A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that investment banks could not stop a financial Web site from immediately publishing the research recommendations of their stock analysts, delivering a blow to Wall Street and a win for the investing public.
Perhaps more significant, the decision was a victory for Internet companies whose business models depend upon summarizing and commenting on others’ original content. Yet media businesses also cheered the ruling because it left in place legal protections against rogue competitors who copy and resell original news reporting at little or no cost.
“It’s a great decision for the free flow of information in the new media age,” said Kathleen M. Sullivan, a lawyer who filed a brief in the case on behalf of two clients, Google and Twitter.
In a lawsuit closely followed by the world’s largest financial, media and technology businesses, a panel of three judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan ruled that Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America could not dictate who reported news about their stock research — nor when they reported it.