BOSTON (CN) – The New York Times Company violates copyright laws, says a publisher of small weekly newspapers, by copying headlines and lead sentences from local weeklies and pasting them onto a website run by the Boston Globe, which is owned by the Times.
Plaintiff GateHouse Media claims in Federal Court that the Times rolled out the unfair news service in November, advertised it as providing “hyper-local” news. But GateHouse says the Times violates copyright by “electronically scraping” news from its newspapers in Waltham and Newton, Mass., and says the news giant also violates its “Wicked Local” trademark. In fact, GateHouse says, the Times rolled out its “hyper local” site to try to compete with GateHouse’s local news gathering, and its Wicked Local online news site.
GateHouse also objects that the Times provides its Web visitors with a “deep link” to GateHouse’s news stories “which bypasses the Wicked Local home page.”
GateHouse says it sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Times in November, citing the copyright violations, and the Times blew it off.
GateHouse claims it “implemented certain electronic security measures,” but the Times defeated it and kept reposting GateHouse’s stories and headlines.
GateHouse seeks damages for copyright violations, false designation, false advertising, trademark violation and dilution, unfair business practices, unfair competition, and breach of contract – the statement on GateHouse’s Web page that the information contained there is not for commercial resale.
GateHouse publishes 8 daily newspapers, 31 free weeklies and 86 paid weeklies. Throughout this complaint it repeatedly cites cut-and-paste jobs taken from its Newton TAB, a free weekly, and the Waltham Daily News Tribune, and the GateHouse Web site.
GateHouse is represented by Anthony Scibelli with Hiscock & Barclay.