Judge Awards Dow Jones $5 Million in Claim Against Aggregator Ransquawk

October 8, 2014

Dow Jones & Co. on Tuesday won a $5 million judgment against the London-based service Ransquawk, which it accused of pirating its content by broadcasting news within seconds of publication to traders and other subscribers.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in New York imposed the judgment on Tuesday, five months after he issued an injunction ordering the company to stop the unauthorized broadcasting of Dow Jones’ news content.

The lawsuit is one of a handful to rely on the “hot news” misappropriation doctrine, under which news providers seek to prevent aggregators from benefiting for free from their journalism.

It was unclear whether Ransquawk has any U.S. assets or operations that would allow the judgment to be enforced. Ransquawk has not contested the lawsuit since it was filed in January.

“As a company domiciled in the United Kingdom that has not entered into litigation in the United States, we do not fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts,” Ranvir Singh, Ransquawk’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Furthermore, as ‘hot news misappropriation’ is not a law recognized in the United Kingdom, we remain confident that any judgments entered against us in New York will not be enforceable in the United Kingdom.”

Ransquawk, the nickname for Real-Time Analysis & News Ltd, operates a “squawk” service that broadcasts market-moving stories and other breaking news.

Dow Jones, a unit of News Corp, accused Ransquawk of copying and broadcasting content from DJX, an online platform that includes news from Dow Jones Newswires, The Wall Street Journal and other sources. It had sought $5 million in damages and an injunction.

In a statement, Jason Conti, deputy general counsel for Dow Jones, said, “The $5 million award is just the latest instance in which we successfully pursued a content thief and came away with a significant recovery. We’ll continue to challenge anyone who tries to trade off of our journalism.”

Dow Jones and Reuters are competitors in providing real-time news and data.

The case is Dow Jones & Co v. Real-Time Analysis & News Ltd, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-00131.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Dan Grebler and David Gregorio)

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