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Google & Twitter Fight for Your Right to Break the News First

Did you know there’s a ruling before the appeals court that, if not overturned, might prevent you from using Twitter to share some hot news topic you just heard about?

It might also prevent Google News from indexing a blog post until given the go ahead by the original source of the news?

Crazy? Yes, but you can thank the antiquated laws of this country. You can also thank Google and Twitter for going to bat on our behalf. And on behalf of Theflyonthewall.com.

Google Inc and Twitter Inc have asked an appeals court to overturn a lower court’s decision to bar Theflyonthewall.com from issuing immediate news on analyst research from several Wall Street banks…In March, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said Theflyonthewall.com engaged in “systematic misappropriation,” essentially getting a “free ride” from its quick publication of upgrades and downgrades that can move stocks higher and lower.

Google and Twitter are arguing that the law that give a period of “exclusivity” to to influential news organizations is obsolete. Of course, it’s not all a selfless act. If the ruling is upheld, then Google News might not be able to display news results until a certain amount of time had passed or Twitter could be barred from breaking news stories–something that it’s grown dependent on over the past few years.

Will it get overturned? Who knows? You can never tell whether our judicial system will go with common sense or the common cent. However, if the ruling is upheld, it’s going to create some interesting scenarios. Like this one presented by Google and Twitter:

“How, for example, would a court pick a time period during which facts about the recent Times Square bombing attempt would be non-reportable by others?”