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Yahoo! has slammed allegations made by Asian publisher Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) that it reproduced SPH content without permission and profited from advertising.

The web giant has issued a statement rebuking the claims and “denies all allegations of wrongful copyright infringement by SPH." Yahoo! has also issued a counter claim alleging that an SPH owned citizen journalism website, STOMP, had actually reproduced without authorisation several Yahoo! articles and pictures.

Singapore Press Holdings made the allegations last month, announcing it was suing Yahoo! for copyright infringement, accusing the web portal of reproducing its news items over a twelve month period without permission, and demanding unspecified damages.

In its statement of claim, SPH also accused Yahoo! of monetising the traffic it received from the articles, without providing payment for content or licence fees.

According to the Straits Times (which is owned by SPH), the claim cited examples of 23 articles from its stable of newspapers which were alleged to have been reproduced substantially over a 12-month period on Yahoo! Southeast Asia's websites.

In Yahoo!’s legal response to the allegations it said that “copyright law does not protect facts and information” and that there is an important public interest issue regarding the right of the public to be informed of news and current events in Singapore.”

The case is being heard in the Singapore High Court. ®

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