Monday, December 27, 2010

Righthaven answers defendants' claims on "Fair Use": does a copyright owner get to define "Fair Use" on its own terms? What about paraphrase?

Today (Monday Dec. 27), Steve Green has a story in the Las Vegas Sun where Righthaven contests the claims that a number of defendants in its “copyright trolling” lawsuits (now up to 195) can claim “Fair Use”. The link is here.

Specifically, Righthaven claims that the Las Vegas Journal Review permits users only to cite or email a hyperlink to the article. That is “controversial” inasmuch as it seems to maintain that a copyright owner can define the terms of what it will allow as “Fair Use” ahead of time.

More interesting would be the question as to whether a close paraphrase, restating the facts of a news story, could fail to qualify as “Fair Use”. A number of AP stories and television stations stories say that their stories may not be “rewritten” (paraphrased?) for redistribution. Can they do this?

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