BOSTON (AP) — A settlement has been reached in a closely watched lawsuit brought after The Boston Globe's Web site began posting headlines and lead sentences from another publisher's site, a court official said Monday.
A clerk for U.S. District Judge William Young said GateHouse Media Inc., which owns several Massachusetts dailies, and The New York Times Co., the parent company of The Boston Globe, reached an agreement during the weekend.
The deal came just before the case was set to go to trial Monday in federal court.
Details of the settlement were not immediately announced. Lawyers for GateHouse and the New York Times Co. declined to comment Monday morning. Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman for the New York Times Co., did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
News organizations and bloggers had said the case could have far-reaching implications for determining how much content one news organization or Web site can use from another.
In its lawsuit, filed last month, GateHouse said the Globe's new "Your Town" Web sites used GateHouse material without permission. GateHouse calls its community Web sites "Wicked Local" sites.
GateHouse claimed Boston.com's actions violated copyright and trademark laws. Besides publishing headlines and lead sentences, it said, Boston.com provided links that sent readers directly to "Wicked Local" stories. That meant readers bypassed ads posted on GateHouse home pages and could be confused as to the source of the original reporting, GateHouse claimed in its complaint.
GateHouse, based in Fairport, N.Y., owns 97 daily newspapers, 400 other publications and 260 related Web sites reaching more than 10 million people in 21 states. Its Massachusetts publications include The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, The Enterprise of Brockton, the Newton TAB and the Daily News Tribune of Waltham.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.