LV Review-Journal Lost Copyright Infringement Lawsuit, Court Ruled 8 Sentences out of 30 Fair Use

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FAIR USE RULES? The Las Vegas Review-Journal is limiting the scope of its copyright lawsuits after losing a case against a blogger who used 8 sentences out of a 30 sentence article. They will now target violators who take more than 75% of any articles. (Credit:

Copyright enforcement company Righthaven, which has filed more than 150 lawsuits against websites and bloggers for republishing material from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, has “narrowed” the scope of their lawsuits, according to Wired.

The Review-Journal hired Righthaven to find copyright violations and enforce via lawsuits this spring.

Righthaven is limiting its copyright lawsuits, and reportedly won’t sue over the republishing of “brief excerpts” of the ReviewJournal’s articles, Wired reported.

“Righthaven does not anticipate filing any future lawsuits founded upon infringements of less than 75 percent of a copyrighted work, (.pdf) regardless of the outcome of the instant litigation,” Righthaven wrote in a statement to the court, Wired reported.

The decision to “narrow” the lawsuits came after Righthaven lost one of its copyright lawsuits.  As Wired noted, “A Nevada judge agreed with the real estate firm’s argument that eight of 30 sentences from a Review-Journal story about the real estate market qualified as fair use of the material.”

StinkyJournalism has been following the Review-Journal’s lawsuits for several months. See here some of our earlier stories on Righthaven and the copyright lawsuits.

Earlier this month, several members of the Review-Journal’s senior leadership changed.  Sherman Frederick, Review-Journal publisher and R-J parent company Stephens Media CEO, left both of his positions.  Likewise, the R-J’s editor, Thomas Mitchell, resigned his position to become a senior opinion editor.

In late September, the Electronic Frontier Foundation joined in the copyright battle, signing on to help defendant website Democratic Underground.  EFF filed counterclaims against Righthaven.

As Ars Technica reported last week, Righthaven “submitted a motion to the dismiss the suit” against Democratic Underground.  Democratic Underground published five of fifty sentences from a Review-Journal article, MediaPost reported.

MediaPost also noted, Righthaven lost its lawsuit in a similar case “against a blogger who allegedly lifted eight sentences of a 30-sentence Las Vegas Review-Journal article.”

StinkyJournalism is writing to the EFF asking about the Democratic Underground. We will post any response.

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LV Review-Journal Lost Righthaven Copyright Infringement Lawsuit, Court Ruled 8 Sentences out of 30 Fair Use

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