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Preview: Las Vegas Sun Blogs: 'Business Notebook'

Las Vegas Sun Blogs: 'Business Notebook'



Latest ten entries from 'Business Notebook'



 



Commentary: Is Righthaven about to get some payback?

Tue, 19 Apr 2011 09:00:00 -0000

Attorneys say new evidence shows fraud by Righthaven (4-17-11) Judge strikes Righthaven website domain demand (4-16-11) Judge unseals Review-Journal/Righthaven contract (4-15-11) Righthaven challenges judge in copyright case (4-15-11) Did Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC play a federal judge last year? And is it now payback time for the judge? That’s the question raised by the unusually critical language about Righthaven, its copyright lawsuit partner Stephens Media LLC and their attorneys in two orders issued last week by Roger Hunt, chief United States District Court Judge for Nevada. Here’s the background: After Righthaven and Stephens Media started their litigation spree in March 2010, some of the defendants that bothered to fight back did so with the argument that Righthaven lacked standing to sue over material from Stephens Media’s Las Vegas Review-Journal. Their argument was based in part on the fact that Righthaven, as a so-called copyright troll, didn’t use its copyrights for anything but lawsuits. They said Righthaven spotted infringements, later obtained copyrights to infringed material and then filed suit retroactively. In order to sue, these defendants said, Righthaven needed to own the copyright on the day of the infringement. And they said it needed full ownership of the copyright – not just rights to sue over accrued infringements. And it was Hunt who was among the first federal judges hearing Righthaven lawsuits who upheld that right to sue on a retroactive basis, based on the supposedly "exclusive" copyright assignment provided to him by Righthaven. "The (copyright) assignment in question clearly assigns both the exclusive copyright ownership, together with accrued causes of action, i.e., infringements past, present and future," Hunt wrote in a September ruling denying a Righthaven defendant’s motion to dismiss. That ruling was cited by Righthaven in fighting subsequent dismissal motions, and with Hunt being the chief judge in Nevada it probably carried some weight. Fast forward to today. Righthaven has lost two of its lawsuits on fair-use rulings, faces a judge critical of its tactics in Denver and is dealing with some politically-connected attorneys pursing a heated counterclaim against it in South Carolina. It appears that in the South, those folks are pretty adamant that it’s not the gentlemanly thing to do to hit a nonprofit blogger with a $150,000, no-warning lawsuit. Righthaven’s biggest problem currently, though, was Hunt’s ruling Friday unsealing the copyright-transfer arrangement between Righthaven and Stephens Media. This Strategic Alliance agreement shows some things Hunt likely wasn’t aware of in September when he allowed the Righthaven suit to go forward. Instead of having an "exclusive" copyright, Righthaven only obtained rights to file lawsuits. Everything else – the right to display and distribute stories, the right to choose who could and could not be sued, etc. – was retained by Stephens Media. Along with a 50 percent cut of lawsuit profits. Hunt, of course, isn’t talking -- yet -- about whether the Strategic Alliance agreement undercuts his own ruling giving Righthaven the right to sue. But he didn’t have much nice to say about Righthaven, Stephens Media and their attorneys in two orders Friday. In rejecting arguments by attorneys for Righthaven and Stephens Media that attorneys for the Democratic Underground had been underhanded in trying to get the Strategic Alliance unsealed, Hunt called some of their language in court briefs "very unprofessional" and wrote: " There is an old adage in the law that, if the facts are on your side, you pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, you pound on the law. If neither the facts nor the law is on your side, you pound on the table. It appears there is a lot of table pounding going on here." In another order, it appears he was noting the irony of Righthaven trying to get out of its suit against the Democratic Underground with Righthaven paying no attorney’s fees to the[...]



