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The Media The Courts Your Rights Online Politics

Newspapers' New Revenue Plan — Copyright Suits 123

SpicyBrownMustard writes "Wired magazine has coverage of the numerous lawsuits recently filed by Righthaven, LLC regarding the content of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 'Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission. And he says he's making money.' The owner of the LVRJ has commented on the strategy, and the Las Vegas Sun has extensive coverage of each suit filed. The owner of one site has apparently settled for more than the site has made in six years. Media Matters suspects many of the suits may be politically motivated, and thus violate federal election law."
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Newspapers' New Revenue Plan — Copyright Suits

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  • Re:Dumb (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CheshireCatCO ( 185193 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @02:51PM (#33006012) Homepage

    Well, for one thing: in a lot of the cases, it sounds like the site owners aren't posting the content, it's user-uploaded. That calls for a take-down notice, not a lawsuit. So they're more likely trolling for lawsuit money and not interested in protecting IP.

    Also, it isn't clear to me how much of each story is being reposted. Is it the whole thing without commentary? Snippets within a much larger post? Somewhere in between?

  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @02:55PM (#33006056) Homepage Journal

    The MM argument is that the copy righted content has value (as proven by this company). So the act of giving a political party a gift of valuable content is effectively the same as making a campaign contribution. There for, any such actions would require them to follow election campaign laws.

    And maybe I missed it, but has MM actually sued yet? Or are they just talking about it?


  • by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @02:57PM (#33006094)

    They could always come up with a "Because We Like You" license and issue it to any site they like.

    Perfectly legal (as far as I know, IANAL though), and it can't be bought.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @03:01PM (#33006154) Journal

    Getty, I'm convinced, makes a good living off of crawling the web looking for their images. They put a bunch of them on stock photo CDs years ago, and the licensing on the box covers implies that they are free to use when you buy the cd (royalty free, I believe, its the term). It turns out, though, that by royalty free, they mean you don't have to pay per impression, but you still have to buy a license for each image separately, per year. I got hit for two thumbnails a couple years ago, and had to cough up $2000 for the transgression.

    Thing is, for $2k, you can't fight it. And even if you've got a 90% chance of winning (which I didn't, though the oversight was unintentional - or rather, I thought I actually did own a license), it's not worth $20,000-$100,000 legal bill to try and prove you're right.

    It extortion, but legal.

    Oh, and I'll never, ever license a Getty work, and I actively discourage it with everyone I know.

  • by SquarePixel ( 1851068 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @03:03PM (#33006186)

    There is this thing called fair use. When you quote a part of an article to make comments about it, that is fair use. You are also allowed to take a part of video clip and make a comment about it, so that your viewers can see what you are talking about. That is also fair use.

    Separate cases don't matter, I was just pointing out that the guys site is otherwise illegal too and he doesn't seem to care about any of that. Also, click fraud can be generally charged as fraud.

  • It begins! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @03:10PM (#33006262)
    Companies now OWN world events!
  • Re:Not entirely evil (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @03:21PM (#33006394) Homepage

    I copy and paste entire articles in my blog. I started doing this when I realized that the news changes the stories. Post-publishing editing is an Orwellian fact of life. I like to preserve what I know I saw at one point, so I have something I can point back to in order to prove I'm not crazy. I consider it a mild form of saving the world.

  • Re:Not entirely evil (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <> on Friday July 23, 2010 @03:27PM (#33006506) Homepage Journal

    Let's say a major news story happens, such as 9/11. CNN will publish an initial article on their page. I recall hearing initial reports that the Pentagon was bombed. That was obviously incorrect.

    CNN doesn't just republish 50 independent stories over the course of the day to change one small detail as the stories develops.

    You can make the argument that they could consider wiki-like revisions of articles so people can see what changed.

  • Re:Not entirely evil (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Psychopath ( 18031 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @03:33PM (#33006618) Homepage

    I'm certainly upset with the lack of quality, ethical journalism.

    Yet in the free market, it sure seems like slant and sensationalism sell considerably better. Tabloids are the best selling newspapers in the world for a reason.

    I agree. They are selling what sells best. My argument is that what you're talking about saving has already gone. Selling copyrights to lawyers is just a way to cash one last check.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus