Be careful quoting NWAonline.com – You might be sued | CFClipped Fresh — By Christopher Spencer on September 29, 2010 at 12:15 am
After bragging about his attempts to shut down copyright violaters, Stephens Media’s Sherman Frederick has been coutersued Monday and, in a sense, so has your local newspaper for allegedly bullying websites that excerpt from their stories.
The corporate knot takes a moment to explain, but let’s see if we can do it.
Practically all of the daily newspapers in Northwest Arkansas – including the Northwest Arkansas Times – are owned by Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. Stephens Media and Wehco Media share ownership of Northwest Arkansas Newspapers since a merger late last year.
Stephens Media owns the Las Vegas Review Journal and has created a vicious copyright hound called Righthaven LLC to seek out and destroy instances of its stories appearing elsewhere online.
Last month, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette also became a Righthaven customer.
Now, the Review-Journal is being countersued by the Democratic Underground LLC with help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Righthaven sued the the Democratic Underground over the posting of a four paragraphs of a 34-paragraph story by a user on the group’s message board.
Typically, Righthaven demands an outrageous sum of money and then settles for a fraction after scaring the mostly small-time website owners.
This time, the Democratic Underground did not fold and got help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to bankroll the pushback against Righthaven and Stephen’s Media.
Righthaven has filed 141 suits against defendants in the United States and Canada.
A quote from the article:
“This case is a particularly abusive instance of a broad and aggressive strategy by Stephens Media, working in conjunction with its ‘little friend’ Righthaven as its front and sham representative, to seek windfall recoveries of statutory damages and to exact nuisance settlements by challenging a fair use of an excerpt of an article that Stephens Media makes freely available on the Internet, and which it encourages its users to ‘Share & Save’ at least 19 different ways,” the EFF attorneys wrote in their counterclaim.
So maybe you should exercise a little caution when using this share bar from an NWAonline.com article.*
Might be a trap.
* = Meant for hyperbole purposes. There is no record of Righthaven or Stephens Media suing someone for using the sharing tools provided on the site.
[Disclosure: I am a former employee of Stephen's Media who was laid off in April 2009.]
- MediaPost Publications Judge: Righthaven Isn’t Newspaper, So Fails To Show Harm To Market 05/04/2011 at 3:47 pm on May 6, 2011
- Stephens Media’s copyright enforcer, Righthaven, gets teeth dulled | CF at 1:55 pm on November 18, 2010
- Stephens Media’s Righthaven loses suit, judge finds excerpt was “fair use” | CF at 1:06 pm on October 22, 2010
- Stephens Media investment sours | Arkansas Blog at 11:34 am on September 8, 2011
- EFF defends Yes Men from business rage over climate hoax | CF at 2:21 pm on October 24, 2009
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