After Righthaven defies judge, observers question company's motives

Fri, 15 Apr 2011 18:58:00 -0000

Some Righthaven LLC watchers are wondering if the Las Vegas company is plotting to have the judge handling all of its Colorado copyright lawsuits disqualified from presiding over those cases. Senior U.S. District Court Judge John L. Kane in Denver has been critical of Righthaven's business model centered on no-warning lawsuits and forcing many defendants to settle with threats of hefty damage awards ($150,000) and website domain name seizures. With Thursday's court filing defying Kane by refiling commentary Kane had ordered removed from the record, Righthaven has pretty much invited Kane to strike back at Righthaven. And that may give Righthaven more ammunition to seek reassignment of its 58 Colorado cases to another judge. "I imagine Righthaven could try a recusal motion, although I think it's going to need more egregious behavior by the judge than what we've seen so far," said Righthaven observer and critic Eric Goldman, an associate professor at California's Santa Clara University School of Law and director of its High Tech Law Institute. "Recusal motions are a little like the old maxim about trying to assassinate the king -- you better have good aim, because the consequences of trying and missing can be severe." Goldman called the filing by Righthaven on Thursday, involving a dismissal motion of its suit against autistic blogger Brian D. Hill, "incredible." "I don't have any idea why Righthaven would file a motion like this. It's a big '.... you' to a judge who is already clearly skeptical of their tactics, and worse, it's unlikely to yield any productive results. After all, the name-calling and saber-rattling in Righthaven's first dismissal attempt was juvenile and ineffectual. Fighting for the right to repeat those remarks makes zero sense," Goldman said. Thursday's renewed dismissal motion came as Hill's attorneys are pressing for the right to collect legal fees from Righthaven -- an issue Kane plans to decide. Righthaven and its partner in Las Vegas, Stephens Media LLC, owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, also may find themselves paying far more substantial legal fees should the Democratic Underground prevail in its counterclaim against Righthaven and Stephens Media. That case involved a partial post of a Las Vegas Review-Journal story that likely would be protected by the fair use doctrine, based on two fair use defeats already sustained by Righthaven. Righthaven tried to drop the Democratic Underground case on the condition it not pay the defendant's legal fees. Democratic Underground attorneys are fighting that, saying Righthaven should pay for the defense of the fight it provoked. "The worst part is that Righthaven appears to be operating under the misguided assumption that it can bring meritless copyright claims and then simply walk away, consequence-free, whenever it makes a mistake or encounters a defendant who fights back. Righthaven is completely wrong about that, and I'm confident it will learn the hard (and expensive) lesson soon enough," Goldman said. *** The saga of Righthaven is particularly well-suited for coverage and discussion on the Internet. Righthaven, of course, sues over website posts. Defendants frequently learn they're being sued by receiving emails or calls from the Las Vegas Sun and VEGAS INC. Then they study up on Righthaven by looking at websites like righthavenlawsuits.com and righthavenvictims.blogspot.com. (There's not much to learn from Righthaven's website, righthaven.com) In the meantime, some defendants are telling their story with their own websites. There's Chuck Coker, a defaulting defendant here. Former defendant Michael Nystrom tells the story of his close call with Righthaven here. Bigmedia.org, which has a Rocky Mountain media watch archive, is a website with some interesting Righthaven commentary, including a column that received a good deal of attention called "Ripping off newspaper websites shortchanges democracy." An active defendant, Michael Leon, has a site here. Leon has already scored some public relations poin[...]



Commentary: Righthaven suit continues to backfire, new suits filed

Wed, 30 Mar 2011 08:50:00 -0000

Righthaven LLC's lawsuit against journalist Eriq Gardner backfired in more ways than one.

Besides embarrassing the Las Vegas company for a suit that should never have been filed, news coverage of the lawsuit is now exposing more people to the Denver Post TSA pat-down photo that Righthaven claims to own with its copyright.

But this new exposure for the photo won't yield a dime of revenue for the Denver Post or Righthaven.

That's because this exposure of the photo, as it appeared on the Drudge Report, is in the form of Google thumbnail images that now pop up in Google searches for Righthaven.

They pop up with the Ars Technica story on Righthaven's dismissal of its lawsuit against Gardner, the Ars Technica freelancer.

