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Three more websites hit with R-J copyright suits

Updated Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | 12:50 p.m.

Three more website operators were sued for alleged copyright infringement Monday by Righthaven LLC, a company that is tracking down and suing those who post Las Vegas Review-Journal stories online without authorization.

At least 50 such lawsuits have now been filed since March in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by Righthaven, which has partnered with the Review-Journal to sue over alleged theft of copyrighted material.

The latest defendants are:

-- New York company Insite Security Inc. and its CEO, Christopher Falkenberg, who run the website A Review-Journal column quoting Falkenberg as saying criminals are targeting social networks allegedly was posted on the Insite Security website last month.

This is one of a few of the Righthaven lawsuits in which sources for R-J stories are sued by Righthaven for allegedly posting stories involving their own companies on their websites. In these cases, the R-J typically was clearly credited as the source of the stories, court records show.

-- Vote For The Worst LLC, a Utah company that runs the website Also sued were two individuals allegedly associated with the company, Nathan E. Palmer of Lehi, Utah, and David J. Della Terza. Court records indicate a user of the website posted on the site a Review-Journal column in April involving American Idol finalists visiting Las Vegas.

-- Ben Jones of Flagstaff, Ariz., who runs the website The site in April allegedly posted a Review-Journal story from April 9 regarding the Lake Las Vegas bankruptcy case. The site also posted information from other business stories by the R-J and its sister newspaper the Las Vegas Business Press, crediting those newspapers for the information, court records show.

The website also appears to have posted stories or portions of business stories from the Winnipeg Free Press, ABC 15 in Arizona, the East Valley Tribune in Arizona, the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, the Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo., the Greeley Tribune in Colorado, the Aspen Times in Colorado, the Denver Post and the Vail Daily in Colorado.

Requests for comment were placed with the three latest defendants Tuesday.

A website operator sued by Righthaven on Friday, in the meantime, has denied it infringed on any Review-Journal copyrights.

NoQuarter and Larry C. Johnson, operators of the website, were accused of posting in April a Review-Journal story about the Nevada U.S. Senate race.

Johnson today said the material at issue was a commentary on the article that appeared in the Review-Journal.

"We did not reprint the article as a standalone piece nor did we claim credit for it. We linked appropriately to the original. The blog entry did quote and link to the Review-Journal article, but was accompanied by comments on the various portions of the article. We are confident that our use of the material falls within the fair use exclusion of the copyright law," Johnson said. "In addition, we do not charge for access to our blog and there is no financial benefit derived from the Review-Journal article by NoQuarter. If anything, we generated traffic to the Review-Journal site that they otherwise would not have and can document this through our host server.

"I understand the desire of the Review-Journal to protect itself from people who reprint the Review-Journal articles as their own and charge readers to access the material. But we did not do that and are quite confident that we have not violated any copyright of the Review-Journal," Johnson said. "This tactic by Righthaven is counter productive because not only is it frivolous, a waste of precious judicial resources, but it is unnecessarily confrontational. We’ll be sure never to quote or reference anything having to do with the Review-Journal going forward. They are unworthy of any publicity."

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