Quote of the day—Steven Green

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.

Steven Green
March 19, 2011
Righthaven lawsuits backfire, reduce protections for newspapers
[Via email from John Hardin.



2 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Steven Green

  1. Nice article you linked, but it has a glaring omission: this is really just another type of S.L.A.P.P. lawsuit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). A few years ago, lots of states passed anti-SLAPP, laws, or their court systems mandated tests to determine if a lawsuit is a SLAPP, and if so, such suits were to be dismissed in a simple ex-parte hearing by the first magistrate who hears it.

    Blogging is a newer, but not unique, form of public expression and thereby, public participation. Trying to hammer bloggers so they won’t quote you is ALWAYS bad policy for media, but especially so because of the SLAPP rules. What has happened is that bloggers have turned the “no journalism here” accusation around on the MSM, which has pimped bloggers ever since the rise of the Internet for trying to purvey news and opinion without holding to “journalism standards” (generally undefinable, and deliberately kept undefinable). Bloggers now hold the MSM to a high standard, one called the Truth, and the media just don’t like to have that layer of oversight, so they file suits.

    Make no mistake about it, Righthaven is NOT about protecting some commercial or intellectual rights of the MSM, it is all about the MSM being held to the standard of Truth.

    The lawsuits are purely SLAPP, and as such, they deserve to be dismissed out of hand, and the door opened for counter-damages (which some States’ SLAPP rules permit).

  2. Interesting to see this issue framed in such a narrow time frame seems to me that it is directly related to the 1918 International News Service v. Associated Press. The Holems’ dissent in particular seems directly applicable to the current case, its issues, and parties.

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