They pop up next to the headline "Copyright troll Righthaven's epic blunder: a lawsuit targeting Ars."

***

Amidst all the excitement about the suit against Gardner, Righthaven filed three more lawsuits alleging copyright infringement involving the TSA pat-down photo.

The latest to be sued by Righthaven in federal court in Colorado were:

• Neil Rosekrans (statebrief.com)

• Christopher Szaz (asmallcornerofsanity.com)

• Hetal Jannu (uberpix.net)

Messages for comment were left with Rosekrans and Jannu. Szaz couldn't be located for comment.

As usual Righthaven demands damages of $150,000 apiece and forfeiture of the defendants' website domain names to Righthaven.

These bring to at least 261 the number of lawsuits Righthaven has filed since March 2010 over Denver Post and Las Vegas Review-Journal material; and to 57 the number of suits over the pat-down photo.

***

Another commentator is weighing in on the theory that Righthaven's lawsuit campaign has been counterproductive in terms of protecting newspaper content from rampant online infringements.

Two of its suits have now been rejected on fair-use grounds -- including one involving an entire Review-Journal story posted on the website of an Oregon nonprofit.

Righthaven plans to appeal, but in the meantime we now have case law reducing -- not expanding -- legal protection of newspaper content.

"If I were a traditional news publisher with an expansive view of copyright law, I’d be furious at Righthaven," Massachusetts attorney Joel Sage wrote in a post on the website of Harvard University's Citizen Media Law Project.

"Insofar as Righthaven’s tactics are often, in practice, little better than bullying, it is little wonder that judges seem to be doing everything they can to give Righthaven's defendants the benefit of the doubt — even if this ends up constricting the rights of established media players," Sage wrote.




Report on AP corrected, new Righthaven suits filed

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0000

Here's an update to yesterday's blog about The Associated Press launching a news licensing/royalty venture.

Yesterday, the Corporate Counsel/law.com website suggested The Associated Press is beefing up efforts for news creators to be paid for their work -- but in doing so won't be working with Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC.

The Corporate Counsel writer quoted an AP attorney who asked to remain anonymous and provided details on the plan.

Corporate Counsel has now corrected that report and notes the AP had announced this initiative in February.

***

There's still no new information, in the meantime, on Righthaven's lawsuit against the thespec.com website for The Hamilton Spectator newspaper in Hamilton, Ontario. That's part of the Toronto Star group of newspapers.

That's the case where the Denver Post pat-down photo was credited to The Associated Press, which distributed the Denver Post photo to news outlets. As recently as today, thespec.com was displaying Associated Press photos -- a pretty good indication it's authorized to do so.

The Associated Press is not a news aggregator like Google. It's a news service that sells news, photos and other content to paying members and subscribers like newspapers, radio stations and TV stations.

The question remains: If thespec.com is authorized to display Associated Press photos, why is it being sued by Righthaven over a photo distributed by The Associated Press?

***

Righthaven sued two more website operators in federal court this week in Colorado over the Denver Post TSA pat-down photo.

The latest defendants accused of copyright infringement are:

• Christopher Mahon and Ambidextrous Civic Discourse, allegedly associated with the website ambidextrouscivicdiscourse.com

• Ran Decisions Inc. and Ben Schlappig; allegedly associated with the website boardingarea.com

Messages for comment were left with the defendants in these lawsuits, which as usual demand $150,000 apiece in damages and forfeiture to Righthaven of the website domain names.

These suits lift to at least 254 Righthaven's lawsuit count since it started filing lawsuits in March 2010. Fifty of those suits involve the pat-down photo.




Report: AP to proceed in licensing content without Righthaven

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 23:51:00 -0000

A column today on the Corporate Counsel/law.com website suggests The Associated Press is beefing up efforts for news creators to be paid for their work -- but in doing so won't be working with Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC.

After Righthaven started suing websites over alleged infringements involving Denver Post material, observers wondered if the AP would sign up for Righthaven's copyright protection service.

That's because William Dean Singleton, chairman of the AP's board of directors, is also chairman and CEO of Denver Post owner MediaNews Group.

