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April 19, 2014

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Five more R-J copyright lawsuits filed

Righthaven LLC, the company suing over online copyright infringement of Las Vegas Review-Journal stories, may have hit the litigation jackpot when R-J Publisher Sherman Frederick posted a six-paragraph blog on May 25.

Called "The TSA's mini 'Watch List,"' the column complained about unionization by Transportation Security Administration workers and said the TSA was maintaining a list of "peeved travelers."

Righthaven last week filed three lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas against websites and bloggers, demanding $75,000 apiece for copyright infringement after the same four paragraphs from Frederick's blog showed up on the defendant bloggers' websites. In each case, there was a link to Frederick's blog on the R-J website.

The suits were filed against:

--Ezekiel Kennard, Marc Lee and Serkadis.com. The blog allegedly was posted at the www.serkadis.com website. Information on the Serkadis website indicates the company is based in London.

--INKONET Networks, SonicVibes Entertainment LLC, INKOSONIC Network and Antonio LaRosa. The suit claims the TSA blog was posted at a website called www.wnytruthers.org. That site and SonicVibes are based in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

--Jerry Ryburg and Ryan Burrage, whom Righthaven says are associated with the website www.jerryryburg.com. Ryburg on his website describes himself as a political commentator and freelance writer specializing in the area of political conspiracy. Ryburg's location couldn't immediately be determined.

This brings to at least five the number of suits Righthaven has filed over the copyright it obtained to the TSA blog.

Righthaven is a company set up this year to sue bloggers, individuals, companies and nonprofits that it says have infringed on copyrights by posting Review-Journal stories without authorization.

Besides the three suits over the TSA blog copyright, Righthaven sued two other website operators last week.

They are:

--Americans for Immigration Reform and the owner of its website domain name, the Greater Houston Partnership Inc. They were sued after three R-J stories involving immigration and politics in Nevada were posted on its website. AIR calls itself "The business community's voice on sensible immigration reform."

--Silver Matrix LLC and Justin Beech, who run the telecommunications industry website www.dslreports.com. They are accused of copyright infringement because an R-J story from June 16, "Telecom groups run out of cash," about the CommPartners companies' bankruptcies in Las Vegas, allegedly was posted on the website.

Messages for comment on the lawsuits were left with all the new defendants.

These cases bring to 86 the number of copyright infringement lawsuits Righthaven has filed since March.

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