VEGAS INC coverage
Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC made a couple of statements with its latest lawsuit Thursday.
In filing its first lawsuit over Las Vegas Review-Journal material since Jan. 17, Righthaven may silence critics who have been saying its copyright litigation campaign over Review-Journal material has been stalled by unfavorable court rulings — including two fair use defeats, unsealing of its Strategic Alliance Agreement with Review-Journal owner Stephens Media LLC and rejection of its domain-name demand in lawsuits.
Righthaven’s second statement was that the Review-Journal isn’t the only Las Vegas newspaper seeing its material infringed on — the new lawsuit alleges the defendant website has been without authorization posting Las Vegas Sun stories as well.
The suit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for Nevada against Tony Carl Loosle and TCS Inc., which Righthaven says is a Utah corporation.
The lawsuit says Loosle is identified by Utah authorities as president of TCS and that TCS is the registrant of the advertiser-supported website lasvegasinfonewspaper.com.
That website posted without authorization six Review-Journal stories from Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 — the copyrights for which are now owned by Righthaven, the lawsuit says.
“The defendants willfully copied, on an unauthorized basis, the works from a source emanating from Nevada. The infringements have depicted and depict the original source publication as the Las Vegas Review-Journal,” the lawsuit said.
While Righthaven does not obtain copyrights from the Las Vegas Sun and the Sun is not a party to the lawsuit, the Sun nevertheless is mentioned in the lawsuit.
“The nature and extent of the defendants’ serial, unadulterated copyright infringement is further demonstrated by the defendants’ apparently unauthorized exploitation of numerous literary works published by the Las Vegas Sun,” Righthaven’s lawsuit says.
The lawsuit went on to note five Las Vegas Sun stories that appeared to be posted on the website without authorization on April 9 and 10, including a Sun story about a Righthaven lawsuit.
(A senior Sun online editor confirmed Thursday the website didn’t have authorization to post those stories).
The policy of the Sun and other Greenspun Media Group publications is that readers may post up to 100 words or 10 percent of a story, whichever is less, and a link. This policy is spelled out in the Greenspun Media Group’s online readers agreements such as the Sun’s.
Websites and bloggers found to be in violation of this policy are typically contacted and asked or directed to comply with the reader agreement.
Righthaven, in the meantime, as usual sought $150,000 in statutory damages in Thursday’s suit. But it didn’t press for the court to order the third party domain name registrar to lock the website domain name and transfer it to Righthaven. That standard demand was rejected in a case last week by Chief U.S. District Judge for Nevada Roger Hunt, who noted it’s not authorized by the Copyright Act.
Righthaven did ask the court to “order the surrender to Righthaven of all hardware, software, electronic media and domains, including the domain used to store, disseminate and display the unauthorized versions of any and all copyrighted works.”
The judges hearing Righthaven cases have not yet ruled on the validity of this direct demand for a domain surrender, as opposed to the former request that a third party domain registrar lock and transfer the domain.
Messages for comment were left for the latest Righthaven defendants through the lasvegasinfonewspaper.com website.
Thursday’s suit lifts to 209 the number of lawsuits Righthaven has filed over Review-Journal material. The company also sues over alleged infringements involving Denver Post material and has now filed at least 265 lawsuits over Review-Journal and Denver Post material.