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November 23, 2014

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Former news anchor among targets of new R-J copyright suits

Former KTNV-TV sports and news anchor Ron Futrell is among the latest defendants in a series of lawsuits claiming websites have violated copyrights by posting Las Vegas Review-Journal stories without authorization.

Righthaven LLC sued Futrell and three other website operators Friday, lifting the number of copyright suits it has filed over R-J stories since March to 26.

Righthaven has partnered with the Review-Journal to sue and seek damages from parties allegedly infringing on copyrights. Righthaven acquires copyrights for specific R-J stories and sues websites that have posted those stories.

In its lawsuit against Futrell filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on Friday, Righthaven alleges Futrell's website www.localslovevegas.com this year posted without authorization R-J stories on controversial comments Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman made about President Barack Obama and about a budget shortfall facing UNLV athletics programs.

Also sued Friday were:

--acdc-bootlegs.com and an individual associated with the website, Nate Althoff, both accused of posting R-J material about an AC/DC concert in Las Vegas. Court records show the AC/DC bootleg website has posted numerous AC/DC concert reviews by publications including the Des Moines Register, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Louisville Courier-Journal and the Kansas City Star.

--Odds On Racing, an Illinois company; and two individuals associated with it, Dana Parham and Robin Schadt. Righthaven claims the defendants posted a Review-Journal column involving horse racing on their website www.oddsonracing.com.

--Bisig Impact Group Inc., a Louisville, Ky., company, and an individual associated with the firm, Aaron Frisbee, whom Righthaven says are associated with the website southerngaming.com. The defendants are accused of posting without authorization R-J stories involving Earth Hour on the Las Vegas Strip and on Isle of Capri Casinos. Court records show these stories appeared on the Southern Gaming website associated with Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine. That website, ironically, notes that information posted there is copyrighted by Southern Gaming and Destinations.

To establish jurisdiction of the Nevada Court in the Southern Gaming case, Righthaven noted in its complaint that the defendants' contacts with Nevada are "continuous and systematic" because the website includes sports wagering information titled "Today’s Vegas Odds.''

Righthaven also says Southern Gaming's website links to the Las Vegas-area website www.vegasinsider.com and "defendants published and publish, on the (Southern Gaming) website, content specifically related to Las Vegas, Nevada-based politicians."

The suits each seek $75,000 in damages, attorneys' fees and injunctions barring the defendants from infringing on Righthaven's copyrights.

Messages for comment were left with the defendants.

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