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Las Vegas newspaper copyright infringement appeal dismissed

Without a word from the Las Vegas company that appealed a copyright infringement ruling in federal court earlier this summer, the court granted a dismissal of the appeal on Aug. 8. The decision continues what appears to be the slow winding down of the flurry of business litigation filed in 2010 and 2011 by Righthaven LLC on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and an out-of-state newspaper against bloggers and other Internet users.

We last discussed this copyright infringement case in our June 11 post. Though Righthaven has had many of its lawsuits dismissed, this particular case involved a nonprofit organization called the Center for Intercultural Organizing, which reposted a story from the Review-Journal on its website. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit against the OIC on fair use grounds, but Righthaven appealed, despite the fact that its CEO admits the company has no funds to continue the litigation.

In a brief ruling granting the OIC’s motion to dismiss the appeal, the court agreed with the nonprofit that Righthaven no longer had standing to sue in the case. That is because the company’s creditors have seized the copyrights Righthaven purchased the rights from the Review-Journal and the other paper. Without ownership of the copyright to the article in question, Righthaven had no right to sue over it, the court held. Righthaven did not contest the motion.

There are 17 active Righthaven lawsuits in Nevada. If the company does not speak up in those suits, they likely will be dismissed as well.

Source: VEGAS INC, “Court tosses Righthaven fair use appeal,” Steve Green, Aug. 8, 2012

John P. Aldrich
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