AP sues Meltwater News for copyright violations

News co-op says the “parasitic distribution service” sells AP content to subscribers

The Associated Press filed a copyright complaint Tuesday against Meltwater U.S. Holdings Inc., a digital media monitoring company, and the news service isn’t mincing words.

AP alleges that Meltwater News provides its subscribers with exact excerpts from AP stories and allows customers to store full articles in an archive housed on Meltwater’s server. In doing so, the AP argues, Meltwater can charge substantial fees for content without contributing anything to reporting costs.

“Meltwater News is a parasitic distribution service that competes directly with traditional news sources without paying license fees to cover the costs of creating those stories,” AP president and CEO Tom Curley said in a statement. “It has a significant negative impact on the ability of AP to continue providing the high-quality news reports on which the public relies.”

AP’s lawsuit distinguishes between Meltwater and other news aggregators, noting that Meltwater charges subscription fees for its content and that it provides “lengthier and more systemic excerpts” than most other sites.

AP already has licensing agreements with other companies, including Google, AOL and Yahoo. Meltwater, meanwhile, is enmeshed in a UK court case against the Newspaper Licensing Agency.

Alanna Byrne

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