Meltwater News ("Meltwater") is a search engine and research tool that allows users to search for and obtain information about news items that have been made publicly available on the Internet. The Associated Press ("AP") sued Meltwater, claiming that Meltwater's inclusion of short excerpts and links to AP stories in search results for its clients infringed AP's copyrights. AP asserted that Meltwater's services were not "transformative" within the meaning of the fair use caselaw because they were not also "expressive." We disagreed. On behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge, we filed an amicus brief with the Southern District of New York arguing AP's interpretation of the fair use doctrine was not only unduly narrow, but threatening to innovation and free expression, as well as fundamentally inconsistent with the prevailing cases on fair use in the search engine context.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.