Financial website Moneyweb announced late last week that they are taking the Media24-owned website Fin24 to court for what they term "systematic plagiarism on an industrial scale", for Fin24's habit of repurposing stories first published on Moneyweb.
From their side, Fin24 argues this kind of content aggregation is now standard practice internationally for sites like the Huffington Post. It's a very interesting case, and the first of its type in South Africa. Are sites like Fin24 parasitic, or is Moneyweb failing to keep up with the times?
Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk made the announcement last Friday: Moneyweb has submitted a court application against Fin24 for alleged "plagiarism, copyright infringement and unfair competition".
Van Niekerk's claim is that Moneyweb has made substantial investments in "unique and original content", and that Fin24 then goes ahead and copies their stories. There may be some cursory attempt at a rewrite, Van Niekerk says, but "the key is that the core essence of the original article appears in the Fin24 version".
In Van Niekerk's affidavit he emphasizes that he is familiar with the modus operandi of the Media24 stable because he worked for the company from 1997 to 2011. Originally, Fin24...