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January 31, 2015

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Defense attorneys claim ‘key evidence’ in undermining copyright lawsuits

New evidence surfaced Friday in the Righthaven LLC lawsuits that attorneys say could undermine Righthaven’s entire copyright infringement lawsuit campaign over Las Vegas Review-Journal stories.

Attorneys for the online freedom of speech group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed heavily-redacted court papers in Las Vegas on Friday asking the federal court for permission to use the evidence against Righthaven and Stephens Media LLC.

Stephens Media owns the Review-Journal and a Stephens Media affiliate co-owns Righthaven.

Righthaven in the past year has filed 239 copyright infringement lawsuits against website operators and message-board posters, charging material from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post has been re-posted online without authorization.

The information filed Friday involves a Righthaven lawsuit against the Democratic Underground, which was sued after a message-board user posted on the Democratic Underground site four paragraphs from a 34-paragraph Review-Journal story.

The Democratic Underground fired back with a counterclaim against Righthaven and Stephens Media. Both the lawsuit and the counterclaim appear headed toward resolution with competing motions for dismissal by Stephens Media and Righthaven and for summary judgment by the Democratic Underground.

A key issue in the litigation is the relationship between Righthaven and Stephens Media and their arrangement in which Righthaven was able to file its lawsuits after obtaining copyright assignments from Stephens Media.

Key to understanding the relationship is that Righthaven obtains rights to the copyrights weeks or months after they are allegedly infringed on by defendants posting stories, photos and graphics on their websites. Then, weeks or months after that, defendants are sued.

That’s why critics call Righthaven a copyright troll. It finds alleged infringements and then obtains the copyrights — and after that files its suits.

Righthaven has insisted in many of its lawsuits that it has standing to sue in this retroactive fashion based on the copyright assignments covering both past and present infringements.

But in the counterclaim, EFF/Democratic Underground attorneys charged Righthaven and Stephens Media have been abusing copyright law and that “Righthaven does not rightfully own the copyright in question, in that the assignment was a sham designed solely to pursue litigation with rights being retained by Stephens Media.”

In Friday’s court filing, EFF attorneys suggested documents recently turned over to the EFF by Stephens Media back up their claim about the “sham” copyright assignment.

While not disclosing everything they had received because of discovery rules, the EFF attorneys said in court papers this recently-received material is “key evidence” and has never been seen in any of Righthaven’s lawsuits.

In asking the Nevada federal court to allow them to use it in the litigation, they wrote: “In particular, defendants submit that (redacted) demonstrates a compelling need for the court to adjudicate the issues raised by the counterclaim as to (redacted) as that issue may affect and dispose of hundreds of cases now improperly pending in this district.”

The court filing further confirmed this new evidence involves the copyright assignments when the EFF attorneys commented that the new evidence contradicts Stephens Media’s argument it was improperly named in the counterclaim because, according to Stephens Media, “complete ownership of the work being sued upon has been transferred to Righthaven without any ambiguity.”

The new evidence “eviscerates this argument and exposes the plain falsity of these assertions,” EFF attorney Laurence Pulgram of the law firm Fenwick & West LLP in San Francisco wrote in Friday’s filing.

As for prior rulings upholding the validity of the copyright assignment, the EFF attorneys said those rulings came because “Righthaven had withheld from the court” that redacted evidence.

The EFF attorneys also said this new information “further substantiates the impossibility of harm to Righthaven’s market for the work,” a key fair use factor. This suggests the new information shows Stephens Media maintains an economic interest in the copyrights Righthaven has been suing over.

The bottom line for the EFF attorneys is that the new information “substantiates the need to resolve the counterclaim’s allegations that the assignment is invalid, a sham and unenforceable.”

EFF attorneys aren’t the only ones challenging Righthaven’s copyright assignments. The same issue has been raised repeatedly by defendants, with no success so far. Most recently, the Media Bloggers Association raised the issue in another Righthaven case, but the judge in that case hasn’t yet ruled on its assertions.

It’s unknown whether the evidence revealed Friday would apply to Righthaven’s lawsuits over Denver Post material.

