AP to the punch while incurring a frac-
tion of the AP’s costs. When the case
reached the Supreme Court in 1918,
the justices reasoned that though the
INS did not break copyright law, the
company was violating the common-
law doctrine of unfair competition,
dubbing their particular offense “hot
news misappropriation.” Unfortu-
nately for future news organizations,
however, a landmark 1938 case held
that federal courts have no jurisdic-
tion over common law; “hot news,”
therefore, became the purview of the
states, and today only five states (in-
cluding New York) recognize the doc-
trine, which in theory gives a tempo-
rary monopoly to news creators. Even
in these states, though, the hot-news
doctrine may be unconstitutional if
it conflicts with federal law, which
trumps state law. The legal concern,
Liu explains, is “Are the media com-
panies trying to protect something
with state law that federal copyright
law says you can’t protect?”
At least one company sees an op-
portunity in the midst of the crisis—
and, if successful, may help fix the
market for news. Newsright, a year-
old start-up, aims to serve both jour-
nalists and aggregators by making
it easy to use news content legally.
Newsright’s interim CEO Srinandan
Kasi, formerly a scientist at IBM and
more recently the head of legal af-
fairs for the AP, points out that peo-
ple are consuming news differently
than they used to—all day long, and
away from the package in which it was
released by the owner. “Given that
kind of model, you need an ‘always-
on’ supply chain,” he says, hinting at
possible plans to offer 24/7 spot sales
of individual stories. In such a supply
chain, Newsright operates more like
a wholesale distributor than a retail-
er of news, so its customers would be
aggregators, rather than the ultimate
consumers of news.
More than two dozen news organizations have signed on to offer
content through Newsright, but attracting aggregators has been more
difficult, despite the offer of analytics that reveal trending stories. Why
should aggregators pay for content
that they have been able to repurpose without paying? Sellars, of the
Berkman Center, says if Newsright
say what they
are doing is
the most interesting
a broad range
of news producers.
offers a quick and painless way to
pay, aggregators who are risk averse
might prefer that option over the
chance of a legal fight. “But it all depends on what the figures are. If the
money’s not right, they might pursue
Athey, S. and Mobius, M.
The impact of news aggregators on Internet
news consumption: The case of localization.
Working paper, 2012.
Bavitz, C. et al.
Saving journalism from itself? hot news,
copyright fair use and news aggregation,
events/2010/04/omlnpanel1, April 9, 2010.
Isbell, K. and the Citizen Media Law Project
The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal
Implications and Best Practices. Berkman
Center Research Publication no. 2010-10,
Aug. 30, 2010.
Free Ride: How Digital Parasites Are
Destroying the Culture Business, and
How the Culture Business Can Fight Back.
Doubleday, new York, n Y, 2011.
The Continuing Viability of the hot news
Misappropriation Doctrine in the Age of
Internet news Aggregation. Northwestern
Journal of Technology and Intellectual
Property 10, 3, Winter 2012.
based in san Francisco, Marina Krakovsky is the
co-author of Secrets of the Moneylab: How Behavioral
Economics Can Improve Your Business.
© 2013 aCM 0001-0782/13/01
still have not crossed the
but recent supercomputing
conferences such as sC12
and the international
(isC12) confirm the drive
toward that goal. (An exaflop/s
is a quintillion floating-point
operations per second.)
As sC12 technical Program
Chair Rajeev thakur pointed
out in an article in The Exascale
Report, the terms “exascale”
or “extreme scale” occur in
the titles or abstracts of 75
conference items, including the
keynote address by theoretical
physicist Michio Kaku.
thakur also noted that
explicit mention of exascale
computing first appeared
(with nine occurrences) in
conference materials in 2008,
which was also the year that
the first supercomputer passed
the one-petaflop/s mark.
thakur noted that, as those
dates approach, “People are
more consciously thinking of it.
When exascale first appeared in
the conference program in 2008,
it was only in a few areas. But
now it’s on everyone’s mind.”
however, thakur demurred
to name a date himself, saying
that “a lot depends on whether
there is sufficient investment in
research for exascale and in
the acquisition of large systems.
nobody really knows when
exascale will actually appear.”
When exascale first appeared
in the conference program in
2008, it was only in a few areas.
now it’s on everyone’s mind.
— Tom Geller