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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Filed Under: copyright, fair use
Companies: citadel, righthaven


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  1. icon
    mike allen (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 3:36am

    these contests are everywhere and nobody ever complains i would love to know the winner though. hope citidal get costs on this teach them a lesson.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    The eejit (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 4:08am

    Re:

    I hopt the judge bitchslaps Righthaven for punitive damages totalling 1 billion dollars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re:

    Did you say that with a pinky near your mouth, because you did in my head.

    At least one of us is guilty of copyright infringement, I bet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2011 @ 6:32am

    Are there any cases that show this exact sort of use as being "fair use"? It could be argued very easily that only those who add parody to it would have fair use. Citidel appears to be just trying to use someone's work without permission.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Aloha Oy Vader, 1 Mar 2011 @ 7:10am

    Sites like dListed have photo caption contests every day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    The eejit (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Everyone is guilty of copyright infringement. It's just a question of who to tax to legalise it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 7:15am

    Anyone have a link to the picture?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Kevin (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 7:21am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Kevin (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 7:31am

    Re: Anyone have a link to the picture?

    I did have the photo in question, but my South African ISP had its servers seized by BREIN.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2011 @ 7:34am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Jay (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 7:44am

    Sorry Righthaven

    But your imagined payday is in another castle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Any Mouse (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: Anyone have a link to the picture?

    There's a .pdf link containing the pic in the referenced news article.

    On an unrelated note, I love how the linked site claims extra rights.

    'The Post, however, has an explicit copyright warning stating its material can't be reproduced in full.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Commercial fair use happens every single day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    Kevin (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 8:34am

    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).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2011 @ 4:13am

    Re:

    BUT... BUT... EXCESSIVE FAIR USE!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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