In the Denver Post cases, defense attorneys have not yet conducted discovery that may reveal the nature of the copyright assignment arrangement between Righthaven, the Denver Post and its parent, MediaNews Group.

Righthaven and Stephens Media attorneys have not yet responded to Friday’s court filing.

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  1. Yes, and it will serve them right. They opened up a can of worms. What I want to know is why the courts hasn't sanctioned RH for their abuse of the court system.

  2. Again Righthaven and Stephens Media, looks dirty trying to pull a scam, I have never figured out how someone that does not own the copyright to begin with could sue after the fact.

    I still tell everybody that I know never buy a paper off the RJ news paper, they allow you to Email the story to anybody and to tweet and share the story.Then they sue their readership when they post anything about the story, they never send a take down notice, what a way of doing business, they should be patting themselves on the back, what a pathetice way to make money.

    If they can't come up with a better business plan then that they should get out of the news parer business. All their advertisers should drop them..!

  3. Somewhat parallels the mortgage foreclosure mess. Who owns the loan? Who has the right to foreclose? But you sold the loan. So the company that owns it can foreclose...not the person that issued it...who owns it? when and so on...

    Bottom line is much of the RJ content is mediocre, most of the opinion over their seems pretty stale and predictable...a lot of warmed over right wing talking points that where run through the ringer on talk radio and Fox until they're threadbare. Then the Cowboy hat and the "master-mind" of revenue enhancement chew on what's left a little more. Moreover, given the multimedia of today, neither of the two "philosophers" over there make much of a presence on radio, TV, the net or in person. Blandsville.

  4. mred: the R/J has a point of view? So what? The LV Pravda does not? But I do agree that the whole Wronghaven thing stinks and the R/J should be ashamed of itself. But, because of the leftists mantra - "If it feels good, do it" - there is little shame left in the USA for any bad behavior! As a matter of fact, bad behavior is regularly excused and many times rewarded. Lohan, Hilton, Sheen, Spears, the Kardasians. Ugh! The list is endless!

  5. This lame strategy reared its ugly head back in 2005. Right wing trolls started whining about copyright infringement on blogs and message boards whenever their talking points were smacked down. I have personally witnessed it on numerous occasions. It's much easier to go after the messenger when you can't effectively counter the message. So sad and pathetic, but par for the course for entities who deal in OUTRIGHT LIES and PROPAGANDA on a daily basis in this country.

  6. With all due respect to all, with perhaps the exception of Rock who seems to be a shill for the fired Sherm Frederick and demoted Tom Mitchell, just minimal research (and there's not a lot out there) will show that relatively few newspapers send out even takedown notices, even fewer (from what I can see, just those "represented" by Righthaven) engage in copyright litigation.

    While it's true that Righthaven has gotten settlements in some of these matters, my understanding is that the total of those settlements aren't anywhere near enough to carry the company, to make it a profitable venture.

    More importantly, at least one of these cases is going to be actually litigated in court. That costs a lot of money, especially if it's back in North Carolina. Now, the RJ is going to have to contribute financially to that litigation, as is Righthaven. If it goes the wrong way for them, or the Court awards a token amount, a dollar or even a hundred, well, that may not be a "legal precedent," but my understanding is that Federal Courts tend to follow one another on these matters.

    Because there are "statutory damages" in the copyright law, doesn't at all mean a Federal Judge has to award them.

    As to print editions driving readers to online sites, I don't think that's true. I think we're in a time when readers go online rather than buy print editions, at least in papers this size and larger. I do think that bloggers who post articles in part or in full have the potential for doing, though.

    At issue also is the option to "Share" in these stories. Sure, there are a number of sites that are listed when one clicks that option, but nowhere does it say that sharing is limited to these sites. It seems to me then that the option to "share" is in conflict with copyright notices, and others feel the same way.

    This is a very difficult problem for the newspaper industry. The RJ is clearly suffering financially, having laid off at least a half dozen since new management arrived. Laying off an investigative team that, granted, hasn't won a Pulitzer, but has done some good work in the past, is a refusal to understand that which is understood in the industry to really drive readership: Investigative Reporting.

