Maybe we can blame it on the summer heat of Vegas, but the Las Vegas Review Journal (RJ) greed has hit a PR snag.
The largest newspaper in town has decided to fund a start up lawsuit chop shop. They found a local ambulance chasing attorney and set him up in the business of suing supposed RJ copyright violators.
Currently the RJ lawsuit factory has 74 lawsuits pending against small non-profits and mom-pop blogs who may have referenced RJ stories on their web sites.
Websites that could not properly defend themselves, would not be able to put up much of a legal fight if pushed, and hopefully would not garner much attention.
No notice of possible infringement, no request for “take-down.” Just a straight to lawsuit mode is how the RJ rolls. Even if the definition of “fair use” is in question, they file the lawsuits.
That game plan worked really well until this week. Their greed got the best of them when they decided to sue one of their contributors. The very person the newspaper frequently goes to for free and valuable information, they decide to sue.
Anthony Curtis, the publisher of The Las Vegas Advisor was sued because he referenced on his website (with credit and links) an article that was created by his information!
I’m all for copyright protection and the fine line of “fair use” is always a gray area. Plus there is a time and a place for protecting your property. I can agree with all that.
Yet, there is also a time to look at big picture and see what could happen as a result of these actions. Is it really worth the time, effort and the collateral damage such an action will cause?
But to file a lawsuit against the one person you frequently reference and go to for information; the very information you want to use to create material that you intend to publish for profit?? You sue the source?? That has got to be the new definition of stupidity!