AP v. Meltwater

EFF urged a federal judge to protect fair use of news coverage and reject the Associated Press’ (AP’s) dangerously narrow view of what is “transformative” in a copyright court battle over a news-tracking service.

In Associated Press v. Meltwater, AP claims its copyrights are infringed when Meltwater, an electronic news clipping service, includes excerpts of AP stories in search results for its clients seeking news coverage based on particular keywords.  In its argument, AP asks the court to accept an extraordinarily narrow view of fair use – the doctrine that allows for the use of copyrighted material for purposes of commentary, criticism, or other transformative uses.  AP claims that Meltwater’s use of copyrighted excerpts cannot be a “transformative” fair use, unless they are also “expressive.”   In its amicus brief, EFF argues that AP’s theory would restrict the use and development of services that allow users to find, organize, and share public information.

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