    All of this, of course, is personal perspective and speculation, but perhaps the emulation of the nation's great newspapers for the RJ might be in order: The New York Times is going to a metered "paywall," the Wall Street Journal already has one and who knows what the LA Times or Chicago Tribune will do. All said, at least those papers are thinking about creative ways to generate revenues, as opposed to lawsuits which clearly don't work.

    As a final note, I was critical of a Sherm Frederick blog post, as well as one of those "Reporters want to get paid" blog posts by Mitchell a few weeks back...I'm now unable to comment on the RJ site.

  7. >> to lookup who owns the website,

    something that in at least two cases Reichaven didn't do properly and filed against the wrong party.

    >> to see if the website has filed a safe habor [sic]with the copyright office

    something that in at least one case Reichaven didn't do.

    >> You should donate the some $100k plus

    a computer is $500 and an intern costs nothing. where do you come up with $100k plus? or are you naturally a drama queen?

    >> like the Sun do nothing about infringement because

    because they don't need to put their own gun in their own mouths and pull the trigger? or maybe they knew that Reichaven was a total PR and financial disaster?

    >> Righthaven is settling for a few thousand dollars is a good business decision because it cost a lot of money to take a case all the way to trial.

    lol --- your funniest line yet. Reichaven's major problem is that not all of their victims have laid down and played dead. There are two or three of the defendants that have gotten together and are now in the process of disemboweling Reichaven. Only a moron wouldn't of seen this was coming... people like Gibons and Fredrick, for example.

    >> LVRJ is tired of people stealing its content. Righthaven is a law firm that's goal is to make money.

    too bad neither will leave the table satisfied. Gibons will be lucky to get out with his license intact.

    >> I guess you don't think that there printed version doesn't drive traffic to their online version.

    It doesn't --- at the very best it _might_ go the other way ---- but a print publication is an island to itself.

    I was so looking forward to your reply to the very bad week Reichaven's had --- and you didn't disappoint. The problem is your blind alignment to the flawed and soon to fail model. I think we both know why that is --- right Mr. former publisher?

    lol --- you can't say you've filed with the copyright office and not really file with them. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. It's indefensible --- and now that three of the defendants attorneys, good attorneys, have gotten together Gibons is on the run. Unfortunately your boys Sherm and Gibons are on the wrong side of this thing --- all because of arrogance and greed. It's funny beyond pale.

  8. >> The Sun hates the LVRJ.

    lol --- kinda like Shermie's irrational hate for Ralston, eh? lol

    >> They hate it so much that they generate stories to cause others to hate the LVRJ and not buy their paper.

    LOL --- or maybe the Sun's got integrity that the RJ could only dream of. You're old enough to remember when guys like Morrow reported real news, bottom line be damned. They didn't sell their soul to keep the doors open another slimy day. But nice try making this the Sun's problem.

    >> In turn, they are hurting themselves because it reduces readership for the Sun paper, too.

    maybe. maybe not. what damages could the Sun recover if the RJ busts out on a fundamentally flawed business model? And lets not forget the Sun recently won an award for their online product --- yet another area the RJ is letting get away from them.

    And who will touch the RJ online if there's a danger of getting caught up in their flailing around? The RJ is so busy isolating themselves on the internet they've lost the point of why they're in business. That's the RJ's problem --- not the Sun's.

    Oh, keep up the good work Steve --- great material and great delivery.

  9. Vegas_tom: Nice response. You might also think about the costs for Righthaven and the RJ. If both have any sense at all (and that's a real question), they'll retain outside attorneys to represent them. The average hourly rate for an attorney nationally is about $300. In Las Vegas, some at the better or more well known firms are $600+.

    I'm told by a lawyer at one of those firms that it's a minimum of about 20 hours to get started on a defense (for the RJ or Righthaven) on one of these cases, so at least $12,000 each and that's just to get started. When you start thinking of at least two lawyers and a paralegal in a deposition that lasts a couple of hours and all else this entails, in the words of Everett Dirksen, "You're talking about real money."

