Stephens Media Completely Capitulates In Democratic Underground/Righthaven Case
from the fair-use,-ftw dept
While Stephens Media disagrees with DU's characterizations of certain facts that are not material for purposes of the present Motion, it does not contest the substantive arguments presented by DU on the issues of volitional act and fair use as applied to the material facts of this case.In other words, Stephens Media -- who according to the strategic agreement, had to give Righthaven the green light to sue -- now admits that the use by DU was fair use.
From there, Stephens focuses on a separate issue: making sure that additional details of its business relationship with various companies stay secret. Apparently, a number of documents have been filed under seal, and Stephens wants to make sure they don't see the light of day. Basically, DU wanted details of syndication relationships that Stephens has with other parties as part of its fair use argument, but Stephens is now giving them that argument, saying they agree it's fair use... just let us keep those other deals secret. But on the major point of the lawsuit, the copyright infringement, Stephens has now flat out said that it agrees the use was fair.
I do wonder if this opens the company up to possible problems, though, considering the belief in some courts that a copyright holder must consider fair use before taking action against someone for potentially infringing. Either way, it's clear that Stephens wants no part of continuing to fight Righthaven's fight here.
Of course, this is really yet another example of why something like SOPA is such a bad idea. Imagine Righthaven in a post-SOPA era? Remember that it was already arguing in each of its lawsuits that it should get the domain names of everyone it sued (based on absolutely nothing). If SOPA had been around, Righthaven would have been able to cause even more trouble for sites like DU, potentially cutting off all funds while the issue was litigated. Is that really the future we want?