Thursday, April 14, 2011

Righthaven sues "social bookmarking" sites over thumbnails (even embeds of them); AP will keep its distance from RH

The latest slapstick comedy about Righthaven is that it suing Mixx for the use of thumbnails. In fact, it is also suing DailyKix, which aggregates indexed stories, for embeds of these thumbail images. “Ken” has the story on a blog called “One Utah” here. Both of these are called “social bookmarking” sites.  Mixx was recently purchased by UberMedia (link), which will have the pockets not to be intimidated by shakedowns.

In fact, the Ninth Circuit, back in 2007, had ruled that the use of embedded thumbnails without permission in circumstances like these is permissible because it is essentially a form of bibliographic linking, with a PDF of the opinion here

To me, this sounds like saying a grainy pirated video is a threat to the original.

There was slightly longer version of this story on a Wordpress blog named “Foreclosure Blues”, which appears to have been removed recently for supposed TOS problems. I couldn’t see anything wrong with it (this specific story) in a cached copy still available; I do hope it gets restored "legitimately".  (Check this story about Jake Naumer's blog; I haven't heard of "this" bullying tactic being used before; "stick to your knitting?")

The thumbnail “problem”, however, takes all of this into a new area of silliness. 

It's also noteworthy that in December the Dean Singleton of Media News had signed up for Righthaven, and that it had reported that he is also a head of the Associated Press, which had been "threatening" bloggers a few years ago. That Techdirt story had been here.  However, according to a "Law.com" story by Andrew Goldberg March 25, the AP is working on a separate news licensing group, a measure that would apparently not be consistent with joining a group that files "pop quiz" lawsuits; that story is here. And "ForeclosureBlues" noted with a March 25 posting on "Righthaven Victims" blog that the notorious TSA thumbnail had been credited (incorrectly) as an AP photo.

Update: April 18 (Yup, as IRS deadline approaches, although that doesn't matter)

PS: For the record, I found another article on Naumer and the Foreclosure Blues blog, here (at "MFI-Miami").. The pieces of this puzzle get even more interesting. Stay tuned.  And watch what comes out in the movies (particularly on the indie side) in the next few years. All of this would make a good movie for the Landmark Chain to show. Sounds like a real "Roadside Attraction".

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