Bulletin Boards Hit by Copyright Lawyers

Bulletin Boards Hit by Copyright Lawyers

2/23/2011

It now appears that talking about the news on bulletin boards may cause some Internet users to run into legal troubles.

This developed after Righthaven, a US Legal copyright outfit representing the US newspaper industry, is making moves to bar Internet users from talking about the news on various bulletin boards.

Seven infringement lawsuits were filed by lawyers representing the Denver Post and Las Vegas Review-Journal against two message board posters, Wayne Hoehn and James Higgins.

Las Vegas Sun reported that a grave error was committed by Higgins when he posted news that came from the column of the Review-Journal. The news was about the security pat downs being conducted by the Transportation Security Administration at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Although the news writer, John Smith, was credited by Higgins, he failed to do the same for the Review-Journal.

In the case of Hoehn, Righthaven claim that he posted around 18,000 items since 1999. He is also alleged to have posted under the pseudoname “Dogs that Bark” on a website named madjacksports.com.

Among the alleged postings of Hoehn was an unauthorized copy of a column from Review-Journal titled “Public employee pensions.” It was reported that Righhaven is demanding $150,000 in damages from both Hoehn and Higgins.

The owner of the madjacksports site has previously entered into a settlement with Righthaven when it was sued by the legal copyright outfit.

Business Insider, Bob G. Bell, Peter Ashton, Inform Technologies, five operators of websites, along with two users are also being sued by Righthaven. The legal copyright outfit claimed that Review-Journal materials were posted on a number of sites without permission.

Righthaven also demands $150,000 from each of the defendants, as well as the forfeiture of their domain names.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com