October 7, 2014 / 8:35 PM / 5 years ago

Dow Jones wins $5 mln judgment against 'hot news' provider Ransquawk

NEW YORK, Oct 7 (Reuters) - 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.

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

In May, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman issued an injunction ordering the company to stop sending out unauthorized news content. He imposed the $5 million judgment on Tuesday.

It is unclear whether Ransquawk has any U.S. assets or operations that would allow the judgment to be enforced.

Ransquawk officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In May, CEO Ranvir Singh said in an email to Reuters that the company viewed the lawsuit as an unconstitutional attempt to limit its free speech but that fighting it would “bankrupt us as a company.”

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.

Ransquawk, which is 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)

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