And in the past, Singleton has said the AP would step up efforts to battle misappropriation of its work.

Today's Corporate Counsel report on law.com, by Andrew Goldberg, says: "An AP lawyer who asked to remain anonymous says the news service is planning to follow a different path and preparing to launch its news licensing group later this year. The mission of the freestanding company, to be owned by the AP and other news organizations, is to help publishers sell their content to other media outlets and receive royalties based on where and how often that content (is) displayed."

This plan -- licensing of news content to gain royalty payments -- sounds similar to one already launched by Attributor Corp. attributor.com

Attributor in November released a study confirming infringements of news material online are rampant. In a five-month period, Attributor identified more than 400,000 unlicensed uses of news content on 44,906 sites from 70,101 online news articles.

Attributor said it tested a "graduated response" method with websites posting unlicensed content.

Some 75 percent of the sites complied with the rights holders' requests to pursue licensing deals or take down the material, Attributor said. This was without resorting to content takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or Righthaven-like lawsuits.




Three Righthaven copyright suits closed, one opened

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 17:32:00 -0000

Dogster court exhibit For Las Vegas copyright enforcer Righthaven LLC, today's news so far is pretty much the same story as Tuesday: A new lawsuit has been filed, while two more lawsuits were dismissed after Righthaven failed to show the defendants were served. The latest defendants to be hit with a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement are Dogster Inc. and two individuals allegedly associated with the website dogster.com, Ted Rheingold and Maria Goodavage. This is another lawsuit over the Denver Post TSA pat-down photo and Righthaven again demands in Wednesday's complaint in U.S. District Court for Colorado that the defendants pay $150,000 in damages and that their website domain name be forfeited to Righthaven. A court exhibit indicates the photo was posted on the website with some commentary suggesting trained dogs could work as an alternative to intrusive TSA pat-down searches. The website post did not credit the Denver Post as the source of the photo, the exhibit shows. A request for comment was left with Dogster. This suit lifts the Righthaven lawsuit tally to 252 overall since March 2010; and to 48 over the pat-down photo. Separately, a Righthaven lawsuit over the pat-down photo against Tamer Mahrous was closed after the parties reached a confidential settlement. *** Two more Righthaven lawsuits were dismissed without prejudice this week by U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro. They involved material from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and defendants Michael Easton and Puget Sound Radio in one case; and defendants Ezekiel Kennard, Marc Lee and Serkadis.com in another case. They were dismissed after Righthaven didn't show the defendants were served with the complaints against them. Unless Righthaven can find a way to revive these lawsuits, it appears its investment in these lawsuits in terms of legal fees and court costs will have to be written off. Righthaven apparently had trouble tracking these defendants down to serve them because -- unlike a business with a street address -- some of these defendants were probably guys running websites from their apartments or while drinking coffee at Starbucks. The lawsuit against Puget Sound Radio, for instance, called it "an entity of unknown origin and nature." *** A writer for the Technology Review published by MIT is commenting on last week's decision by a federal judge to dismiss the Righthaven lawsuit against the Oregon nonprofit the Center for Intercultural Organizing on fair use grounds. Christopher Mims asks about Righthaven in the piece: "In its over-reaching, has the law firm set a precedent that could damage the ability of content creators and news gatherers to control how their works are used, and to achieve fair compensation for their distribution?" *** Righthaven hasn't yet publicly responded to the motion for dismissal filed by Denver Post TSA pat-down photo defendant Brian D. Hill. In response to reader comments, here's why the Las Vegas Sun has not posted a link to the court exhibit showing Hill's alleged infringement of Righthaven's copyright. The problem with the post by Hill -- which was archived by Righthaven and filed with the court -- is that it has the same headline as the deadseriousnews.com post of the photo. This headline and the accompanying parody story are objectionable as they suggest a passenger was arrested for becoming sexually aroused during a TSA pat-down. The actual language in the headline, however, is too graphic for us to post. With the mysterious deadseriousnews.com site apparently the origin of many of the Righthaven lawsuits, don't be surprised if Righthaven tracks down and sues whoever is behind deadseriousnews.com -- a website identified on Jan. 28 or perhaps earlier as appearing to be the source of many of the alleged infringements. *** The TSA photo also appears on several news sites that attribute it not to Righthaven or the Denver Post, but to The Associated Press or [...]



