Legal Publishing and Database Protection

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Litigation and Consolidation3

I actually. A Brief History3

II. The First Big Challenge: Mead Data Central v. West Publishing Co. 4

III. The Tide Turns: Feist and Market Consolidation4

4. Thomson Acquires Legal Web publishers, Prompts Antitrust Investigation6

Versus. Industry Litigation Spreads: The Bender, Hyperlaw and Palmeral Cases7

MIRE. The Industry after Bender: Legal Publishers Consolidate10

VII. The Business of Legal Creating in 200411

VIII. Proposed Legislative Protection13

IX. Existing Legal Protections15


Appendix A- Trademarks18

Appendix B- Patents26

Appendix C- Copyrights28

Appendix D- Acquisitions Timeline32


With regards to legal info, lawyers and their clients are willing to pay a premium for accuracy, speed, quality and usability. As such, the legal information market is highly profitable and has been so for the last one hundred twenty years. Attorneys have long demonstrated a willingness to cover up-to-the-minute usage of information within an easily accessible format. While there are currently discount and " free” sources of rules, attorneys have demonstrated a desire for the more high-priced services.

The providers of such services, legal publishers, have got litigated against each other above their copyright laws in courtroom decisions because the early nineteenth century.[1] Us copyright legislation has been focused on encourage syndication of the courtroom decisions simply by for-profit compilers.[2] As such, " no media reporter has or perhaps can include any copyright laws in the crafted opinions delivered by a[e] court; and... the judges thereof cannot confer in any reporter any such correct, ” but reporters have got a copyright interest in their own reporting from the court's decisions.[3] To remain competitive against cheap providers of legal information, legal publishers have jealously guarded all their proprietary ways of reporting the courtroom decisions.[4]

Recently, the major legal publishers attended together supporting legislation that could give them initial copyright-like safety for their sources, even if these databases include information that is certainly non-copyrightable.[5] Copyright laws law features historically certainly not been suitable to simply facts,[6] and a database is, by definition, a compilation of facts.[7] This legislation will be directly against the law established by the United States Best Court in Feist Magazines, Inc. v. Rural Mobile phone Service Company., which restricted compilers of information from claiming copyright intended for unoriginal compilations of details.[8] Feist established that " originality, not merely hard work, is definitely the constitutionally decided prerequisite intended for copyright security. ”[9] This kind of standard was further refined by the Second Signal in Matthew Bender & Co. versus. West Submitting Co., where court organised that the Western world Publishing Firm (" West”) did not carry copyright in the items in the databases and therefore a competition could openly copy the text of courtroom decisions out of this database and market a CD-ROM that contains these decisions.[10]

This newspaper will examine the history of litigation and consolidation in the legal posting market; it will examine the current economics of the legal publishing industry, addressing particularly the extraordinarily large profit margins these marketers enjoy; finally, the paper will go over the current protections available to legal publishers and it will analyze the implications of granting these kinds of publishers copyright-like protection in their databases.

A lawsuit and Debt consolidation

A Brief History

Pertaining to the greater part of its varied history, West functioned in a pseudo-governmental part, as a great " arm of the court docket, ” but did not have much competition.[11] In the past 2 decades a variety of competition both large and tiny have entered into the legal publishing organization.[12] As revenue...


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