Stephens Media, DG Copyright Enforcer Righthaven Says No More Lawsuits

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 3:31 pm  

Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas, a firm used by Stephens Media and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to enforce copyright, has told a court it no longer plans to sue websites for posting brief excerpts of newspaper articles.

According to Wired magazine on Wednesday, Righthaven lost a legal bout a few weeks ago against real estate firm Realty One Group, which fought back when Righthaven sued.

In the case, a Nevada judge agreed with Realty One when it said eight of 30 sentences the company used from a Stephens Media-owned Las Vegas Review Journal story about the real estate market qualified as fair use of the material.

According to Wired:

With that precedent set, Righthaven no longer plans to sue websites for posting brief excerpts of newspaper articles, the company told a different federal judge in a separate case this week. "Righthaven does not anticipate filing any future lawsuits founded upon infringements of less than 75 percent of a copyrighted work, (.pdf) regardless of the outcome of the instant litigation," Righthaven wrote the court.

Righthaven has been suing Internet sites that use any copyrighted material from Stephens Media properties. As of October, more than 130 website operators had been sued as a part of the effort.

On Sept. 25, Stephens Media Vice President and General Counsel Mark Hinueber told the Las Vegas Sun that he was encouraged by the Associated Press' efforts to stop unlicensed postings of its material as well.

In August, Arkansas Business reported that the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's parent company, Wehco Media, also intended to work with Righthaven.

The Democrat-Gazette and Stephens Media, which owns newspapers in Arkansas and eight other states, operate a joint news venture in northwest Arkansas. Stephens Media is based in Las Vegas but controlled the Stephens family of Little Rock.



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