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Judge rules for AP in copyright dispute

Larry Neumeister, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal judge says Meltwater gained an unfair advantage in the marketplace by refusing to pay a licensing fee to The Associated Press for its content.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote (KOHT') on Thursday released her written decision in favor of the AP in its claims that Meltwater U.S. Holdings Inc. and its Meltwater News Service wrongly used AP content without paying a licensing fee.

AP alleged that Meltwater, an electronic news clipping service, had been pilfering current and past material from the AP.

Cote says in her ruling that Meltwater has directly harmed a creator of expressive content protected by the Copyright Act.

AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt says the AP is thrilled that the judge rejected the argument that "if it is free on the Internet, it is free for the taking."

Meltwater said in a statement it would appeal.