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AP, Simon & Schuster Resolve Dispute

August 27, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Associated Press announced Friday that it had agreed to put in place a training program on copyright law for its journalists in order to resolve a dispute with Simon & Schuster over the publication last year of a story with excerpts from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s memoirs, ``Living History.″

Simon & Schuster, a unit of media conglomerate Viacom Inc., had objected to the AP’s story, which came out several days before the official publication date of the book, saying that it amounted to copyright infringement. The AP disagreed and cited the strong news value of the information in the memoir.

Nonetheless, the AP said in a statement that it understood ``Simon & Schuster’s rights under copyright law and the publisher’s strong concerns for the protection of legitimate intellectual property rights that encourage public figures to tell their stories.″

The new training program will ``explore what copyright protects, what can fairly be used from copyright material and other related legal issues, including copyright protections of AP work,″ the company said. Simon & Schuster as well as other major book publishers have been invited to take part in the training program.

Jack Stokes, a spokesman for the AP, said the program would begin in late September and that news department leaders would be the first to participate.

Carolyn Reidy, head of the adult publishing group at Simon & Schuster, said in a statement that the company was ``gratified″ by AP’s willingness launch the program. ``We value our relationship with AP and other media outlets, and hoped from the start that we would be able to resolve our dispute in a manner that recognized our shared interests in both the free reporting of news and the protection of intellectual property rights,″ Reidy said.

Kathleen Carroll, AP senior vice president and executive editor, said in a statement that the ``number of public figures who pen books loaded with news items has increased the need for journalists to have the best possible understanding of publishing laws and the balance between the obligation to respect intellectual property rights and the right to report the news.″

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