The Doctrine of Hotnews


The Doctrine of Hotnews first came into play in the United States Supreme Court’s 1918 decision. It was at this time that the Copyright Act was not yet in place. News was transmitted via the wire and competing wire services competed for news. They sent articles to newspapers that were affiliated with them. The competing wire services had rights to the news they sent but were not allowed to profit from it. This conflict led to the creation of the Hotnews doctrine.

While “hot news” is not a universal concept, it does have important applications. While the Supreme Court recognized hot news in 1918, the Second Circuit has since overruled its application in many cases. Still, hot news is likely to have a significant role in future publishing and technology, and is an important tool to use in trademark protection. So, what is Hotnews? What are the guidelines for interpreting it? Let’s look at some of them.

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While the concept of “hot news” is relatively new, it is already recognized by the Supreme Court. In 1918, the International News Service was found to have copied AP war reports that were published in Europe. In the United States, the Second Circuit has overruled the doctrine in a similar case. Despite this ruling, it’s important to note that the doctrine of hot news is a relatively limited exception to the copyright law. However, the INS decision will encourage plaintiffs to bring hot news lawsuits based on similar claims in the future.