More copyright lawsuits filed over Review-Journal stories

Four more website operators have been sued for copyright infringement after Las Vegas Review-Journal stories were posted on their websites, allegedly without authorization.

Righthaven LLC, a Las Vegas company that obtains copyrights to R-J stories and then sues alleged copyright inringers, filed the suits this week in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

The latest defendants are:

• Armed Citizen and two officials there, David Burnett and Clayton Cramer. R-J stories involving citizens using guns to protect themselves allegedly were posted on the website.

Cramer, a software writer and historian in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, near Boise, said Thursday that he created the nonprofit website in 2003 to document instances of firearms being used in self defense around the country and since then has posted portions of 4,700 news stories.

The Righthaven suit names seven R-J stories it says were posted to the Armed Citizen site since 2004.

Records show Righthaven obtained a copyright to one of those stories. The story was posted in its entirety on the Armed Citizen site, with the R-J credited for the story and receiving a link, records show.

That was a 33-paragraph story from May 17 about the slaying of Las Vegas store clerk William Burhoe, who before dying managed to shoot and kill his robber.

Cramer said this was the first instance of a news organization objecting to such a posting at and that it was “astonishing” that Righthaven would file suit without it or the R-J first asking that the stories at issue be taken off the site.

He said Righthaven’s $75,000 damage claim was ridiculous given that the stories at issue are still available on the R-J website for free, meaning, he said, that any damages that have been sustained couldn’t amount to more than a few hundred dollars.

“I’m incensed. If these attorneys feel any jury in Nevada will go along with this, they are delusional,” Cramer said, adding he’s contacting attorneys and will vigorously contest the allegations.

• Free Speech Systems LLC and radio talk show host Alex Jones in Austin, Texas, who have websites called and Court records indicate a substantial portion of an R-J column was posted on these sites, with a link to the entire column; while message board users of the sites posted additional entire R-J stories with links. The column and stories were credited to the R-J, records show.

“This claim is totally without merit and appears to be purely predatory and I’m weighing all options with counsel including a possible counterclaim, not just to protect myself from being squeezed but also the other sites that have been sued,” said Jones, who said his national talk show is heard on 60 stations around the country.

Jones describes himself as a defender of the Bill of Rights, property rights and the nation’s borders, and as a leader in the “9/11 Truth Movement.”

• Assured Lender Services Inc. in Tustin, Calif., and Tina Suihkonen. The defendants are accused of posting R-J material on the website

• The District of Columbia nonprofit Americans for Democratic Action and an official there, Don Kusler, director of the ADA group Working Families Win. R-J material allegedly was posted on the Working Families Win website.

Messages for comment were left with the other two new defendants.

The latest suits bring to at least 79 the number of Righthaven lawsuits filed since March.