R-J copyright suit filed against newspaper source

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Longtime Las Vegas casino industry publisher Anthony Curtis was accused Friday of copyright infringement for posting on his website a Las Vegas Review-Journal story — a story involving Curtis’ company.

Curtis was among 10 website operators sued Friday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by Righthaven LLC, a company that obtains copyrights to Review-Journal stories and then sues website operators that allegedly infringe on the copyrights.

At least 47 such lawsuits have been filed since March 13.

Righthaven’s complaint shows that on April 22, the R-J published a story about an annual survey of Las Vegas show prices conducted by Curtis’ company, the Las Vegas Advisor.

Curtis’ blog, LVA in the Media, on May 6 then re-published the R-J story about Curtis’ survey, crediting the Review-Journal, court records show.

“The defendants publicly displayed, and continue to display, an unauthorized reproduction of the work (the story) on the website, in derogation of Righthaven’s exclusive rights,” the lawsuit charges. “Mr. Curtis has willfully engaged in the copyright infringement of the work.”

Like most defendants sued by Righthaven, Curtis said Friday that until he was contacted by the Las Vegas Sun about the lawsuit, he was unaware he had been sued or that there was a concern about his posting R-J stories or links on his website.

“It’s ironic and stupid,” Curtis said Friday, noting the R-J story was made possible because Curtis’ company provided R-J writer Mike Weatherford its survey on show prices.

“If they’re going to sue us for quoting us, that gets really stupid,” he said.

Also sued Friday by Righthaven were:

• The American Society of Safety Engineers in Des Plaines, Ill. One of the society websites,, covering the Central Florida American Society of Safety Engineers chapter, allegedly posted information from a Review-Journal story from March about a bill in Congress to beef up OSHA enforcement in certain states including Nevada.

• No Quarter and Larry C. Johnson, operators of the

website. Johnson says on the website that he founded the BERG Associates LLC business consulting firm in Washington, D.C., focusing on terrorism and money

laundering, and that he has been a media analyst on terror incidents. No Quarter is accused of posting in April a Review-Journal story about the Nevada U.S. Senate race.

• John Thomas in Frostburg, Md., operator of the website. The website is accused of posting an R-J story from February about Nevada sports book winnings from gamblers.

• Melissa Prepster and Lisa Mielke, who own the Kyle, Texas-based website, which allegedly posted an R-J review of an April 24 Eagles concert in Las Vegas.

• Brien Smith, president of, and the Full Throttle website, accused of posting a March 9 Review-Journal story about World Extreme Cagefighting.

• Vegas Backstage Access and Mike Stotts, who are associated with the website and are accused of posting a March 10 R-J story about disputes between magician Scarlett — Princess of Magic (Rachel Jessee) and her manager.

• Salem Communications Corp. and Max Frost, who are associated with the websites and Frost’s melcward site allegedly posted a March Review-Journal column about Nevada’s U.S. Senate race.

• Vannix Communications Group Inc. and its chief executive officer, Abby

Nixon, who are associated with the website. The website is accused of posting an R-J story about Eve, The Nightclub at CityCenter.

• Realty One Group Inc., David Tina and Michael J. Nelson, whom the lawsuit says are associated with the websites and Tina is a Realty One real estate broker who supervises Nelson, a real estate agent, the lawsuit says. Nelson’s website is accused of this year posting several Review-Journal stories about real estate.

Requests for comments were placed with all of the defendants.