NOTE: With all the plagiarism and theft of web content, YOU are not alone in the sorrows of lifted work.
Penske sued the Hollywood Reporter’s parent company, Prometheus, over allegations it lifted website code and copied stories. At the time, Finke issued a series of screeds that accused Prometheus of “egregious theft” and gloated that her rival was “dropping assets like flies.”
By raising the hot news claim, Penske is rolling the dice on a narrow rule that courts have routinely snatched away when modern publishers try to use it.
“Hot news” first arose in 1918 after the UK government shut off newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst from telegraph cables during World War I. Hearst responded by instructing his reporters to rewrite Associated Press stories. The rewritten stories were wired to the West Coast where they often appeared in Hearst’s papers before the original AP version—meaning that Hearst was using the AP’s own stories to scoop it.