Two Righthaven suits dismissed for lack of service, new suit filed

Tue, 22 Mar 2011 20:12:00 -0000

Neither adverse publicity nor unfavorable court rulings are deterring copyright enforcer Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas from filing new lawsuits. On Monday, it filed at least its 251st lawsuit. Again, this was in Denver over the Denver Post TSA pat-down photo. This lifts to at least 47 the number of suits over that photo. The latest defendant is Erin Breig, whom Righthaven says owns the website hoodtmz.blogspot.com. "Ms. Breig reproduced an unauthorized copy of the photograph entitled: 'TSA Agent performs enhanced pat-downs' ... and displayed said unauthorized copy on the website," the lawsuit charges. As usual, Righthaven in its lawsuit demands $150,000 in damages and forfeiture of Breig's website domain name. A court exhibit in the lawsuit shows the photo was posted with commentary suggesting a passenger was arrested after becoming sexually aroused during a TSA pat-down. This commentary appears in several Righthaven lawsuit exhibits and didn't originate with the Denver Post. It appears to have originated with the parody website deadseriousnews.com. Contacted about the lawsuit, an individual who would identify himself only as "Michael" said "Erin Breig" is a name he made up for the website. "I was playing Scrabble on my phone and the word 'Breig' came up, so I thought it was interesting," he said. Michael said he found the photo at issue on the Internet at a site he couldn't recall, but that it wasn't the Denver Post. Michael said he was unaware Righthaven or the Denver Post had anything to do with the photo or that he needed to obtain permission to post it. "Just to post a photo I have to get permission?" he asked. "Amazing." *** Righthaven watchers are chiming in on last week's ruling by a federal judge in Las Vegas to throw out a copyright infringement lawsuit on fair use grounds. The ruling was noteworthy because it involved the unauthorized re-posting of an entire Las Vegas Review-Journal story. Commentators including Joe Mullin at paidContent.org noted this could have far-reaching consequences for the newspaper industry if the ruling is upheld. The judge, James Mahan, raised eyebrows by commenting that the 33-paragraph story at issue was primarily informational as opposed to being creative. Wendy Davis, writing at Online Media Daily, talked to David Ardia of the Citizen Media Law Project. He said the story at issue was creative in that it was an investigative piece involving multiple document reviews and interviews with multiple sources. Another frequent commentator on Righthaven, Mike Masnick at techdirt.com, wrote that the ruling "spells trouble for Righthaven, which would lose the entire basis for its legal campaign and business model for the vast majority of its cases." At the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which participated in the case by providing a friend of the court expert, Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl commented in a blog post that Mahan's forthcoming written order "will help set a persuasive precedent for other copyright troll cases." "The copyright troll's business model is to search for blogs and websites that include a newspaper's material, acquire the right to sue on particular articles from the paper and then file a lawsuit without any prior notice to the defendant. Righthaven seeks the maximum damages under the Copyright Act as well as control over the domain name, but is willing to settle for four-figure sums that seem calculated to be less than the cost of defense. Meanwhile, the actual articles that Righthaven sues over remain available for no charge on the newspaper website," Opsahl wrote. *** In another Righthaven lawsuit over the Denver Post TSA pat-down photo against conservative Fargo, N.D., radio personalities Rob Port and Scott Hennen, Minneapolis attorney John Hinderaker commented on Righthaven in a Forum of Fargo-Moorhead story. "What these people are trying to do is extort a very modest amount o[...]



