6 votes

Wronghaven: Complete re-publication of copyrighted newspaper content can be "fair use."

Not that I recommend it (just as a precaution), but using the entire article is apparently protected - for nonprofits.

Copyright troll Righthaven achieves spectacular "fair use" loss
By Nate Anderson | ars technica

Whoops—in its bid to sue hundreds of bloggers, commentors, and website operators from posting even a few sentences from newspaper stories, the copyright zealots at Righthaven have just scored an own goal. Last Friday, a federal judge ruled in one of the company's many lawsuits, saying that even the complete republication of copyrighted newspaper content can be "fair use."


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Call Righthaven!

Call Steve Gibson and tell him to eff off!

+1 (702) 541-6300
Las Vegas, NV

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny imposed upon the mind of man

Could you imagine this type of ruling regarding ...

Big pharma's claim to owning your DNA?


I can't either.

suck it righthaven


My sentiments exactly!

I've been slightly concerned cause I serve out the RP podcast (for free), posting entire interviews as a service to all liberty lovers. Didn't want Righthaven to come after me, either. But if a whole article can be posted as long as it's for free, than I would assume an interview could as well.

Visit https://soundcloud.com/politics-of-freedom for all recent Ron Paul interviews, speeches, debates, forums, panels, press conferences, news coverage, and Texas Straight Talk updates!

"Terrorism is the war of the poor, while war is the terrorism of

Michael Nystrom's picture

Careful, friend. Copyright law is not cut & dry

In fact, internet copyright law is in the process of formation which is why Righthaven bothers me so much. Law doesn't become such until ideas are tested in the courts, but the way Righthaven goes about it is by bullying people who can't defend themselves.

In the CIO case, Judge Mahan ruled that 'the complete republication of copyrighted newspaper content can be "fair use.'

Can be DOES NOT MEAN "is always the case." Fair Use is notoriously squishy and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Wikipedia's got a definition, but again, determination is a big gray area.

As I said, Righthaven is a bully. In this particular case, the CIO's lawyers didn't even bother to raise the question of fair use. I don't remember the details - if they were representing themselves pro se or actually had counsel. Regardless, it was the judge, in a highly unusual move, who came out and said, "The court hereby orders the plaintiff to show cause why this case should not be dismissed under the 17 U.S.C. § 107 Fair Use exception," he wrote.

This gives you an idea of how sick the courts are getting of watching Righthaven push people around.

Mahan's key ruling - in this case - is:

Judge Mahan told both sides that the purpose of copyright law was to encourage creativity and to disseminate public access to information, so long as that did not unfairly hinder the market for the original story. In this case, Mahan said that the tiny Oregon nonprofit had essentially zero overlap between the readers of its website and the readers of the Review-Journal. In addition, the effect on the "market" for the work is unclear, since Righthaven is solely using the copyright to prosecute a lawsuit, not to defend its news operations (it has none).

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that just because the ruling came down this way in this one case doesn't mean it is a blanket ruling for all cases. Each case is different. And this ruling will no doubt be appealed. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court.

This is how law is made.

In your case, I wouldn't be so concerned with Righthaven suing you. Mainly they represent newspapers:


(though they recently bought rights to some porn flicks)

Since you've got the disclaimers, and you state plainly that you'll take down anything if the copyright owner requests it, I should think that you should be ok.

Thanks, Mike

Appreciate your input. It sounds like Obama, the Feds, and corporate media are trying right now to completely rework the law regarding the internet and copyright. I guess it remains to be seen whether the net will remain as free as it has been, or if it will become corporatized completely. I'm just happy the DPs out from under the microscope!

Visit https://soundcloud.com/politics-of-freedom for all recent Ron Paul interviews, speeches, debates, forums, panels, press conferences, news coverage, and Texas Straight Talk updates!

"Terrorism is the war of the poor, while war is the terrorism of

is it all right to gloat? ;)

"Some 250 Righthaven lawsuits later, Righthaven's startling achievement is that newspapers now have less—not more—protection from copyright infringers," Green concluded.

Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer

There is something profoundly

There is something profoundly satisfying when thugs get payback.... and gloating over it is as natural as taking a deep breath on the side of a clean, cool mountain lake while watching the sun rise. You just can't help it. It feels so healthy.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Speaking of thugs...

I thought this was interesting about Righthaven:

Recently two more Righthaven suits were dismissed for lack of service (like what happened in my case).

In one of them, Righthaven sued an ex mobster, who was a source for the LVRJ article he was accused of 'stealing'!

Imagine that. You give a newspaper information, then you republish the piece in which you're featured and they sue you. What boneheads!

This comes from the bottom of the page here: http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/business-notebook/2011/mar/...

A Righthaven lawsuit against former mob figure Anthony Fiato, who has been a source for Review-Journal columns, was dismissed after Righthaven failed to show Fiato had been served with the suit.

The complaint against Fiato alleged he has a "Hollywood goodfella" blog that focuses on mob activity around the country and displayed without authorization Review-Journal columns and stories about mafia activity in Las Vegas.

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning Righthaven can try to revive the suit if it desires.

My guess is that Righthaven's thug CEO Steve Gibson got out-thugged by the mob guy. He probably got an offer he couldn't refuse.


(arrogant gloating sound)