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back to article Judge tosses lawsuit from copyright troll

A federal judge has summarily shot down a lawsuit filed by a copyright enforcer that's filed more than 150 complaints against websites for quoting all or parts of articles published by a Las Vegas newspaper. The order dismissing Righthaven's lawsuit is significant because it lends credence to arguments leveled by critics that …

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Anonymous Coward

I saw an interesting article on The Register...

...it said, "“The case shows that judges will pay close attention to fair use defenses, especially when it's simply not credible that the republications had any detrimental effect on the newspapers,” Goldman explained. “The case also shows that judges will tolerate partial quotations of articles.”"

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OMG!!!!1111!1!!1!!

A sensible ruling on fair use... it gives me hope for the future of the human race... sort of.

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From the UK

From a UK viewpoint - good show! These trolls should be shown the door in short order.

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WTF?

Good riddance

One point not mentioned is that publishing that limited excerpt and then linking to the article makes the excerpt effectively a teaser. Readers finding it interesting are likely to click the link and read the rest--no doubt many who would otherwise never have seen it. Thus, the excerpt has the effect of __increasing__ attention to the article, which is to the paper's benefit.

Really smart going, "Las Vegas Review-Journal." Sue your promoters. With enemies like that, who needs friends?

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Troll

Not Righthavens Benefit

Directing vistors to the papers website may benefit the paper but it doesn't benefit Righthaven who if I remember correctly from other stories on the interwebs buys the copyright from the paper just so that they can sue other websites.

i.e. Las Vegas Review Journal doesn't own the copyright and has nothing to do with the case despite the fact that they wrote the article.

Righthavens entire business model is to aquire the copyright of some article then extract money from other websites for using that copyright even though they have no intention of publishing the article themselves.

It's the publishing version of a patent troll.

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No, it doesn't mention that.

It doesn't mention that because it is not a legal argument. I do not have an automatic right to publish unsolicited adverts for anyone.

It's a moral argument, and incidental to the legal one.

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This post has been deleted by its author

@Not Righthaven's Benefit

I should have included the following from another ElReg article ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/01/righthaven_counter_suit ; the link to that article can be found near the end of this one.)

"Righthaven is reportedly part-owned by Stephens Media, the publishers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media transfers to Righthaven the copyright in articles which have been posted in whole or in part on websites."

So, if the paper benefits from the link and Righthaven belongs in part to the paper, that means Righthaven is suing someone whose actions were for its part-owner's benefit. Of course, if the real goal of both Righthaven and its part-owner are the spoils of the legal extortion rather than journalistic benefit, that would explain it all.

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EDITOR: Name

It's Las Vegas, not Law Vegas. :-) Not that we couldn't use a Law Vegas now and then...

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Thumb Up

Reeves and Mortimer got there first..

Spin spin spin the wheel of justice!

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid

This seems a stupid action in all sorts of ways.

Firstly the failure to send take down notices weakens the case enormously. The only logical explanation being that they didn't care about the fact that their material was quoted online, they didn't want it taking down, all they wanted was money.

Secondly and more importantly, successful or not this is likely to reduce significantly the number of people would consider quoting that publication. Which in turn would mean a lot less exposure or, if you prefer, free advertising. In turn this would probably mean reduced circulation and reduced ad revenue. Not what anybody in that industry is looking for right now.

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Gold badge
Happy

AC@12:52

Righthaven don't *care*. As others have pointed out they are copyright trolls who *bought* the copyright off the original publication.

They want the money. If their actions harm the original content creator (and in this case the original copyright holder) frankly SFW?

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Award costs, or else the judgement is moot

Pay to win, and you still lose.

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Silver badge
WTF?

Fair Use vs Republication...

"“The case shows that judges will pay close attention to fair use defenses, especially when it's simply not credible that the republications had any detrimental effect on the newspapers,” Goldman explained. “The case also shows that judges will tolerate partial quotations of articles.”"

I believe Goldman misspoke.

It is one thing under the 'fair use doctrine' to take a portion of a document as part of a commentary, especially if it include attribution to the cited work. Its another to take the entire document and republish it without compensating the initial author.

Here's an example... A company is selling their product and they include a copy of a positive review that was written for a consumer product magazine. It is one thing to include a reprint of the article because the company is paying for the rights to the reprint, its another to just include a copy of the article that they made on their own. This would be a 'republication' of the work and not covered under the fair use doctrine.

Goldman is correct in that it is a good thing for the courts to uphold the fair use doctrine.

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@Fair Use vs Republication...

If I understand you right, you're referring to the blog post in question as republication. The post actually excerpted a small fragment of the Review-Journal's article and linked back to the full article there. The excerpt contained only factual information. This article doesn't say if the blogger added any commentary of his/her own. I'm quite sure that is what is meant by fair use.

(My apologies if I misread your point.)

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@Ray Simard

You're getting in to a gray area...

Suppose I have a page for a restaurant and I cut excerpts and links to positive reviews done by restaurant critics.

You would have a hard time arguing that I violated the fair use doctrine of copyright because I didn't add any of my own commentary. One could reasonably argue that the fact that I created the page of links was in and of itself commentary.

Or one could ask how many words do I have to write for one to consider that I added my own commentary.

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Silver badge

Righthaven (sounds like a holiday camp) won't go away until...

...costs and stuff are lumped on them, so every case lost is a financial burden. These people clearly speak only dollar-symbols, so it is language they ought to understand.

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