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Big Media team up with unscrupulous lawyers to attack bloggers

By Dark Politricks

This has been taken from the and relates to the bottom feeding scum outfit of solicitors that is going around suing bloggers that use copyrighted  material taken certain news sources even when the material is legitimately reprinted under the fair use doctrine.

Their whole business model relies on gaining copyright on material once it has gone viral such as photos of TSA pat downs at airports and then attempting to sue websites such as the Drudge Report and Alex Jones that have re-published the content. Not only have they gone after big hitters such as the Drudge Report but they have targeted single mums, old age pensioners and disabled people blogging for a hobby and not for commercial gain.

This scam is aimed at making money and is nothing to do with protecting the copyright of certain pieces of work as in the majority of the time the copyright is not owned before the work in question has gone viral therefore the people re-printing had no idea or way of knowing that the work was copyrighted.

Their tactic is to gain copyright on material such as photos that have already spread across the internet and been re-printed on multiple sites before attempting to sue the site for up to $150,000 and the domain. Knowing that most of these sites are small outfits they settle the case before it even reaches court for a few thousand bucks however some of the cases that have reached court have resulted in a loss for the company so they are in fact basing their whole business model around these out of court settlements as the following story explains.

You can find out more about this scam at the following sites:

As a webmaster you can try and protect yourself by making sure your .htaccess file blocks all known IP addresses and useragents from not only righthaven bots and servers but any other script kiddy or scrapper who hasn’t even attempted to hide themselves. The known IP addresses that their bots currently use are below. Please let me know if anyone finds updates.

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There are many other copyright infringement bots and agents that you should protect yourself from as well which are not listed here but can be found on some of the blackhat SEO or webmaster forums and as a rule of thumb if you ban bad bots, email and content scrapers and other hackbots you will reduce your overall bandwidth costs by over 40%.

Also as a precaution you should not post any stories or even visit any of the sites listed at the bottom of the article as they are all in on the scam. These sites also host “Share” buttons which aim to get visitors to share the article with other users therefore as this article basically explains they are indistinguisable from a “honeypot” site aimed at entrapping new victims for their scam.

Many bloggers and websites have used the “fair use” defence against such actions and although this has been debated back and forth and many people believe that the reprinting of a whole article means that fair use cannot be used as a defence however this is in fact not true.


Berkeley law professor Jason Schultz has filed an excellent amicus brief in one of the many Righthaven lawsuits, pointing out that using an entire article does not preclude fair use (pdf), and then going on to explain why the use of an entire article in this particular case (which Righthaven brought against the Center for Intercultural Organizing) was almost certainly fair use. Basically, Righthaven has taken the approach that if an entire article is being used, then there can be no fair use. However, as Schultz points out, that’s not at all what copyright law says:

A fair-use inquiry balances four statutory factors…. Righthaven, however, asks this Court to ignore those traditional factors and embrace an inflexible, one-factor test that prohibits a fair-use finding whenever an entire copyrighted work is used. That approach finds no support in the text and purposes of the Copyright Act and the cases interpreting it. Indeed, the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, and this Court have all found the use of entire copyrighted works to be consistent with the fair-use doctrine. Those rulings recognize that copyright law balances two important public interests: promoting creative expression and encouraging the use of copyrighted works for socially beneficial purposes.It is a common misconception that using an entire work means there’s no fair use defense. We’ve repeatedly pointed out cases where courts have found fair use, even if an “entire” work was being used. But, still, we get commenters all the time who argue that there’s no such thing as fair use if you use an entire work. Schultz, in his brief, highlights many more examples, including the explanations of why each case was still deemed as fair use. From there, he goes on and runs through the four factors in this particular case, and explains why it should be considered fair use as well. It will be interesting to see how the judge rules, because that could impact many other Righthaven cases as well.

The following list is of all papers and media organisations currently alligned with the Righthaven scam.

Newspaper Blacklist

All the following newspapers have aligned themselves with Righthaven to sue bloggers, small businesses and non-profits in “shake down” lawsuits.

MediaNews Group
Alameda Times-Star
The Daily Review
Lake County Record-Bee
The Monterey County Herald
Marin Independent Journal
Oakland Tribune
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Oroville Mercury-Register
Pasadena Star-News
Tri-Valley Herald
Red Bluff Daily News
Redlands Daily Facts
The Sun
San Jose Mercury News
San Mateo County Times
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Daily Breeze
The Ukiah Daily Journal
The Reporter
Contra Costa Times
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Whittier Daily News
Daily Democrat
Daily News
Daily Camera
The Denver Post
Fort Morgan Times
Sentinel & Enterprise
The Sun
North Adams Transcript
The Berkshire Eagle
The Detroit News
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Alamogordo Daily News
Carlsbad Current-Argus
The Deming Headlight
The Daily Times
Las Cruces Sun-News
Public Opinion
The Evening Sun
Lebanon Daily News
The York Dispatch
York Daily Record – York Sunday News
El Paso Times
The Salt Lake Tribune
Bennington Banner
Brattleboro Reformer
Charleston Daily Mail

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Banner News
Benton County Daily Record
California Democrat
Camden News
Chattanooga Times Free Press
El Dorado News-Times
Fulton Sun
News Tribune
NW Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
NW Arkansas Times
Rogers Morning News
Springdale Morning News
Texarkana Gazette
The Sentinel-Record
Stephens Media
Southwest Times Record
Pine Bluff Commercial
North Little Rock Times
Press Argus Courier
Jacksonville Patriot
Sherwood Voice
Maumelle Monitor
Cabot Star-Herald
Lonoke Democrat
Carlisle Independent
Hot Springs Village Voice
Van Buren County Democrat
Booneville Democrat
Charleston Express
Greenwood Democrat
Paris Express
White Hall Progress
Lincoln Leader
Farmington Post
Prairie Grove Enterprise
Hawaii Tribune-Herald
West Hawaii Today
Big Island Weekly
North Hawaii News
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas CityLife
El Tiempo
Las Vegas Business Press
Boulder City Review
Ely Times, Ely
Rebel Nation
Pahrump Valley Times
Eureka Sentinal
Tonopah Times-Bonanza
The Herald Democrat
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise
Pawhuska Journal-Capital
Anna-Melissa Tribune
Grayson County Shopper
Prosper Press, Prosper
Van Alstyne Leader
Lake Texoma Life
The Daily Herald
The Advertiser News
The Value Guide
Franklin Life
Brentwood Life
Healthy Living
The Daily World
The Vidette
The North Coast News
The South Beach Bulletin
East County News

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