Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Federal judge says that copying entire article can sometimes be Fair Use (Righthaven cases)

Ars Technica, in an article  by Nate Anderson, has a "Law and Disorder" story on the Righthaven copyright troll mess. Recently, Righthaven lost a big case on Fair Use grounds against the Oregon-based CIO, Center for Intercultural Organizing (link ). 

What’s interesting here is that a federal judge took it upon himself to argue Fair Use, and maintained that the doctrine could apply even for entire article reproduction in some cases, such as if the readership were different and the copying website were non-profit.  This could mean that Righthaven’s strategy is making copyright less secure for small newspapers, not more.  It could also mean that a larger paper might more easily enforce a no-copy policy if it already has national reach.  The judge also apparently questioned the champetry in Righthaven’s strategy, also.

Anderson also points out that sometimes Righthaven has sued people who had developed the original content facts, which LVJR or other small papers then wrote up.

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