The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a new business model: filing lawsuits against everyone who reprints their stories online. Fair enough, but Righthaven, the company that bought the Review-Journal’s copyright and is managing the lawsuits, got greedy. Yesterday, a judge threw out a suit where Righthaven claimed infringement by a blogger who quoted 8 sentences of a 30 sentence story and linked back to the Review-Journal.
There’s another lawsuit pending where Righthaven sued the Democratic Underground for a five-sentence excerpt that included a link back to the Journal. That suit claimed damages of up to $150,000. The Review-Journal position is that anything but a quote of the headline and first paragraph is not fair use.
Here’s a little hint for the Review-Journal: when you have a competitor in town, bloggers who want to discuss Las Vegas politics will link to their stories about voter suppression, the Angle/Reed race, the Tea Party Express and anything else that happens in your neck of the woods.