International News Service v. Associated Press

International News Service v. Associated Press

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International News Service v. Associated Press

 

International News Service v. Associated Press: The Background

The case of International News Service v. Associated Press involves questions of unfair competition with regards to two news companies. The matter involving International News Service v. Associated Press was heard by the United States Supreme Court. In International News Service v. Associated Press The United States Supreme Court upheld the common law rule that there is no copyright in facts and established through the common law doctrine of misappropriation through torts of unfair competition. In this particular case, the United States Supreme Court had a tough time distinguishing between interference with business practices versus interference with regards to intellectual property rights.

 

International News Service v. Associated Press: The Background

The case of International News Service v. Associated Press revolves around two competing American news services who were engaged in a business conflict with regards to reporting responsibilities and powers for World War I.

To continue publishing news concerning the war, the International News Service gained access to the Associated Press through early editions of newspapers, bribery and bulletin boards. Members of the International news Service were forced to wait for the Associated Press to post news before publishing them, while INS newspapers in the western portion of the United States faced no disadvantage relative to their Associated Press counterparts.  Because of this, the Associated Press brought action seeking to enjoin the International News Service from copying news.

 

International News Service v. Associated Press: Ruling

The United States Supreme Court in International News Service v. Associated Press had to evaluate whether the defendant (the International News Service) can be restrained under theories of interference with regards to the Associated Press’s property rights to appropriate news taken from bulletin boards by the AP or any of its members.

The United States Supreme Court in International News Service v. Associated Press held that there was unfair competition set forth by the International News Service. The Court in International News Service v. Associated Press held that since the parties were competing and attempting to make money, the action of misappropriating quasi property interest and misrepresenting it as one’s own is illegal.

The Court in International News Service v. Associated Press, stated that news companies practice unfair competition when one company interferes with the normal operation of a competitor’s legitimate business. The act of diverting portions of a company’s profit from those who have earned to those who have not was deemed illegal under International News Service v. Associated Press.

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