According to Wired, fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission.
We believe itâ€™s the best solution out there,â€ Steve Gibson, Righthaven CEO says. â€œMedia companiesâ€™ assets are very much their copyrights. These companies need to understand and appreciate that those assets have value more than merely the present advertising revenues.â€
Gibsonâ€™s vision is to monetize news content on the backend, by scouring the internet for infringing copies of his clientâ€™s articles, then suing and relying on the harsh penalties in the Copyright Act â€” up to $150,000 for a single infringement â€” to compel quick settlements.
Since Righthavenâ€™s formation in March, the company has filed at least 80 federal lawsuits against website operators and individual bloggers whoâ€™ve re-posted articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, his first client.
But each of the Righthaven suits charge one, or a handful, of infringements. Defendants might be less willing to settle a lawsuit stemming from their posting of a single news article, despite the Copyright Actâ€™s whopping damages. â€œYouâ€™d have to go after a lot of people for a relatively small amount of money,â€ says Jonathan Band, a Washington, D.C. copyright lawyer. â€œThat is a riskier proposition.â€
Photo by ilco.