Righthaven Helping To Establish A Much More Expansive View Of Fair Use In Copying Newspaper Articles

from the not-what-they-planned dept

Ah, Righthaven. Steve Green, who has covered the Righthaven situation like no one else, has a long and fascinating blog post detailing how with each new move, Righthaven and Stephens Media’s attempts to crack down on people reposting their works, has actually had the exact opposite impact — creating a series of court rulings that not only slam Righthaven, but also detail a very expansive view on fair use and other copyright issues when it comes to sites copying material from newspapers. In the end, this may be Righthaven and Stephens Media’s lasting legacy: creating a series of really ridiculous cases, so ridiculous that they demonstrated the dangerous extremes of copyright law today, and allowed courts to mark down a series of key rulings on fair use to protect against such abuses.

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Companies: righthaven

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Comments on “Righthaven Helping To Establish A Much More Expansive View Of Fair Use In Copying Newspaper Articles”

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19 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I read the article. The rulings are all preliminary rulings of the legality of the Righthaven methods, not so much about the actual fair use implications. The judges are adding their own commentary, but it is done without trial, only based on filings and motions.

I don’t think a single one of these cases so far as been tried to conclusion and lost based on fair use. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

From the article:

U.S. District Judge James Mahan found an Oregon nonprofit was protected by fair use in posting without authorization an entire 33 paragraph R-J story. That was Righthaven?s second fair use loss over R-J material.

Judge Larry Hicks in Reno, last year dealt Rightaven its first fair use loss, with that case involving a partial R-J story post by a Las Vegas real estate agent.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I read the article. The rulings are all preliminary rulings of the legality of the Righthaven methods, not so much about the actual fair use implications.

Not true. There have been two rulings on fair use.

I don’t think a single one of these cases so far as been tried to conclusion and lost based on fair use. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

You are wrong.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It all becomes like HuffPo … people working to promote themselves. Or people like me, that just like pointing out injustice, stupidity, and corruption.

I think that should scare you more than FREE and freely taken. It means the mainstream media and its biased views are dead, and the truth, not hype, is being heard.

Something to think about …

DannyB (profile) says:

The same thing resulted from SCO vs The World

IBM actually raised the GPL in a counterclaim. This was possibly the very first “test” of the GPL in court. There have been plenty since.

The open source community was suddenly galvanized and took IP issues very seriously. Everything is now carefully documented.

Linux is one of, and perhaps the cleanest FOSS codebase in terms of IP.

The sealed AT&T-BSD settlement was unsealed and its contents revealed just how clean BSD actually was, and how SCO had lied about the contents of the sealed settlement.

Many other things happened during the last eight years that were the most opposite of what SCO could have ever wanted to happen.

In other news: the outrageousness of ISPs attempting to charge customers higher prices for access to certain websites caused Net Neutrality to become law.

Cutting off Internet access results in the UN calling it a human right.

Next up: maybe hollywood and the major labels will push for draconian enough laws that things will flip in the worst way they could possibly imagine. Go ahead. Push for a police state. See what happens.

Anonymous Coward says:

The question all the Righthaven suits and responses from the courts have raised in my mind is: is it constitutional to sell your rights? Sure a content creator can sell a license to produce a product based on their content, but throughout the history of copyright, that hasn’t been the case. The various industries have forced artists to sign over their rights, but can they do that? Is it really legal?

wallow-T says:

This is massively important. The writing style of politics blogs in which one links to mainstream stories, or excerpts them, and then comments on the news, is becoming central to the political nervous system in the USA. (The Democratic Underground case is a prime example, and I’m sure there are cases on the political right as well.) The vast majority of the leading-edge political activists are communicating with blogs now, and this “comment on the news” style is well established.

With the importance of this style of dialectic argument to political speech, we are now moving towards core First Amendment concerns, which give the highest protection possible to political speech, and I think the courts are seeing this.

Prashanth (profile) says:

This actually reminds me of something I read somewhere recently (either in the Washington Post or in TIME magazine) which said that by late last decade, the Tories in the UK had drifted so far to the right that they needed David Cameron to become relevant again, and I would say that by US standards, for a Tory, David Cameron is left-of-center. Similarly, these Righthaven lawsuits have pushed the debate over copyright so far in favor of copyright maximalism that these verdicts have effectively brought the debate to the other side by actually expanding fair use.

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