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August 14, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:02pm

FREELANCERS LOSE COURT CASE OVER ONLINE PUBLISHING RIGHTS

By CBR Staff Writer

Six major media companies have won the dismissal of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a group of freelance writers who argued that publications which carry their work should not be allowed to resell it to electronic media outfits such as online archive Lexis-Nexis. A US District Judge in New York ruled that the defendants have the right to resell the work of freelancers who have already been paid for their articles if the entire issue of the publication in which the article appeared is then placed online. Defendants in the suit included the New York Times Co, Newsday Inc, Time Inc and The Atlantic Monthly Co. The case was significant in that it resulted in the first ruling on the ownership of the electronic rights to freelance work contained in media compilations, such as magazines or newspapers. The writers who filed the suit were seeking additional remuneration from the media companies based on the fact that once posted on an electronic database or a CD-ROM, countless numbers of individuals can freely access and download their work.

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