    As to these "five figure settlements." I've been told that at about a third of the settlements have been for less than a thousand.

  10. > I'm now unable to comment on the RJ site.

    lol --- silence those critics.

    but I've been there done that --- they even blocked my IP. Now that I've got a proxy that reports a different location everytime I open it up it's harder for them to blanket block me. ;)

    Another hint for those who still go to RJ online --- download and use firefox with the "adblock plus" add on. This way the RJ's online ads are blocked from your computer. Don't use it on the Sun's site though (you can enable / disable site by site). If you should go this route the RJ won't get "views" for their third party ads.

    Technology is a two-way street. lol

  11. >> You might also think about the costs for Righthaven and the RJ.

    I think if you go back to one of Steve's first reports on this you'll note this is what I predicted would kill this "golden goose". While I'm not a lawyer I do know a dog with fleas when I see one.

    >> If both have any sense at all (and that's a real question),

    I think their arrogance and greed would preclude them having even a lick of sense.

    > they'll retain outside attorneys to represent them.

    That's what they did in SC and it made matters far worse. If you haven't clicked on the links in Steve's story at you'll see the rocket scientist Reichaven hired out. He's the one in the second embedded link in the story. You've got to read the bit where Reichaven's angle for getting the domain name --- it's a hilarious take on case law.

    I sent the above link to an attorney pal of mine who laughed his butt off at Reichaven's underwhelming positions. He also noted that it's outfits like Reichaven who give all attorneys a bad name.

    You should also click on that third embedded link in the story --- and read the last line of the letter. These boys aren't dicking around. lol

  12. > You are either from Righthaven or one of the organizations affiliated with them.

    He's with Stephens Media --- though at a greatly reduced position from when he inked the deal with Reichaven.

    Right "Sarge"? or should I say "my little friend"? LMAO.

    Have you been served papers yet, Sarge? And I'd of thought that after the SC attorney admonished on trying the case in the media you'd take a lot lower profile. You do know that if the Sun is asked for your IP they'll have to provide it, right? Same as your street address my man --- and they'll be able to know right where that Vette is parked.

    Oh yes, arrogance and greed. I forgot. ;)

  13. Oh, I've read all the stories, including the one on the SC attorneys (I did call it NC earlier). And, I did read all the correspondence.

    Aside from the obvious, what's disturbing for me in all of this is that I hope we all live long enough to see one of these cases in court.

    It's going to be a fascinating trial, if it comes to that. More importantly, it's obvious that the copyright law has to revised in some manner and only Congress can do that, so it's going to be a while despite some minor hearings on it recently or to come, I can't recall which.

    As I've said before, in most, if not all the cases that have been brought, the defendants did violate the copyright law. It's my view that given the history of these "violations" on the Internet for so many years, most, if not all were unaware that was an issue for them. We may even see a historic verdict here that will be one of the few that runs counter to the "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" issue.

  14. >> And, I did read all the correspondence.

    great stuff, isn't it?

    >> As I've said before, in most, if not all the cases that have been brought, the defendants did violate the copyright law.

    On this we can agree. I also think we both agree that using a sledge hammer to hit a finish nail is overkill. But time will tell the repercussions of this approach. I seriously think that Gibons may have exposed himself and his clients(s) to great harm. Who knows -- maybe Stephens will sue Gibons for malpractice when all is said and done?

    Yep. A dog with fleas.

  15. Vegas_Tom: "I also think we both agree that using a sledge hammer to hit a finish nail is overkill. But time will tell the repercussions of this approach. I seriously think that Gibons may have exposed himself and his clients(s) to great harm. Who knows -- maybe Stephens will sue Gibons for malpractice when all is said and done?"

    Oh, of course we agree. This whole thing becomes increasingly fluid with additional counterclaims and the Carolina law firm, it's hard to tell where it's going. My guess is, though, nowhere good for Righthaven and the RJ.

    I like reading newspapers, though I subscribe to no print editions except "The New York Review of Books." However, I do subscribe to the Wall Street Journal Online, which is about $100 a year and will do the same with the New York Times, which I guess would be about the same.

