The AP (Associated Press) is suing Verisign over news aggregation site Moreover's unlicensed use of AP news stories.
Moreover operates free to use and subscription services, and gathers together news stories from various sources. AP is a co-operative, not for profit association of newspapers and broadcasters.
AP had asked Moreover to stop using its material, with no result. As a consequence the AP suit has been filed against Moreover in New York, seeking unspecified damages and an injunction stopping Moreover from using AP material.
The case has similarities with the occasion earlier this year when Google lost out in a similar court case over Google News using Belgian newspapers' content without permission.
Tom Curley, chief executive of AP, said: "The Associated Press spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year gathering and reporting the news, providing original coverage of vital breaking news that cannot be obtained anywhere else."
"We've done this for more than 160 years, often under tremendous time pressure and often at great risk to our journalists. When someone uses our content without our permission, they are free riding on our news-gathering and our reporting of news from around the world."
AP's lawyer, Srinandan Kasi, added: "As part of its policy of enforcing its intellectual property rights, AP maintains an active licensing program across content platforms and media types.
"Thousands of publishers, corporations, educational institutions, governmental bodies and other organisations, large and small, have been and are active licensees of AP content, in some cases continuously over several decades."
The suit says that Moreover is "reproducing, publicly displaying, caching and archiving AP's articles on defendants' services without AP's permission," according to Reuters news agency.
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