Las Vegas, Nev. — Righthaven LLC, a copyright holding company, suffered another blow to its business model strategy of suing alleged copyright infringers on behalf of copyright owners, when a Federal court judge ruled that the company did not own the copyright at issue and even if it did that the reposting of a full article was “fair use.”
The ruling by Judge Phillip Pro in Righthaven v. Hoehn, which is in line with Judge Roger Hunt’s decision last week in another copyright infringement suit brought by Righthaven, is another setback for the company which has attempted to make a business model out of filing lawsuits on behalf of copyright owners against bloggers, writers and organizations.
Righthaven argued that the defendant unlawfully reposted an entire article from their partner and client, Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Righthaven did not present any evidence that the market for the work was harmed by [Wayne] Hoehn’s [defendant] noncommercial use for the 40 days it appeared on the website,” said Judge Phillip Pro in court on Monday. “Fair use is a mixed question of law and fact. If there are no genuine issues of material fact, […] and a reasonable trier can reach only one conclusion, a court may conclude as a matter of law whether the challenged use qualifies as a fair use of the copyrighted work.”