Righthaven Sues Radio Giant For Hosting Caption Contest On Denver Post Photo

from the citadel's-lawyers-might-understand-fair-use dept

For the most part, Righthaven has been careful to sue individuals and smaller sites who would have a much tougher time fighting back. However, in its mad dash to sue a ton of websites for using a viral photograph of a TSA agent searching a passenger, it appears to have gone after Citadel Broadcasting, a radio giant, for running a “caption contest” on the photo. We’ve pointed out in the past that many users of the photo probably have pretty strong fair use claims, and (depending on the details), it seems like Citadel might as well. Plus, Citadel, being a large media company, almost certainly has lawyers it can call on who understand fair use. So this could make for an interesting legal battle if Citadel agrees to fight back.

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Companies: citadel, righthaven

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Comments on “Righthaven Sues Radio Giant For Hosting Caption Contest On Denver Post Photo”

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15 Comments
Kevin (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think that using a photo as a frame of reference for holding a caption contest would very clear fair use. By your argument a professor holding up a copy of the LVRJ or Denver Post to highlight a story to his class for discussion would be “just trying to use someone’s work without permission.”(AC, 2011). There you’ve been cited.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Kevin, please think for a second about this:

Is Citidel running the photo to inform, or are they running it for commercial gain? Did anyone from Citidel use it directly as parody (or other fair use base), or are they hoping that the listeners / readers / viewers/ whatever come along and add the parody component?

By your argument a professor holding up a copy of the LVRJ or Denver Post to highlight a story to his class for discussion would be “just trying to use someone’s work without permission.”(AC, 2011)

Nope, for that you are wrong. Teaching is one of those obvious fair uses. I don’t have to work to try to find the fair use. In Citidel’s case, I am at a loss as to what the fair use really is, it seems to be more of a commercial use.

Kevin (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The difference between the classroom and the the internet is nothing except the location. Provoking a conversation whether it be based on fact or parody should be protected as free speech and fair use.

The path that we are walking with lawsuits like this one are a slippery slope. Bit by bit our freedoms as are being eroded in the name of protecting the children and intellectual property. The laws they are using to perpetrate these lawsuits are no longer valid in today’s digital environment and need to be changed. Your antiquated view of this is exactly what is wrong and why we are stumbling to move forward rather than leaping. (not saying you personally, but the collective whole of people who think as you do IMHO).

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