Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Yahoo! Inc on allegations that the internet giant has reproduced news articles without permission, Reuters reports.
“In our statement of claim, we cited as examples 23 articles from our newspapers which Yahoo! had reproduced over a 12-month period without our license or authorization,” Singapore Press spokeswoman Chin Soo Fang said in an e-mail to Reuters.
From Channel NewsAsia,
They included political and crime stories that were first published in the print editions of the Straits Times, The New Paper and My Paper.
“We confirm that Singapore Press Holdings has commenced litigation against Yahoo! Southeast Asia Pte Ltd for alleged copyright infringement,” said a Yahoo! statement sent to AFP.
“Our editorial business model of acquired, commissioned and original content is proven.”
SPH said that despite a request to cease the alleged infringement, “substantial reproduction of the media company’s content continue to be available on Yahoo! Southeast Asia’s sites.”
SPH is asking the court to declare that Yahoo! Southeast Asia infringed on its copyright, stop it from further reproducing articles and pay damages, the Straits Times report said.
It quoted a local media expert, Ang Peng Hwa, as saying the case could set a precedent as it would have an impact on the way news websites operate.
SPH filed a writ of summons and statement of claim to the Singapore High Court on Friday.
SPH publishes 18 newspapers in four languages including its flagship Straits Times.
In this highly globalized digital world where people are inundated with information, the knowledge supplied is not free. The reproduction of full articles is indeed a copyright infringement. The devil is in the details; the question of to what extent these articles were copied still remains – until the aforementioned 23 articles are delineated, exposed and published, it is hard to get a sense of the culpability of Yahoo!