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Copyright Case: SPH Amends Claim Against Yahoo (BT)

BackAug 17, 2012

THE ink has not dried on this one. Just when the legal tussle between news giant Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Internet resources provider Yahoo seemed to be making ground towards a resolution, a new development has turned the heat up.

SPH yesterday filed an amended statement of claim against Yahoo in relation to its suit against the latter for copyright infringement, taking the number of articles infringed to 254.

In court filings last November, SPH alleged that the US-based Internet company had reproduced news content from its newspapers without permission.

As examples, SPH highlighted 23 articles from The Straits Times, The New Paper and My Paper that Yahoo had allegedly substantially reproduced over a 12-month period from November 2010 to October 2011.

However, in the amended claim yesterday, SPH has revised the time period to go as far back as July 2010 and to now include articles published by The Business Times, as reflected by the surge in the alleged number of articles infringed upon.

This development comes even as it appeared earlier this week that the case may be heading for a resolution when Yahoo withdrew one of the grounds of the counterclaim it had filed in December against SPH.

Yahoo had accused SPH citizen journalism website Stomp of infringing its copyright by reproducing its original news content without authorisation. Yahoo cited two articles and a picture posted on its website that was allegedly posted onto Stomp.

Sources told media on Tuesday though that Yahoo had decided to withdraw this grounds of counterclaim. Hints of a resolution appeared from this development especially since the withdrawal was made without an order of costs. According to those sources, neither side was demanding the other to cover legal costs for the withdrawal.

This despite Yahoo sticking to its other grounds of counterclaim, which alleges that SPH had made groundless threats of copyright infringement against it.

The Internet company still intends to defend itself against those claims made by SPH, which seek from Yahoo unspecified damages and an injunction against further infringements.