Friday, May 10, 2013

Ninth Circuit deals blow to copyright trolls (Righthaven cases)

Tech Dirt (and other sources like EFF) reports that an appeals court (the Ninth Circuit) has ruled that a copyright owner could not simply transfer the right to sue over to a law frim (Righthaven) without transferring over other rights, to publish and distribute.  That means that the “copyright troll” business model of Righthaven cannot stand up in court, at least in the Ninth Circuit.  I don’t think there are any other conflicting rulings in other circuits, and it is very unlikely that the Supreme Court would disagree with the Ninth Circuit in this case. ‘
  
Just saying you own the copyright doesn’t make it so.  You really have to own all the rights  A secret back-door agreement can invalidate your rights.
   
Tech dirt has the story here

Can we get a similar ruling for patent trolls?
   
The court did invalidate a finding that reproducing a whole article could be “Fair Use”, because it said that it did not need that finding.  It does not preclude that finding in another case where it might be procedurally necessary.

Here’s a panel discussion from the Media Bloggers Association lawyer Ron Coleman a year ago.

  
Bloggers can’t file amicus briefs on their own, but need a legal group to do it for them.  I can’t find an active site for MBA right now, but it does have a Facebook site, here

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