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L.A. Times v. Free Republic

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Citation Edit

Los Angeles Times v. Free Republic, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5669, 54 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1453 (C.D. Cal. 2000).

Factual Background Edit

The case involved an electronic bulletin board that posted the entire text of many news articles originally published on two newspapers' websites. The purpose of the posting was to encourage BBS members to add commentary and criticism. The newspapers sued for copyright infringement. The BBS operator sought summary judgment on its fair use defense.

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

The court rejected the motion. It found that the market for viewing articles online, for selling copies of archived articles, and for licensing others to display or sell the articles would be adversely affected by the availability of verbatim copies on the defendant's website. Although the website was non-commercial and promoted critical comment, the defendant failed to show that verbatim copying of the articles was necessary to achieve its purposes.

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