Moneyweb argues in court papers that Fin24 took its exclusive content unlawfully and offered it as its own.
News24 editor in chief Jannie Momberg rejected these claims as patently false on Friday.
Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk told Beeld that Fin24 published content without permission that cost Moneyweb thousands of rands to generate “with just a few sentences that have been changed”.
“At no time did we pretend to pass off the work of others as our own,” said Momberg. Content was clearly attributed and linked providing valuable exposure, transfer of audience and strong benefits for search engine optimisation – a common practice among digital publishing operations.
“Moneyweb’s response to the workings of digital media is clearly an old media approach from a company struggling to retain market share,” said Momberg.
He said it is clear that South African law has not caught up with the times.
“We will defend these principles vigorously and look forward to setting a legal precedent for fair use and content aggregation – a practice that is as old as the free media and used by every single media organisation globally,” said Momberg.
New media publishers like The Huffington Post, YouTube and BuzzFeed use the same publishing principles, Momberg said.
Fin24 is the leading financial South African digital publisher, with Moneyweb third behind BDLive.