The Hollywood Reporter has called bull on Nikki Finke's lawsuit against the trade Wednesday, saying the examples provided in the suit were mainly press releases reported by their staff.
"It is not copyright infringement to report these stories, even if on occasion Deadline.com posts them first," said the statement sent to TheWrap.
But the trade acknowledged that PMC's claim of copying code may have merit, and said it would look into the allegation.
"We take the allegation seriously and have, as of today, removed the carousel feature while we look into the matter," it said.
The code was created by a third-party vendor, said the statement.
The trade has already removed the code in question.
As for the alleged cribbing of stories, the traded said most of the evidence provided by Deadline originated from press releases that were sent out widely.
"An initial review of the complain shows that it is replete with examples of stories that originated from widely released press releases from publicist, or widespread confirmations from publicists to numerous outlets, including both The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline," the statement read.
Here's the statement in full:
In March, The Hollywood Reporter responded to an allegation by Deadline.com of so-called "stolen" stories by asking Deadline.com to provide specifics. We got no response, and today we know why.
Deadline.com's parent company PMC has just sued The Hollywood Reporter for copyright infringement based on allegations of "stolen" stories. An initial review of the complaint shows that it is replete with examples of stories that originated from widely-released press releases from publicists, or widespread confirmations from publicists to numerous outlets, including both The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline.com. It is not copyright infringement to report these stories, even if on occasion Deadline.com posts them first.
This lawsuit is yet another attempt to steer attention away from the ongoing growth of The Hollywood Reporter, including its 4.4 million visitors per month as measured by comScore in comparison to Deadline.com's 1.5 million. The Hollywood Reporter is proud of its original journalism that has driven our growth, and we look forward to responding to this lawsuit in court at the appropriate time.
PMC's complaint also alleges that The Hollywood Reporter has open job offers to PMC employees, even though this has nothing to do with any allegations of copyright infringement. It also is untrue.
Lastly, today was the first we heard about any allegation regarding the code for the "carousel" feature on our website, which was coded for us by a third-party vendor. We take the allegation seriously and have, as of today, removed the carousel feature while we look into the matter. Unlike with its meritless allegations of stolen stories, Deadline.com did not give us the standard courtesy of advance notice or opportunity to investigate the coding issue before it sued and sought publicity.
We look forward to defending ourselves in court.