    If the RJ and the Sun both had online paid subscriptions, I'd skip the RJ's and opt for the Sun. I could say I might feel differently if the RJ continued with an investigative staff, but I'm not sure that would be true. I just think the Sun's a better newspaper online (I don't see the print version).

  16. Fink, the RJ has a point of view, I'm just saying the two people over there are boring. A big guy with a cowboy hat has a high squeaky voice, it doesn't go over in the media. Get down where the money is.

    Angle lost. According to national and Nevada polls, people want to increase taxes on the rich, and they don't want cut backs to infrastructure and education.

  17. It is interesting to see the difference in quiet conversation/discussion here and the near rabid support, albeit minimal, supporting Righthaven.

    Sherman Frederick "retired," though most I've spoken to at the RJ and outside the RJ believe he was fired, though there's debate on why. Some believe it was because of unprofessional and, well, abhorent commentary on Senator Harry Reid. No matter how one feels about Senator Reid, I think if read Frederick's commentary you should have been appalled.

    Some believe it was poor management. This could be true, as the RJ's been declining for at least a couple of years and recently the new editor told the staff the paper, at this point, isn't profitable. Not really unusual for a newpaper these days, but that came shortly after the staff was told otherwise. When company's go into a decline, it's not unusual for top management to find its way to the door.

    Some believe it was the Righthaven suits, which have cost the RJ/Stephens quite a bit of money and possibly profitability, as well as community standing.

    While I'd like to think it's all the latter, I think it's a combination of them. And I think Righthaven will continue to cause the paper problems well after that association is severed, if it ever is.

    There is a general thought that Sherm Frederick, though these things, has left a newspaper that is severely damaged and could well be sold, at a distressed price.

    As I've said before, people broke the law, however, I think that the approach taken by the RJ and Righthaven was wrong, and virtually unheard of in the industry. My guess is that the price that will be extracted from both will be severe and possibly enterprise ending.

  18. SgtRock

    I flagged your comment and reported you to the Las Vegas Sun for violating their terms of use.

    " Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed."

    You personally attacked my friend Brian Hill. By calling him "copyright thief" and "mentally deficient" you have libeled him as well.

    Interesting you use the term "copyright thief" The same term Gibson used. No one is buying your spin and everyone knows you are an industry insider so you are not fooling or convincing anyone. Infact you are proving our sides case with every word you utter.

  19. >> First you complain that a law firm can't do it right then you present that an intern can do it.

    No. I'm saying that Reichaven can't do it correctly. An intern with a computer could easily send notes to bloggers noting infringements; which would cover 98% of "heisted" content.

    >> Thank God I don't work at a business ran [sic] by you.

    I wouldn't need an inflammatory cut and paste hack, thank you very much.

    I suspect you'll hear about my new ad company in a few weeks though --- the one that's going after RJ advertisers, showing alternatives and will mediate the obscene pricing the RJ thinks its pages are worth. Hell, two of the guys have been sued by you -- I mean the RJ / Reichaven and they're very energized and have produced some very compelling content for our proposals.

    >> If they lose the court could award up to $100K for damages.

    dude --- the SC lawyer has an opening price of $500,000 settlement offer. How many crap $3k or $6k nuisance suits do you have to settle to recoup that? There are now people filing "friend of the court" briefs, EPIC is pro bono and the kid in NC is paying nothing for his attny. Why do you think that is? Hmmmmmm? Let me tell you clueless one --- they see Reichaven's soft under belly ready for feasting. There are 3 direct parties coming after you --- and 3 more indirect.

    Ah, I'm wasting my time with you --- you've got it all figured out. Now sit back and deal with your decision.

  20. >> You must not know that the LVRJ gets more online hits than the Sun.

    lol --- really?

    no wonder you lost your job.

  21. >> The story is too complex to understand.

    so that means it shouldn't be reported? what's wrong with you? arrogance and greed will skew your judgment, "Sarge".

    If one of your pursuers rings the bell there will be lots of interest and negative pub. And you assertions that AP only ran one story ignores that CNN and Forbes both have --- you know, the ones where Gibbons exposed himself to further litigation.

