Post and Review Journal should defend their own copyrighted articles

Here’s one lesson from  a Las Vegas Judge’s decision Friday in favor of a nonprofit group that stole a news story from the website of the Las Vegas Review journal.

Newspapers should defend their own stories from copyright violations, instead of selling their copyrighted stories to a law firm and having it sue on the newspapers’ behalf.

One of the reasons cited by the judge Friday, for ruling in favor of the nonprofit group, was that the article in question was not owned by the Las Vegas Review Journal. He cited other reasons, too, some of which I disagree with, but the judge is right that the copyright protections for an article, like the one in the current case, change dramatically when the article is sold to a law firm like Righthaven, which is suing for copyright violations of Review Journal and Denver Post articles.

This would be remedied if newspapers sued on their own behalf.

Not only their legal case, but also their ultimate goal, to protect online content and help journalism survive, would be better served as well, because newspaper executives would be more likely, I hope, to stand up and explain to the public why it’s so important for people not to violate copyright law and to respect the fair use guidelines that newspapers like The Denver Post publish and ask readers to abide by.

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