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Righthaven Copyright Lawsuit Backfires

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | more than 3 years ago

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Hugh Pickens writes writes "Steve Green reports in the Las Vegas that US District Judge James Mahan has ruled that the Center for Intercultural Organizing, an Oregon nonprofit, did not infringe on copyrights when it posted an entire Las Vegas Review-Journal story on its website without authorization and that there was no harm to the market for the story. Mahan stressed that his ruling hinged largely on the CIO's nonprofit status and said the copyright lawsuit would be dismissed because the nonprofit used it in an educational way, didn't try to use the story to raise money, and because the story in question was primarily factual as opposed to being creative. "The market (served by the CIO) is not the R-J's market," says Mahan. This is the second fair use defeat for Righthaven and is significant since it involved an entire story post rather than a partial story post. Green says that Righthaven's strategy of suing 250 web site and demanding $150,000 in damages plus forfeiture of the web site's domain name has clearly backfired and now Righthaven, the self-appointed protector of the newspaper industry, has left the newspaper industry with less copyright protection than if they never filed their lawsuits at all. "Righthaven may argue its lawsuits have deterred rampant online infringements of newspaper material — but there's no proof that infringements it usually targets involving bloggers and special-interest websites ever affected newspaper revenue in the first place," writes Green. "While these aren't binding precedents upon other judges, these rulings can now be used by special-interest websites to justify their postings of what used to be copyright-infringing content. These, clearly, are setbacks for all newspapers interested in protecting their copyrights.""

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