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Old 25 Jul 2010, 06:19 PM   #1
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Default Mass litigation being used by newspaper business now?

The actions of firms like the US Copyright Group has inspired a new way for struggling newspapers to make money - sue those that use its articles online illegally. And where Hollywood has the USCG, the Las Vegas based Righthaven is doing the same for Stephens Media, owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and 70 other papers around the United States.

The targets are blogs and websites that repost articles written by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and hundreds of lawsuits are already in the process. Those that don't settle could face higher legal costs by going to court.

Fred Bouzek, who runs bikernews.net, is one of those willing to settle, after one of the website's users posted a Las Vegas Review-Journal story. Under normal circumstances, the copyright owners would file a DMCA takedown request, and in most cases, the offending article would be removed. However, it appears newspapers owners are finding that suing for money is much more profitable.

Bill Irvine, owner of AboveTopSecret.com, is not settling though, as he feels the DMCA's safe harbor provisions provide protection for websites if the offending content is user generated, as long as the website has clear, enforced rules in regards to posting copyrighted content. Irvine is challenging the lawsuit, and he has a good chance at victory if the judge feels the precedents set by the Viacom/YouTube, Universal/Veoh lawsuits, both of which were successfully defended by the user-generated websites in question, are just as valid when it comes to written media.

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http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/201...g-for-dollars/
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Old 31 Aug 2010, 08:40 PM   #2
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A second newspaper chain has signed up to Righthaven in what critics are calling "copyright trolling", or suing bloggers for using articles without permission. Arkansas based WEHCO Media, owners of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, amongst other papers, is the latest to sign up to Righthaven. Righthaven threatens to sue for up to $75,000, but will settle the case usually for a few thousand dollars.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/201...oll-expanding/
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Old 8 Sep 2010, 06:20 PM   #3
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Interesting development. Righthaven's "copyright trolling" has now managed to catch Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle, who allegedly posted two newspaper articles that Righthaven is seeking damages of up to $150,000 from (or a settlement fee for a fraction of this). It's always interesting when politics is involved.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09...ues_candidate/
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Old 21 Sep 2010, 04:28 PM   #4
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Righthaven has run into a small problem with one of its hundreds of lawsuits against bloggers and others who re-publish newspaper stories. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled that one of the bloggers sued, Jan Klerks, does have at least two potentially valid points of defence against Righthaven's accusations, in relation to fair use and an implied license. And thus, a default judgement has been set aside by Judge Navarro.

Klerk's blog is a non commercial, non profit blog, and this is why fair use may be a valid point of defence. The implied license comes from Klerks' argument that the newspaper in question provided easy tools for readers to share the paper's articles, and so "the defendant may have properly inferred that the owner consented to the use".

It's unknown at this point what Righthaven's next step would be, whether it would be to take Klerks to trial, something firms like Righthaven like to avoid due to the cost and unpredictable nature of trials.

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http://www.mediapost.com/publication...art_aid=136044
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 04:03 PM   #5
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The EFF is suing Righthaven for abusing copyright law. Righthaven made their intention to sue Democratic Underground (DU), an left wing political forum, when its users posted full articles from newspapers that Righthaven represents, even when those posts were accompanied by links to the original article.

The EFF is representing DU in the fight and says Righthaven, representing Stephens Media, has only the sole purpose "to seek windfall recoveries of statutory damages and to exact nuisance settlements."

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/201...#ixzz10zRXjFef
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Old 10 Oct 2010, 06:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Interesting development. Righthaven's "copyright trolling" has now managed to catch Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle, who allegedly posted two newspaper articles that Righthaven is seeking damages of up to $150,000 from (or a settlement fee for a fraction of this). It's always interesting when politics is involved.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09...ues_candidate/
Republican candidate Angle is considering settling this case, which will make Righthaven very happy indeed, as the last thing they needed was a controversial, and expensive, trial.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010...ng-copyright-/
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Old 22 Oct 2010, 06:20 PM   #7
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One of those sued by Righthaven has actually won his case, with the judge citing that Las Vegas realtor named Michael Nelson's posting of 8 sentences of a 30 sentence Las Vegas Review Journal article was considered fair use. Nelson had included a link to the original article after his posting of the 8 sentences, encouraging others to view the full, original article, and for this, he was sued by Righthaven for copyright infringement.

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http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...s-fair-use.ars
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Old 10 Dec 2010, 05:38 PM   #8
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Righthaven have a new high profile target in mind: Drudge Report. It is suing Drudgereport.com and DrudgeReportArchives.com for using pictures originally published in the The Denver Post, the latest newspaper to sign up to Righthaven's sue-for-settlement business.

Righthaven is not only demanding Drudge to pay up, it is also seeking ownership of the Drudge domain names! This kind of tactic is usually used to scare website owners into paying up for settlement, and there's usually no justification for domain seizures as part of a copyright dispute.

More:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12...n_sues_drudge/

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Old 28 Dec 2010, 08:15 PM   #9
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Righthaven's latest target, a non-profit outfit, is claiming fair use, but Righthaven is not having any of it. It says that "A defendant's nonprofit status or educational motive does not somehow provide a blanket exemption from liability for infringement."

It also argues against claims that Las Vegas Review-Journal, the articles belong to this newspaper which has been copied by the non profit, actively promotes the sharing of its article by providing a feature to share the link via email. But Righthaven argues that there is a clear difference between sharing a link and copying an entire article.

A professor of law from the University of California, Berkeley, in a friend of the court capacity, argued that the financial loss to the Review-Journal due to the copying is negligible. "At most, the Las Vegas Review-Journal might have been deprived of a few pennies, but the law does not concern itself with such trifles, " professor Jason Schultz explained to the court.

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http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=12486847
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