A copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit filed last month against The New York Times Co., owner of The Boston Globe and its Boston.com website, is being watched closely by news organizations, Internet researchers, independent bloggers, and companies that aggregate news online by linking to a variety of news sites.
At the heart of the complaint, lodged by GateHouse Media Inc., which publishes 125 community newspapers in Massachusetts, is the question of whether Internet news providers will be able to continue the practice of posting headlines and lead sentences from stories they link to on other sites. The case has been scheduled for trial in US District Court in Boston as early as Monday.
[…] Times Co.’s counterfiling argued GateHouse is seeking to thwart Boston.com’s local sites. It cited an e-mail from Rick Daniels, a former Globe executive who is now chief operating officer of GateHouse Media New England. Daniels told his staff, “We have to . . . work like hell to kill the Globe’s Newton baby in the cradle.” The filing quoted other documents, obtained in discovery, in which GateHouse executives suggested they recognized posting headlines, a few paragraphs, and a link to stories on other sites was “fair use” of copyrighted material.