How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

July 23, 2010 -

Las Vegas-based Righthaven has been buying the copyrights of newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that use articles without permission - his business model for this seems to be the tactics used by the RIAA against file sharers. CEO Steve Gibson says that he's already making money on his plan, though he doesn't offer any numbers.

Gibson’s plan is to monetize news content by sifting through the internet looking for websites and blogs that are infringing on client newspaper articles and then suing them for damages. This model relies on harsh penalties from Copyright Act — up to $150,000 for a single infringement - and quick settlements. Since its formation in March of this year, Righthaven claims to have filed around 80 federal lawsuits against websites and bloggers who have allegedly re-posted articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the company's first client.

"We believe it’s the best solution out there,” Gibson says. “Media companies’ assets are very much their copyrights. These companies need to understand and appreciate that those assets have value more than merely the present advertising revenues."

But Gibson isn't satisfied with only one client and plans to expand. The Review-Journal’s publisher, Stephens Media in Las Vegas, operates 70 other newspapers in nine states, and Gibson says that he has signed an agreement to cover those properties. Righthaven’s lawsuits are similar to campaigns by the music and movie industries. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sued about 20,000 thousand file sharers over the last five years, while the U.S. Copyright Group - formed this year - has filed 20,000 federal lawsuits against BitTorrent users for sharing movies.

But the results of these lawsuits are questionable; for example, the RIAA’s lawsuits were mostly a bust in terms of spending. Record labels spent $64 million in legal fees only to recover about $1.3 million in damages and settlements.

Gibson claims that he’s just getting started and that his firm has other media clients that he won’t name until the lawsuits start rolling out.

Source: www.wired.com


Comments

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

If at first you see somebody fail, make you sure repeat their history of failure.

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

Newspaper is on its way out, these people are simply capitalizing on the inflexibility of the media corporations. The only winners here are the lawyers.

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

They just attemptign what the RIAA did to Napster.

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

The days of daily newspapers are coming to the end but remember to support your local 50 cent weekly.

They are more releveant than the daily papers by a long shot.

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

Wouldn't this very article be an example of what they are trying to prevent?

"

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

No.  This article is sourcing a website, not a newspaper.  Plus, it features only one quote from the sourced article, not a copy/paste of the whole thing.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

How do you copyright the news?  I mean copyrighting the text of the articles, sure, but the news itself?  Are there really blogs out there that just copy paste stuff verbatim from sources without citing or paraphrasing?

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

It's the text of the articles, not the news itself.  Who this guy is going after are folks who are lifting entire articles from newspapers and posting them online.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

Does this mean that we can be sued for quoting books, writing out plot summaries, etc.?

Also, one thing I'm almost certain of is that alot of bloggers get incredibly anal over citing their sources, so I'm not sure how this would be a problem worth suing over.

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

There is still such a thing as "Fair Use" under the copyright laws.  Lifting a paragraph and attributing where the quote came from is perfectly okay.  Writing a "plot summary" is okay.

Copying and pasting an entire news article and calling it your own is NOT okay.  It never has been.  If someone copies and takes credit for your plot summary, they've just stolen from you.

Frankly, I'm surprised it's taken this long for someone to start suing over this.

If you are a blogger, you should NOT be copying other people's work. 

I'm amazed at the overall ignorance in this thread.

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

Can you be sued?  Yes.  Would the suit be successful?  Depending on how you were using the copyrighted material, probably not.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

When your business model is in doubt blame the magical one legged bandit and sue anyone you can to "make" more money.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

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Different Steve Gibson

For everyone who did the same thing I did, it is not that Steve Gibson (of grc.com and Security Now). He has too much class for that. 

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

Oh boy another troll trying to profit off of other people work. Thats the USA for ya.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

Or more accurately, profiting of people profiting off other people's work.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

Well, this was predicted for a while. Our copyright system is easy to game for profit.

Re: How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

oh look, its a copyright troll!

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