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In Copyright Infringement News, Blogger Sued over Post

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Las Vegas, NVA copyright infringement lawsuit is casting a pall over the casual blogging industry after an online blogger was served for allowing a visitor to post a newspaper report in its entirety, without his knowledge, on his blog. The blogger was not given the opportunity to pull the offending article from his blog in advance of the lawsuit.

As summarized in the 8/12/10 issue of the Concord Monitor of New Hampshire, the alleged infringement was brought against the Las Vegas Review-Journal by Righthaven LLC, a company described as an enterprise that contracts with publishers to search for copyright infringements and launch legal action.

An attorney representing Christopher Malley, the proprietor of the blog and discussion group that lay at the center of the controversy, described Righthaven as engaged in the business of searching for potential trademark infringements, acquiring copyrights, and then immediately filing copyright lawsuits.

However, the CEO of Righthaven said his enterprise grew out of the need to protect the intellectual property of the newspaper industry in the digital age. Steve Gibson, also an attorney, noted that as the newspaper industry struggles to identify a sustainable economic model, lawsuits are necessary to ensure the protection of his clients' most valuable assets—content containing original thought and writing, pictures and artwork.

Christopher Malley, who runs EMTCity.com, reportedly is losing money on his venture, in spite of accepting donations to support costs associated with web hosting. His lawyer says his client, who did not personally post the article subject to the alleged copyright infringement, would have pulled down the offending article had he been notified in advance of a potential lawsuit.

Gibson, however, maintains there is no legal requirement to provide written notice of copyright infringement before filing a lawsuit.

The Review-Journal article was about fire and emergency medical personal in Las Vegas, and was posted to the discussion board in its entirety by a visitor to the site. Malley was sued in federal court.

Gibson indicated in the Concord Monitor report that Righthaven LLC is a technology company seeking to deter the operators of websites from posting content that would serve to draw online readers away from a newspaper's proprietary website.

"There's value to your newspaper in stopping the diversion of that viewership," he said in comments published in the Monitor.

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