For those of you who haven’t heard of Righthaven LLC, they are to the blogging world what editors are to the Law Review world…cite-checking and anti-plagiarism “proponents” (let’s call ‘em that, for argument’s sake). Righthaven’s been making quite a splash and has gained popularity among news chains since its coming into existence in the spring of 2010. According to David Kravets’ article, “Righthaven Expands Troll Operation With Newspaper Giant”, Righthaven has filed over 180 lawsuits and has settled over 70 of them already. Its major suppliers of copyrighted material include Stephens Media (owners of Las Vegas Review-Journal), MediaNews Group (owners of San Jose Mercury News and the Denver Post), and WEHCO Media (owners of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Chattanooga Times Free Fress), to name a few. Owned by Net Sortie Systems LLC and SI Content Monitor LLC, Righthaven is the brain-child of Las Vegas-based IP attorney, Steven Gibson. Righthaven’s clients assign their rights in the content to Righthaven, who then sues for copyright infringement.
In order to analyze the problems faced by the parties to such lawsuits, we’ll have to discuss the U.S. Copyright Act, as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).