Agora Financial LLC v. Samler

D. Md.: Magistrate Recommends Denial of Default Judgment Against Aggregator Website; Hot News Misappropriation Claimed
Plaintiffs brought suit after the defendant began posting investment recommendations contained in plaintiffs' publications to his subscription-based website,  The magistrate, considering the plaintiffs motion for a default judgment, recommended the court dismiss the hot news misappropriation theory, noting that the Fourth Circuit has never adopted the five-factor test from NBA v. Motorola, and found that even if the court were to apply the NBA test, the claim would still fail because plaintiffs failed to allege that the recommendations were "factual information" rather than "original works," the latter of which would be protected by copyright (and thus a misappropriation claim would be preempted under Section 301 of the Copyright Act).  The magistrate also recommended the court find that defendant's conduct did not violate Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, because it was clear from defendant's website that there was no affiliation with plaintiffs.
-- Decision: Agora Financial LLC v. Samler

See also:
A federal judge in Maryland said recently that stock recommendations should not be considered "hot news," but might deserve copyright protection.
>> Opinion: Agora Financial, LLC v. Samler

Order adopting decision:

See our Article of the Month post for a more in-depth look at this decision, and where it fits in the recent spate of "hot news" cases: .

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