Monday, August 23, 2010

The Righthaven matter: copyright infringement and bloggers

Righthaven LLC is bringing copyright infringement actions against people who post content obtained from the Las Vegas Review- Journal. In a post titled Could The Legality Of Google's Cache Kill Righthaven's Copyright Claims?, Mike Masnick at TechDirt has discussed some of the issues.

MediaMatters posted the following, which illustrates how easily bloggers can become involved in this:

The Concord Monitor reports:

Christopher Malley, who runs a discussion group and blog for first responders at, was sued in federal court after a visitor to his website posted the entire contents of a Las Vegas Review-Journal article in a discussion forum.

Thus, a commenter to a blog, rather than the blog author, can create the problem.

BloggerNews discusses some responses that are being made:

The Righthaven law firm has entered into a professional alliance with an enterprise called Stephens Media Group, which owns a number of local newspapers across the southern and western states. One of their publications is based in Las Vegas, a city large enough to generate a fair amount of national-interest news – and it appears that bloggers who excerpted or linked to stories from that particular newspaper over the last few years are now providing a rich harvest of copyright lawsuits brought by Righthaven. Righthaven’s method of operation appears to be either to search out those posted and linked stories, and obtain the copyright for the story from Stephens Media, or to have had the copyright in their sweaty little hand all along before filing suit. Give them credit – Righthaven has figured out how to monetize the blogosphere, and Stephens Media has figured out how to extract a few more bucks from their newspaper holdings. For now, at least – until bloggers and news aggregate sites begin acting on the principle that any content in any Stephens Media newspapers is about as toxic as radioactive sewer sludge. While a fair number of bloggers and websites have paid up just to make it all go away, others are fighting back by either ‘Righthaven-proofing’ their sites, or blacklisting Stephens Media through their site-posting rules. There are even Firefox and Chrome plug-ins to automatically exclude Stephens Media from your internet browser. Righthaven and Stephens Media may perhaps gain in the short run, but prospects for long-term gain seem pretty iffy.

See also the article in the Las Vegas Sun: Righthaven reaches settlements in 2 cases over R-J copyrights

See also post on imperatorfish titled Copyright Troll Sues Bloggers And Website Owners.


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