Copyright Case Against Santa Barbara Independent Moves Forward

october 30, 2007  08:25 am
In July 2006, a reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press wrote an article describing what occurred in the paper's newsroom the day a handful of top editors resigned. The story never made the paper; instead, the Independent got a hold of a draft and posted it on its website. The parent company of the News-Press then sued the Independent in federal court for copyright infringement. A federal judge yesterday indicated he was inclined to rule that the Independent did indeed infringe the News-Press' copyright on the article, the Santa Barbara Daily Sound reports. However, he expressed concern that the case was even brought to court, according to blogger Craig Smith, saying that while it did appear there had been a "technical" violation of copyright laws, he was at a loss to see what the damages or harm could possibly be. The judge also said that the doctrine of "fair use" would not provide a sufficient defense for the Independent. He said he will issue a final ruling after more thought on the case.