ABA Journal: Copyright Troll Righthaven Loses First Suit; Copying Was Fair Use, Judge Ruled

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Righthaven, a copyright troll that buys the rights to Las Vegas Review-Journal stories and then sues alleged infringers lost its first suit Tuesday when a judge granted a real estate agent’s motion for dismissal.

This was apparently the first time a defendant sued by Righthaven has won a dismissal motion on the merits, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Righthaven has filed more than 150 suits since March, the Sun reports.

In the suit against Realty One Group Inc., Righthaven alleged real estate agent Michael Nelson “copied, on an unauthorized basis, a significant and substantial portion” of Review-Journal story about real estate. The story was 30 sentences long; Nelson reproduced the story’s first eight sentences on his blog, the Sun reported.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks said Nelson’s use of the story is not likely to have any effect on the market for the copyrighted news article; plus, Nelson did not reproduce any of the author’s commentary and directed blog readers to the full text of the work.