Dow Jones Wins $5m Judgment Against British News Aggregator Ransquawk
Dow Jones wins $5m judgment against British news aggregator Ransquawk.Reuters

Dow Jones & Co has won a $5m judgement against London-based news aggregator Ransquawk, which it accused of illegally accessing its news feed, and redistributing its content within seconds of publication to financial professionals and other subscribers.

Ransquawk has not contested the lawsuit since it was filed in Manhattan federal court in January.

However, it is not clear whether Ransquawk has any American assets or operations that will allow the judgement to be enforced, Reuters reported.

Jason Conti, deputy general counsel for Dow Jones, said in a 7 October statement: "The $5m 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."

Matthew Cheung and Ranvir Singh
Ransquawk's co-founders Matthew Cheung and Ranvir Singh.Ransquawk

In May, Ransquawk chief executive Ranvir Singh told the news agency that his firm viewed the lawsuit as an unconstitutional attempt to limit its free speech, but that fighting it will "bankrupt us as a company".

Charges

Ransquawk, whose formal name is Real-Time Analysis & News, operates a "squawk" service that broadcasts audio and text feeds of breaking news, including probable market-moving content.

The Dow Jones lawsuit, filed in January 2014, accused Ransquawk of "hot news" embezzlement and interfering with Dow Jones' contracts. It sought a halt to any misuse and at least $5m in damages.

In the complaint filed with the US District Court in Manhattan, Dow Jones accused the UK-based firm of "nearly instantaneously cutting, pasting, and broadcasting" content from its DJX service, which includes news available to subscribers.

But Ransquawk denied having illegally retransmitted material directly from DJX. The news service said it got hold of the contested material through Twitter sources, instant messages, and other news sources.

Prior Litigation

The Ransquawk lawsuit by Dow Jones, a News Corp subsidiary, tested the hardly ever-invoked doctrine of "hot news" misuse - news outlets try to prevent aggregators from getting a free ride on journalistic or other content that requires time and money to put together.

Dow Jones pursued similar litigation before. In November 2010, the firm said it received a "substantial" amount from Briefing.com for siphoning off hot news and headlines for its website.

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