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February 6, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:17pm

APPEALS COURT REVERSES MOTOROROLA MISAPPROPRIATION RULING

By CBR Staff Writer

In a unanimous ruling, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed that lower court ruling that enjoined Motorola Inc and Sports Team Analysis & Tracking Systems Inc (STATS) from disseminating the running scores from National Basketball Association games in progress, picked up from radio and television bradcasts, to handheld pagers. The Basketball Association sued, contending that other parties’ real-time distribution of the information without permission violates its copyrights and hurts the league’s own efforts to exploit the value of its property. The lower court found that while Motorola and Stats hadn’t committed copyright infringement, they had misappropriated National Basketball Association property rights. However the appeals court reversed the misappropriation ruling, saying that the Association hadn’t met a narrowly tailored, hot news test for prevailing on such a misappropriation claim, and so Motorola and Stats were not free-riding on the Association’s information – broadcasts of athletic events are protected by copyright, the events themselves aren’t because they are not original works of authorship.

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