BOULDER — A judge refused Thursday to hand down a decision about who owns a journalist's notes — the reporter or the newspaper.
"I'm unwilling to make a finding in this case. I don't think it makes any difference, and I'm not going to do it," said Boulder County District Court Judge Morris Sandstead of the struggle between the Boulder Daily Camera and ex-reporter Allison Krupski over who owns the documents she gathered while covering the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.
When the Camera fired Krupski, she took the documents with her. The newspaper filed suit in 1998 against Krupski, claiming she stole the documents from them. Krupski countersued, claiming defamation, and won.
The documents belong to the newspaper because it paid Krupski to generate them, attorney Laurin Quiat argued, hoisting a law book. "I use this book in my work every day. But it belongs to the firm. I'm not entitled to take it." Both the paper and the reporter have the right to have copies of the documents, Sandstead said.
"I'm finding that they both own it. They both have the right to possess it," he said, adding that he refused to "set a precedent that the work of a reporter belongs to the newspaper. I'm not going to make that finding."