2010
While some express concern that aggressive approaches to enforcing rights in newspaper content -- rather than the graduated approaches generally being pursued across the industry -- may risk eliciting negative precedent, and point as evidence to last month’s ruling in Righthaven, LLC v. Realty One Group Inc., No. 10-1036 (D. Nev. Oct. 19, 2010) (real estate company posting on blog of first eight sentences of newspaper article constituted fair use) and to September’s ruling in Righthaven, LLC v. Klerks, No. 10-00741 (D. Nev. Sept. 17, 2010) (because newspaper offered article to the world for free, encouraged people to share and save the article without restriction, ...
June 28, 2010
Dow Jones filed an amicus brief separately from the AP brief that NAA joined in Barclays Capital et.al. v. TheFlyonthewall.com. Dow Jones’ brief urges the circuit court to preserve the ability of news organizations that spend significant resources in collecting and reporting news to protect both their investment, and their ability to report on newsworthy events without undue intrusion by the courts into the editorial process. Its brief asks the court to limit the “hot news” tort to conduct that constitutes both free-riding and systematic misappropriation.
June 28, 2010
Google and Twitter jointly filed an amicus brief in Barclays Capital et.al., v. TheFlyonthewall.com criticizing the “hot-news” misappropriation doctrine as an unconstitutional prior restraint that undermines the constitutional principle that the primary objective of copyright is ‘to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts”, not to reward the labor of authors. The joint brief urges the court to repudiate the “hot news” misappropriation tort and cites “the longstanding industry practice for news organizations to report on other outlets’ breaking stories."
June 25, 2010
NAA joined an amicus brief filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Barclays Capital Incorporated, et. al. v. Theflyonthewall.com (“Fly”). Fly, an Internet-based publisher of financial news, appealed the lower court’s injunction and finding that Fly engaged in “hot-news” misappropriation when it published stock recommendations of research analysts from Barclays, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley. The trial court also imposed a one-year reevaluation period after which Fly could ask the court to modify or vacate the injunction if it demonstrates that the plaintiffs have not taken reasonable steps to restrain unauthorized misappropriation against other parties that compete with Fly, but were not sued.
March 24, 2010
On March 24, 2010, NAA filed comments In the Matter of Coordination and Strategic Planning of the Federal Effort Against Intellectual Property Infringement: Request of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for Public Comments Regarding the Joint Strategic Plan.
February 01, 2010
On January 25, the U.S. Copyright Office issued its interim rule in Mandatory Deposit of Published Electronic Works Available Only Online. 75 Fed. Reg. 3863 (Jan. 25, 2010). Under section 407 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C., copyrightable works published in the United States are subject to mandatory deposit. Two copies of the best edition must be sent to the Copyright Office within three months of publication.