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KVOS v. ASSOCIATED PRESS

decided: December 14, 1936.

KVOS, INC
v.
ASSOCIATED PRESS



CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.

Hughes, Van Devanter, McReynolds, Brandeis, Sutherland, Butler, Roberts, Cardozo; Stone took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Roberts

[ 299 U.S. Page 271]

 MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court.

This suit was brought to enjoin petitioner, the proprietor of a radio station at Bellingham, Washington, from appropriating, using, or disseminating news gathered by the respondent or its members during the period such news has commercial value to respondent and its members. The prayers were for temporary and permanent relief. The district court directed the petitioner to show cause why an injunction should not be granted and entered a temporary restraining order.

In summary, the allegations of the bill follow.

Respondent is a New York corporation and petitioner a Washington corporation; "the damage to which complainant

[ 299 U.S. Page 272]

     is being subjected . . . is in excess of the sum of Three Thousand ($3000.00) Dollars, exclusive of interest and costs, and the amount involved herein and in controversy herein is in excess of said sum of Three Thousand ($3000.00) Dollars, exclusive of interest and costs."

The respondent, a membership corporation, is composed of proprietors or representatives of newspapers published throughout the United States whose business is the gathering, by its own instrumentalities, and by exchange with members, and other means, news, intelligence, and information from all over the world for the benefit of its members, and distribution of the material so gathered amongst them for newspaper publication, conformably to the by-laws.

The respondent has representatives in every important capital and city in the world and has reciprocal arrangements for interchange of news with many important agencies in foreign countries; has more than twelve hundred members, each owning or representing a daily newspaper, each supplying respondent, as required by the by-laws, with the news gathered locally by the newspaper he represents; the cost of respondent's transactions, amounting yearly to many millions of dollars, is equitably divided among the members; the association's service to members is of financial and business importance to them, due to its promptness, accuracy, and impartiality; the by-laws require that the news furnished shall remain confidential until publication has been fully accomplished by all members.

The petitioner conducts a radio station at Bellingham, Washington, and, as part of its daily broadcast, sends out, three times a day, morning, noon, and evening, what is styled "The Newspaper of the Air" in which petitioner announces what it claims to be, and what usually is, the leading and most interesting news of the day. The Bellingham Herald, published at Bellingham, is a member of

[ 299 U.S. Page 273]

     the association and, under the by-laws, the respondent is entitled to be furnished by the Herald with all the news from the territory served by that paper; the Seattle Post Intelligencer and the Seattle Daily Times are published at Seattle, Washington, and are represented by ...


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