Righthaven LLC sued six more website operators Thursday in Las Vegas, showing again its copyright enforcement campaign is active despite recent setbacks.
The latest defendants were all sued in U.S. District Court for Nevada. They are accused of copyright infringement over Las Vegas Review-Journal stories or columns allegedly posted on their websites without authorization.
• Jane Smith (subliminalselfhypnosis.com)
• Law Med Consulting LLC, Law Med Blog and Greg Stocks (lawmedconsultant.com)
• Extreme DUI and Johannes Garrido (extremedui.net)
• Gunner’s Alley LLC , Affordable Hunting Trips and Bradford Justus (affordable-hunting-trips.com)
• NewsBlaze LLC and Alan Gray (newsblaze.com)
• Computer Services One LLC and Norman Edwards (floridasteaks.com)
Messages for comment were left for the new defendants except for Edwards and his company, which couldn’t be contacted.
“The defendants did not seek permission, in any manner, to reproduce, display or otherwise exploit the work (story or column). The defendants were not granted permission, in any manner, to reproduce, display, or otherwise exploit the work,” these new lawsuits say.
In these lawsuits, Righthaven asked the federal court to award it statutory damages of $150,000 apiece.
It also asked 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 work.”
These domain demands are controversial as two federal judges have found there is no basis in the U.S. Copyright Act for Righthaven to ask that the courts order third-party domain name registrars like Go Daddy to lock the domains and transfer them to Righthaven.
The judges handling Righthaven cases in Nevada have not yet ruled on Righthaven’s current strategy of seeking direct surrenders of domains — surrenders that don’t involve orders to third parties.
The new lawsuits lift to at least 271 the number of suits Righthaven has filed since March 2010 over Review-Journal and Denver Post material.
They come as Righthaven faces challenges to its Review-Journal lawsuits from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others, who charge the suits are based on “sham” copyright assignments from Review-Journal owner Stephens Media LLC.
These charges are denied by Righthaven, which says its lawsuits are necessary to crack down on rampant online infringement of material produced by the newspaper industry.
Righthaven also faces a judge in Denver critical of its business model, which critics say involves hitting defendants with no-warning lawsuits and then coercing them to settle for a few thousand dollars or risk paying the maximum damages of $150,000.
Two Righthaven suits have been dismissed on fair use grounds, dismissals Righthaven plans to appeal.