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AP, Meltwater settle copyright dispute

Monday - 7/29/2013, 3:20pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Associated Press said Monday that it has settled a copyright-infringement lawsuit against digital news distributor Meltwater and that the two companies will begin developing products together.

The AP sued Meltwater U.S. Holdings Inc. and its Meltwater News Service last year, claiming that they resold current and past AP stories without paying licensing fees. Meltwater maintained that its use of AP stories, drawn from a scan of 162,000 news websites from more than 190 countries, was allowed under fair use provisions of copyright laws.

A federal judge ruled in the AP's favor in March, but Meltwater vowed to appeal. The settlement ends all pending disputes between the two companies, the AP said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said his news organization is pleased with the outcome.

"The litigation is behind us, and we are looking forward to partnering with Meltwater in a positive and constructive relationship going forward," Pruitt said in a statement.

Founded in Oslo, Norway, in 2001, Meltwater is an electronic news clipping service that helps its clients monitor how they are covered by news organizations. The company is now based in San Francisco and has offices in 27 countries and 20,000 companies as customers.

Under the deal, the AP and Meltwater will jointly develop products that combine AP content with Meltwater's online media analytics capabilities, the AP said. The products would then be sold through Meltwater's global sales network, generating revenue for both companies.

"There is more to be gained by working together to develop new markets and reaching new customers than can be achieved through adversarial paths, and we are eager to forge a strong relationship with AP," Meltwater Founder and CEO Jorn Lyseggen said.

Founded in 1846, the AP is a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members. Headquartered in New York, it employs more than 3,200 staffers -- almost two-thirds of whom are journalists -- in more than 280 locations around the world.


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