Capitol Forum sues Bloomberg, alleging improper use of its content
Capitol Forum, a Washington-based news service that focuses on mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and government contracts, has sued Bloomberg News alleging that the wire service is illegally using is content.
In the lawsuit, Capitol Forum states:
Within minutes of the release of many of Capitol Forum’s reports, Bloomberg will surreptitiously obtain the report from one or more of Capitol Forum’s subscribers, and then republish a summary of that report on its own “First Word” copyrighted subscription service, usually including direct quotations from the Capitol Forum report.
Capitol Forum alleges that the republishing of its content violates copyright law and that Bloomberg knows that it’s illegal for Capitol Forum’s subscribers to pass along its content.
The lawsuit states that First Word editor Joshua Fineman solicited the Capitol Forum reports from a West Coast hedge fund until Capitol Forum demanded the subscriber stop. It alleges that Fineman has then gone to other Capitol Forum subscribers to obtain its reports.
It also states that Bloomberg does not add analysis or any meaningful reporting to the content other than to add a stock price or link to a previous story.
Capitol Forum is alleging Bloomberg’s actions violate the “hot news doctrine,” which prevent competitors from republishing time-sensitive news.
“If our subscribers can get our material from Bloomberg, that undermines the value of our subscription offering,” said Teddy Downey, executive editor and CEO of Capitol Forum, in a statement to Talking Biz News. “We work hard to develop our sources and analyses, and Bloomberg is free riding off that hard work.”
In a statement, Bloomberg editor in chief John Micklethwait said, “This case challenges routine newsgathering practices protected under the First Amendment, and Bloomberg will vigorously defend journalists’ right to gather and report the news.”
Capitol Forum is seeking $150,000 in damages per violation.
The lawsuit can be found here.