Profiting from Copyright Infringement - New Vegas Company Sues Bloggers After Buying Media Copyrights

Beware. A new company based in Las Vegas thinks it's found the mother lode in media copyrights and the protections provided by federal law under the Copyright Act.

And after testing out their business model in Las Vegas, suing bloggers and website owners for unauthorized cut and pasting of work found in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, they're aiming for bigger game. National game.

Righthaven, which has only been in existence since March 2010, is busy every day apparently, surfing the web to find blogs and web sites where their news media clients' writing has been published, without permission.

According to Free Republic, they're busy suing without any advance notice (the proverbial "cease and desist" notice) and they're suing nonprofits like Ecological Internet.

Fair use?

Remember my earlier post -- I've already opined that the traditional media is really, really, really trying to limit (and by limit, I mean destroy) the fair use doctrine because of the crushing financial blow print media has felt from online publication.  

And, even if fair use is a valid defense to the allegation of copyright infringement in a courtroom, these actions will force bloggers and web site owners to hire attorneys and undertake the legal expense of proving their innocence in a court of law. 

Which maybe they can and cannot do -- it may be cheaper to settle than to fight for right.  Another common defense tactic, force the plaintiff to spend itself into submission, but this time a basic right -- fair use -- is at stake. 

Scary stuff, folks.