    The Sun should be commended for their work --- despite the fact you don't like the spotlight on your idiotic idea.

    but what am I saying --- you've got it ALL figured out. lol

  22. To call him a thief is an act of libel because it has yet to be determined if his posting of the TSA image falls within fair use which there is an excellent chance it will because he used the image in the context of a political statement in protesting the TSA pat-downs. The fact that image became a symbol of the TSA's enhanced pat-downs makes this not only an argument for fair use but freedom of speech as well. By the Denver Post and Righthaven taking their action they are effectively denying the freedom of speech of others. So in the Denver Post trying to assert their rights they are trampling on the rights of others.

    Getting back to the topic of this article it may very well be that Righthaven has absolutly no standing in this case and has no legal claim to being the copyright owners. As I mentioned if this is they case and Righthaven has falsified a copyright registration with the United States Copyright Office and that the papers in question colluded with them in order to defraud people like Brian Hill then several Federal Laws have been violated and if this is the case your friends at Righthaven, Stephens Media, News Media Group and others are about to face some severe criminal charges that could potentially see the downfall of everyone of these media empires.

    You say this is only a small story and not too many people have taken notice. Well within the last couple of weeks the news reports on this story have begun to skyrocket. When the EFF presents their case and if illegal activity and collusion is shown then this story will explode as the lead story in every news outlet in the world.

  23. lol -- not much between your ears, is there, Sarge? did you look at the "normalized metrics"? you couldn't of or you'd see the the Sun is up by over 43 for the year and the RJ is down over 21%. Or is growth not a factor in your world?

    wait, what am I saying --- you've got it ALL figured out. lol

  24. SgtRock

    I included a big IF when I said they MAY have done these things. you on the other hand have already tried and convicted him, but of course that is the Righthaven way. Righthaven don't even want a trial. They want to use the most unethical and extreme intimidation and lies (allegedly) to coerce settlements out of people even if the victims are well within their rights to use the material. They want to deny every defendant their day in court and make it as difficult as possible for the defendants to ever see a court room.

  25. Sgt Rock,

    You are pulling my words out of context. Selectively parsing my sentence to not include the if statement? That is intellectual dishonesty at its worst.

  26. >> but the LVRJ has been beating the Sun for so long

    yawn. is that the sales technique you use with your advertisers? I sure hope so. lol

    media isn't a game of "what was" --- it's "what have you done for me today". you know that -- or you should.

  27. kbingh

    There is such thing as fair use even though you Righthaven people deny that it exists. It still does. Infact you got your butts handed to you in a couple of cases over fair use. This is not stealing so you cannot call Brian a thief, the status of his case will be determined by a judge and not by you or Steven Gibson or the Denver Post.

    Righthaven does not "ask for a settlement" they threatened to garnish his disability check (allegedly) which is illegal. They have put tremendous amounts of stress on him and risked his health over this. Other victims are now speaking out as well and all tell of extreme abuse on Righthaven's part in the lengths they go to get settlements out of people. Righthaven tried to deny Brian more time to file his answer to the court after he obtained legal council but luckily the judge denied Righthavens request to deny his legal council the time to file an amended answer.

    The thing about Brian Hill's case is on Righthaven's part this is pure vindictiveness because legally they cannot take a dime from Brian since his only form of income is his disability check. So instead of money they are going after a pound of flesh in different ways.

  28. StgRock

    Once again you show your ignorance. Very few Righthaven cases have been by people who took an image just to decorate their sites and even fewer who posted an entire article but even that has to be taken in context since a judge may soon rule that in certain circumstances even that is fair use.

    Most the people Rigthaven as sued have been over snippets of articles. They stopped after a judge ruled one fair use but they are now appealing that. What is interesting about that is the LVRJ and the Denver Post's state terms of use allows for a few paragraphs. Righthaven is now appealing to be given the right to sue for just a few paragraphs so in other words Righthaven wants to sue you for following the papers own terms of use.

