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December 23, 2008

Newton TAB publisher sues New York Times Co. over Web site

The national media syndicate GateHouse Media owns 125 local newspapers in Massachusetts, and runs the Wicked Local local news sites. The Boston Globe is not part of GateHouse Media. The Globe has started its own local sites, such as this one in Newton, MA. The Globe’s local sites run lots of news from the Globe, but they also aggregate local headlines from other sources, including from GateHouse. Those headlines link to the original sites, of course.

So, GateHouse now has sued the Globe‘s parent for copyright and trademark infringement, because GateHouse would prefer that no one know about or care about what it writes.

GateHouse is apparently unsure of how this whole Web thang works. Plus, the company’s lawyers skipped class the day Fair Use was discussed. Bad combination. Bad for GateHouse. Bad for the Web.

By the way, the title of this post is the headline from the Newton Tab, a GateHouse publication.

PS: There’s some feisty coverage of this in Cape Cod Today. [Tags: ]

Later: Dan Gillmor raises good points, unsurprisingly. He usefully complicates the issue.

Later: Berkman’s Citizen Media Law Project has written up some preliminary thoughts. These are some topnotch lawyers and legal writers, so that’s the pond in which you’ll want to do your initial dives.

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