Thursday, April 10, 2008

News-Press Copyright Suit Against Indy Settled

The lawsuit brought by Wendy McCaw's News-Press against the Santa Barbara Independent alleging copyright infringement has been settled.

This is according to a joint stipulation filed yesterday in federal court in Los Angeles by the parties to the lawsuit.

According to the stipulation, the parties are in the process of finalizing a written settlement agreement which will be filed with the court. Upon the filing of the agreement the News-Press' lawsuit against the Independent will be dismissed.

Friday Morning Update. Very late Thursday afternoon I reached Nick Welsh, the Indy's news editor, by telephone. Although he was aware a settlement had been reached he could not comment on it. He referred me to Randy Campbell, the Indy's publisher, however Campbell had already left for the day.

So the exact details of the settlement remain unknown, although it is significant that one of the elements of the settlement will be a dismissal of the News-Press' complaint against the Indy "with prejudice," meaning the claims that arose out of the facts and circumstances that were included in the complaint can never be refiled again.

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that the settlement either involves no money being paid by the Indy to the News-Press or only a relatively small amount of money.

Undoubtedly there will be a jointly issued and carefully worded statement forthcoming regarding the settlement that figures to be judiciously obtuse as to exactly how the matter was resolved.

Whenever that happens I plan to be here to read between the lines.

* * *

It's official! The Santa Barbara Film Fest is now on the News-Press' enemies list.

In his op-ed column yesterday, Travis Armstrong took a few swipes at the film fest and its director, Roger Durling, including characterizing the organization as having "a rather down year." A "down year?" Says who?

He also describes securing the attendance of current Oscar nominees at the fest as a "ploy."

With the Film Fest now part of the "cabal" can Fiesta be far behind?

* * *

Also, in that same op-ed column Armstrong complains, without identifying her by name, that the editor of a local "freebie" newspaper "was involved in a messy lawsuit after her BMW apparently rear-ended another car stopped at a red light on Chapala Street."

I believe that's a reference to Marianne Partridge, editor of the Independent. (And didn't anyone ever tell Armstrong that names make the news?)

Anyway, Armstrong seems to think that routine fender-benders are newsworthy because he asks: "Where was the complete coverage of the years-long legal fight, and how it was ultimately resolved earlier this year?"

Well, we know one place it wasn't covered. In the News-Press!