Dow Jones lawsuit says investor copied thousands of articles for newsletter

The Dow Jones financial electronic ticker is seen at Times Square in New York. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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  • Britt Harris allegedly copied over 6,000 Wall Street Journal and Barron’s articles
  • Lawsuit said investor admitted to lifting stories for ‘very long time’

(Reuters) – Dow Jones & Co sued prominent investment manager Britt Harris in federal court on Friday, accusing him of unlawfully copying thousands of articles from its Wall Street Journal and Barron’s publications.

Harris is the president and CEO of the University of Texas/Texas A&M University Investment Management Company, and was formerly CEO of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. The Austin, Texas, federal court lawsuit said he reproduced more than 6,000 articles without permission and sent them to an audience of hundreds of business professionals, former students and others.

Harris did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Dow Jones and its attorneys also could not immediately be reached.

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According to the lawsuit, Harris copied and pasted or sent PDFs of full WSJ and Barron’s stories in his “Reading with Britt” newsletter, distributing them to over 800 subscribers over nearly ten years.

Dow Jones said the articles cover a wide range of financial and political topics. The “vast majority” of the newsletters contained at least one Dow Jones article, and some included as many as 17, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit also said Harris purposely removed or changed identifying information from the stories, including the publications’ names, author bylines, headlines and copyright notices.

Dow Jones said it confronted Harris in 2020 and that he admitted he had been republishing its stories “for a very long time.” The company said it sent a cease-and-desist letter later that year asking him to pay for damages, and that Harris has not compensated it for his “willful and repeated” infringement.

The lawsuit asked for an undisclosed amount of money damages.

The case is Dow Jones & Co v. Harris, U.S. District Court for the Western District Of Texas, No. 1:22-cv-00564.

For Dow Jones: Laura Prather of Haynes & Boone

For Harris: not available

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com