|CCH, Inc., a provider of legal information, software, and services,
has announced that it will aggressively oppose and seek prompt legal resolution
for an attempt by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)
to misappropriate, duplicate, and sell to PIABA members the proprietary
and copyrighted SAC-CCH Awards Library, an electronic collection of securities
arbitration awards. In addition, the Securities Arbitration Commentator,
Inc. (SAC) of Maplewood, New Jersey, which developed the original content
from which CCH created its proprietary electronic library, will join in
supporting CCH's effort to prevent PIABA from violating the company's various
state and federal statutory rights, including laws protecting intellectual
According to the announcement, CCH and SAC recently discovered that
PIABA had set about formally and systematically to extract and duplicate
for its own commercial use more than 26,000 arbitration-award documents
and other information in a proprietary electronic format from the CCH product.
PIABA accessed the data via the Internet portal of the National Association
of Securities Dealers (NASD), which licenses the SAC-CCH Awards Library
and makes this arbitration-award information available to its members and
the public via the Internet for free.
PIABA responded to CCH's good-faith efforts to discuss and negotiate
a fair and reasonable resolution by filing a complaint seeking a declaratory
judgment in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.
"CCH is a staunch defender of open and affordable access to public information,"
said Peter Berkery, associate publisher of CCH Business and Finance Group.
"Investors and the professionals who are paid to represent them may easily
seek out and retrieve arbitration-award documents at no cost.
"At the same time, our customers, primarily attorneys and securities
professionals, often require more sophisticated applications when conducting
legal research on behalf of their clients. This includes CCH-created supplemental
information, tools, explanatory and analytical text, as well as an information
architecture that generates accurate research that supports clients' claims
in court or in arbitration.
"The complexities of the electronic information marketplace cannot simply
be set aside by PIABA. With little demonstrated concern for the legal or
ethical implications, the organization has lifted a significant percentage
of the intellectual property developed and maintained by SAC and CCH with
plans to use it solely for its own financial gain."
Source: CCH, Inc., Riverwoods, IL, 847/267-7000; http://www.cch.com.