Yahoo countersues SPH in copyright dispute

Internet company files defense against Singapore Press Holdings in local courts; countersues media house for reproducing Yahoo content "without authorization" on its user-generated content site, Stomp.

SINGAPORE--Yahoo has filed its defense in a local court denying allegations of copyright infringement made by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and countersued with its copyright violation claims.

In a media statement released late-Tuesday, Yahoo said it had "filed its defence and counterclaim" against SPH with the Singapore High Court. The Internet company has denied all allegations of wrongful copyright infringement made by the local media house, which last month filed a lawsuit against Yahoo for reproducing content from its newspapers without prior permission.

SPH had cited 23 articles as examples of content that it said Yahoo Southeast Asia had reproduced on its Web sites. The U.S. Internet company had then responded it would "vigorously defend [itself] against this suit".

In its statement Tuesday, Yahoo highlighted that the "fundamental principle" of copyright law does not protect facts and information. It also noted that it is in the public interest of readers to be informed of current news and events in Singapore.

In its defence, Yahoo also countersued SPH for reproducing "various articles and original photographs and images" from its Singapore online news property. It said the content were republished "without authorization" on Stomp, which Yahoo described as a "self-described citizen-journalism Web site" operated and maintained by SPH, in which the Singapore company's employees edit and verify user-submitted content before they are posted online.

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