The US news agency the Associated Press announced Monday that it had settled an intellectual property lawsuit against AHN Media, an online company accused of misappropriating AP articles.
"AP is pleased to have successfully resolved the litigation through a principled settlement," Laura Malone, AP associate general counsel for intellectual property governance, said in a statement.
"AP invests hundreds of millions of dollars to gather and to distribute essential breaking news worldwide that customers legitimately access and use by payment of a license fee," Malone said.
"Unauthorized use of these proprietary news reports by copying or rewriting published AP news stories is inimical to the interests of AP and its legitimate licensees," she added.
The AP, a cooperative owned by 1,500 US daily newspapers, filed suit against AHN Media in January 2008 seeking unspecified damages and a permanent injunction against misappropriation of AP stories.
The AP alleged that AHN had instructed its staff to rewrite their stories and published them without crediting the agency.
The AP said the settlement includes payment by AHN to the agency of an "unspecified sum" and an agreement by AHN that it "would not make competitive use of content or expression from AP stories."
"This settlement safeguards AP's investments in journalism, and serves as notice to others that AP will fully defend its intellectual property rights against unfair competition," Malone said.
In April, the AP said it planned to take legal action against websites that publish stories from the AP or its member newspapers without permission.
The AP said the news agency would work with Internet portals and other partners who legally license content "and would pursue legal and legislative actions against those who don't."
(c) 2009 AFP
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