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Judge rules for AP in copyright dispute

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 20, 2013 at 6:50 pm •  Published: March 20, 2013

Meltwater had argued that it provides a specialized news-related Internet search engine that allows its 4,000 U.S. customers to search for and receive information about news items relevant to their businesses. Framing the business as a search engine was a key distinction because search engines have legal protection from paying licensing fees if they merely point users to a location where information can be found.

Earlier this year, The New York Times, USA Today publisher Gannett Co. Inc., the McClatchy Co. and Advance Publications Inc. said in court papers that their businesses would be jeopardized if Meltwater were permitted to continue as it had.

The publishers said the ability of companies to distribute their content without paying licensing fees jeopardized their websites and other digital businesses that generate revenue through advertising, subscriptions and licensing fees.

Even one of Meltwater's competitors, BurrellesLuce, joined in a friend-of-the-court brief to say that it operates at a disadvantage because it pays to license content that Meltwater takes for free.

Meltwater was founded in 2001 in Oslo, Norway. According to the company's website, it has more than 800 employees working in 55 offices around the world. The company says it monitors more than 162,000 online publications for its clients.