PR problem widens for Righthaven with N.C. blogger's demand for attorney's fees

Tue, 22 Mar 2011 08:55:00 -0000

Righthaven LLC copyright infringement lawsuit defendant Brian D. Hill's attorneys filed a 56-page motion for dismissal on Monday -- and as a kicker asked the court to require Righthaven to pay their fees as a penalty. This is just the latest chapter in what has turned out to be a public relations nightmare for Las Vegas-based Righthaven, which enforces copyrights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post and has filed 250 lawsuits in the past 12 months. Hill is a 20-year-old North Carolina blogger sued by Righthaven over a Denver Post TSA pat-down photo -- one of at least 46 website operators sued over that photo. Righthaven's problem with Hill is tied to its policy of suing first and asking questions later. After he was sued for $150,000 and forfeiture of his website domain name, Hill went public by saying he has disabilities including diabetes, hyperactive attention disorder and mild autism -- and that Righthaven still demanded $6,000 to settle his case. This attracted media attention in Denver, North Carolina and Virginia. Hill was also interviewed for a national Associated Press report about Righthaven and the international group Reporters Without Borders appealed to the Denver Post to call off the lawsuit. Righthaven and the Denver Post likely would love to see Righthaven's lawsuit against Hill go away ASAP -- but now Righthaven may either have to pay Hill's attorney's fees or prove to a federal judge in Colorado why its lawsuit was not filed in "bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly or for oppressive reasons.'" "An award of attorney's fees is appropriate," Hill's attorneys David Kerr and Luke Santangelo of Fort Collins, Colo., wrote in their motion for dismissal filed in federal court in Denver. "District courts possess inherent power to manage their affairs and to prevent abuse of the judicial process. "A court may assess attorney's fees when a party has `acted in bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly or for oppressive reasons,'" they wrote. "Righthaven’s factual and legal deficiencies have been laid bare. The full scope of its ... 'negotiation' with Mr. Hill may need to become an issue," Hill's attorneys said in the filing. "Righthaven simply cannot reasonably and diligently litigate or even engage in substantive settlement negotiations for all of the cases that it has brought in a manner that does not prejudice defendants and unnecessarily drain limited judicial resources," the attorneys wrote. "For example, it has been alleged, and in one case confirmed by Righthaven’s counsel, that it brought at least two separate cases before this court against the wrong party. Using assembly-line litigation methods coupled with inadequate jurisdictional and factual due diligence and achieving profit-generating settlements from the disadvantaged appear to be its key motivation," the attorneys wrote. "Righthaven does not operate a newspaper or otherwise profit from the subject photo, outside of its litigation-for-profit business model, which actually benefits from more, not less, infringement. Such behavior should not be encouraged, but deterred by this court. Righthaven should be ordered to pay, as a `proper penalty,' reasonable attorney’s fees incurred to defend Mr. Hill from this action," they wrote. Righthaven hasn't yet commented on Hill's case other than in a court filing saying it was in settlement discussions. As to the merits of Hill's motion to dismiss -- or at least move the case to North Carolina so Hill doesn't have to travel to Colorado for court hearings -- Kerr and Santangelo argued Hill found the photo at issue on the Internet after it went viral and that the images he saw included nothing to indicate that it was protected by copyright or came from the Denver Post. The motion for dismissal also includes a flood of allegations against Righthaven and threats to drag the Denver Post in to the litigati[...]



