26
Nov/02

The Copyright of Price and the Price of Copyright


ZDNet article and Forbes article on the NY Mercantile Exchange suing the Intercontinental Exchange  (ICE) for copyright infringement on the grounds that NYMEX’ settlement prices of futures contracts were copyrightable.

Two thoughts: first, I would love to see the complaint because I am interested in how a settlement price, which I assume is created by the contractual agreement of buyer and seller who are not employees of the Exchange, is a work of authorship of the Exchange (the compilation of such prices will be another story). Disclaimer – the articles on the suit are short and it is hard to ascertain precisely what ICE allegedly copied.

Second – at some point a Court is going to say that there is a public policy that for markets to function efficiently, we can’t grant far-sweeping rights in pricing data.

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