A brief follow-up to my latest post about copyright troll Righthaven’s travails: Wendy Davis at the Daily Online Examiner reports that the EFF has helped one of Righthaven’s defendants, the Democratic Underground, file suit against Stephens Media, the company that launched Righthaven and licensed or sold it its copyright, to obtain a declaratory judgment that the posting of a five-sentence excerpt from a 50-sentence article counted as fair use and therefore Stephens had no right to sic Righthaven on them.

After Stephens conceded, the judge ruled against the company, and the Democratic Underground and EFF are now eligible to recover legal fees from Stephens. (This is a good thing given that Righthaven has no more assets.)

And speaking of Righthaven, Stephens, and assets, a Wired piece on the stripping of Righthaven’s copyrights largely covers the same ground as the story I blogged last time, but it also brings up something I hadn’t considered before: If Stephens does not win the auction for the rights to its own stories, it may have to license them from whoever does win or else take them down from its own sites. While I’m not sure whether this counts as irony by the strictest definition of the word, it’s definitely a beautiful piece of schadenfreude.

Righthaven is in the process of getting burned to the ground and the ashes sown with salt. This is good. It makes it less likely that anyone else will try the same thing ever again. It’s a great victory for fair use on the Internet.


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