Barclays v TheFlyOnTheWall.com

EFF the Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP) and Public Citizen have urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to consider the critical First Amendment questions at issue in a case asserting "hot news misappropriation" -- a doctrine that a federal court used to put time limit restrictions on the reporting of facts.

The defendant in the case TheFlyOnTheWall.com had gathered stock recommendations from investment banking firms like Merrill Lynch Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers and reported them on its website. The firms sued TheFlyOnTheWall.com claiming that the information was "hot news" and the website was free-riding on the firms' work in creating the recommendations. A federal court agreed with the investment banks and ordered TheFlyOnTheWall.com to delay reporting of the information for two hours after the reports are released.

Applying heightened First Amendment scrutiny is especially important now as the Internet is increasingly allowing Americans to publicly gather share and comment on the news of the day. Misuse of the "hot news" doctrine could stifle this extraordinary growth of free expression.

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

"Surveillance has wrought unspeakable damage to civil society," says EFF's @sheeyahshee on KZSC UC-Santa Cruz https://soundcloud.com/kzsc/i...

Feb 27 @ 4:46pm

Apply to work with the EFF team defending users and their digital rights. We have six open positions. https://www.eff.org/about/opp...

Feb 27 @ 4:18pm

"Everyone wants to be allowed to fix their stuff" says @iFixit's Kyle Wiens. Why are big tech companies fighting it? https://motherboard.vice.com/...

Feb 27 @ 4:15pm
JavaScript license information