Righthaven lawsuits backfire, reduce protections for newspapers

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 19:35:00 -0000

One year ago, U.S. newspapers and broadcasters could feel confident they controlled the news content they created. It was understood that competing and special-interest websites couldn't appropriate that content and post it without authorization. When such infringements occurred, they were dealt with swiftly and effectively with a simple phone call or email. Infringing websites typically had re-posted material out of ignorance they were violating the Copyright Act and agreed to remove the material or replace it with a link to the source newspaper or broadcaster. Then along came Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas, the self-appointed protector of the newspaper industry from such news sharers. Some 250 Righthaven lawsuits later, Righthaven's startling achievement is that newspapers now have less -- not more -- protection from copyright infringers. Righthaven may argue its lawsuits have deterred rampant online infringements of newspaper material -- but there's no proof that infringements it usually targets involving bloggers and special-interest websites ever affected newspaper revenue in the first place. Keep in mind Righthaven doesn't sue local news competitors of the Review-Journal and the Denver Post and it doesn't sue big news aggregators like Yahoo and Google -- likely because it can't find infringements by these sites. Back to the lawsuits: Just two of Righthaven's lawsuits have been closed by judges on the merits -- both now resulting in fair use losses for Righthaven and its partners at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. While these aren't binding precedents upon other judges, these rulings can now be used by special-interest websites to justify their postings of what used to be copyright-infringing content. These, clearly, are setbacks for all newspapers interested in protecting their copyrights. *** There's little doubt that many of Righthaven's lawsuit targets in fact infringed on copyrights for material that originally appeared in the Review-Journal or the Denver Post. In these cases, the misappropriated material ran alongside advertising on the infringing websites and sometimes the material wasn't even credited to the Review-Journal or the Post. These sites generally settled, or are settling, the Righthaven lawsuits against them. Still, if these defendants had fought the suits, Righthaven likely would have won only minimal damages. That's because most of these websites are so obscure that no judge or jury would find their use of the material from the Review-Journal or the Post materially harmed either newspaper -- both of which still offer the material for free on their websites. There have been some big exceptions like the Drudge Report and Citadel Broadcasting, but most of these lawsuits are against websites few had ever heard of -- cat blogger Allegra Wong's site, for instance. Another strike against Righthaven is that judges are likely to find copyrights obtained exclusively for the purpose of filing lawsuits are afforded less protection than copyrights held for the usual purpose of delivering the news. Why aren't more of these defendants fighting Righthaven? Faced with tens of thousands of dollars in legal defense costs, potential damage awards of $150,000 and seizure of their domain names, attorneys usually say it's smarter to settle for a few thousand dollars. This use of the courts as an ATM machine by Righthaven hasn't gone unnoticed by the federal judges presiding over these cases. *** U.S. District Court for Nevada Judge James Mahan, in striking the latest fair use blow against Righthaven on Friday, announced a decision that to me would have been unthinkable one year ago: A nonprofit was protected by the fair use doctrine in posting an entire Review-Journal story without authorization. I wasn't the only one thinking that way. In initially responding to the lawsuit at issue, th[...]



UNLV's tourney matchup brings Nevada added attention in Chicago area

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 00:42:00 -0000

It appears the Nevada Development Authority's timing couldn't have been better Friday in launching a recruiting drive targeting Chicago-area businesses.

Two days after the announcement, UNLV and Illinois were pitted against each other when the NCAA men's basketball tournament choices were announced.

UNLV meets Illinois on Friday in Tulsa, bringing Las Vegas and Nevada some unexpected media exposure in Illinois.

"Known for its attention-grabbing ad campaigns in Southern California and New Jersey, the Nevada Development Authority is now targeting business owners in Chicago, inviting them to make a move to the Silver State. In response to significant income and corporate tax increases in Illinois, the Las Vegas-based economic diversification agency launched ads on Chicago television stations, prompting executives to consider Nevada's two favorable climates: warm weather and pro-business conditions," the NDA said in a press release Friday.

"The new ads focus on the 67 percent increase in state income tax and 45 percent increase in the corporate tax recently passed by the Illinois Legislature, pushing the state into the nation's 10 highest corporate tax environments," the press release said.

"Nevada is a great place to live and has the best business climate in the country," NDA CEO Somer Hollingsworth said in the release. "Illinois businesses now have to offset the state's budget shortfall through massive tax increases. We want Chicago business owners to know that, regardless of the economy, the infrastructure that made Nevada a great place to do business is still here, and that our commitment to keeping it that way is as strong as ever."

Of course the press release didn't address some developments locally of concern to the business community such as draconian budget cuts planned at UNLV and the Clark County School District.

That information about Nevada will likely be made available to Illinois businesses not just by Illinois business-retention offices, but by other states trying to land unhappy Illinois companies.