Justia Securities Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Copyright
Barclays Capital Inc., et al. v. Theflyonthewall.com, Inc.
After a bench trial, the district court entered a judgment for plaintiffs concluding that on seventeen occasions, defendant had infringed plaintiffs' copyrights in their research reports, and that by collecting and disseminating to its own subscribers the summary recommendations with respect to securities trading contained in plaintiffs' reports, defendant had committed the New York state law tort of "hot news" misappropriation. Defendant appealed the judgment and injunction against it on the "hot news" misappropriation claim. The court held that plaintiffs' claim against defendant for "hot news" misappropriation of the plaintiff financial firms' recommendations to clients and prospective clients as to trading in corporate securities was preempted by federal copyright law. Based upon principles explained and applied in National Basketball Association v. Motorola ("NBA"), the court held that because plaintiffs' claim fell within the "general scope" of copyright, 17 U.S.C. 106, and involved the type of works protected by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 102 and 103, and because defendant's acts at issue did not meet the exceptions for a "hot news" misappropriation claim as recognized by NBA, the claim was preempted. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the district court with respect to that claim.