    Righthaven is walking on thin ice with Brian Hill. They can gain nothing out of him but they could potentially lose everything over him. Brian's health is already compromised and this added stress will have long term consequences. Righthaven is risking liabilities in the millions of dollars if Brian's health is effected by this.

    The best thing Righthaven could do is apologize to Brian. Pay him some amount along with his lawyer for the trouble and then learn from this experience. They won't do that though because their hearts of made of stone.

  29. Stg Rock or should I say Bob?

    You have parroted almost the same arguments in other forum under a different name. I have noticed there is one Righthaven defender in almost every forum and you are all virtually identical which leads me to believe you are the same person or you are working together or you all just aren't capable of an original thought.

  30. sgt Rock

    OBTW did you ever find any references to akabrutus?

  31. >> strong case you got there genius.

    I suggest you continue to rest on your laurels and watch the world go by. but lets check back in a year and see who's right -- about a whole bunch of stuff.

  32. SgtRock

    Even though I don't believe it is necessary to copy an entire article there may be some situations where it may be fair use as a judge may decide that soon. However, Righthaven has sued people for very short snippets and is now seeking through an appeals court to allow them to sue for short snippets even those that are allowed by the Newspaper's own terms of use.

    Righthaven would sue for one single sentence if they thought they could get away withit. Infact a couple of years back the AP started, then abandoned, the idea to charge bloggers for as little as 6 words. So don't give me this crap about Righthaven and these newspapers honoring fair use. They do not, and as the Reporters Without Borders eloquently stated they have no regard for free speech either and are acting like the authoritarian dictators this group is trying to fight against.

  33. SgtRock

    Wrong again SgtRock, fair use is different than the stated policy of the newspaper. Their policy is simply a guideline. If a paper said no amount of copying is acceptable we could ignore their request because fair use is decided by law and the courts not the copyright holder.

    Whenever you make property available to the public you do lose at least partial control over it. For instance with your house you can gate it up all you want and there is no expectation of fair use. I cannot come in and use your bathroom without your permission for any reason. However if you own a business that has public access there are certain implied ways that the public can use the property. The same as there are limited things the public can do with copyrighted works simply by virtue of the copyright holder making it available to the public.

    News outlets have a responsibility to the public to make the news available to people. This is why there is a part in the Constitution that applies specifically to the press because without them it we cannot discuss the important topics and be informed voters. If newspapers decide to hoard the news and keep it all locked up democracy will suffer.

    Like it or not the Internet is now the primary medium that people discuss the news, politics, current events etc and it is impracticable to do this without at least some copying of at least the relivant parts of the story.

    The funny thing about this is that the most likely scenario with all these law suits is an expansion of fair use, not a narrowing as Righthaven would like. The courts that have heard cases so far have taken a very broad view of fair use. The Congressmen that I have talked to about this issue unanimously agree that Righthaven is abusing the spirit of the law and that laws need to be changed to reflect the Internet age. Righthaven in their heavy handedness could actually hasten this since eventually there will be a legislative response when the public outcry gets stronger. In the end newspapers will have less copyright protection and they will only have themselves to blame.

  34. SgtRock

    You have trolled this forum to death. The topic is that there may be evidence the EFF has uncovered that may show Righthaven does not own the copyrights in question and therefore have no standing in these lawsuits. If this is the case all of your arguments are moot. So stop being a forum troll and get back on topic.

  35. Rock

    I have stolen nothing. As a blogger I do try and stay within the guidlines of the Newspaper when I feel they are reasonable and do not violate my rights to fair use.

    The problem with Righthaven as they are an extremely narrow view of fair use, and in fact is now appealing to narrow it even further. They will lose the appeal though. The 9th circuit is the most liberal court in the country and I would dare say they will take a broad view of fair use and could possibly even expand it.

    Righthaven's abuses will have an effect on fair use but it is going to backfire on them.

  36. Rock

    My point is that the internet cannot work wit some a lot of sharing. I agree the sharing should be voluntary but all the same if everyone had a hardnose view of copyrights and put up a paywall the internet would not be a viable medium as a source of information.

  37. Sorry for my first sentence. It should read cannot work with at least some sharing.