Stephens legal machine loses one | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stephens legal machine loses one

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM

The Stephens Media-backed enterprise to make a profit center out of suing people for reprinting newspaper articles or portions of articles on even non-commercial blogs hit a roadblock in federal court in Nevada.

A judge dismissed a case on a variety of grounds that will likely reappear as others able to afford a legal defense fight this heavy-handed enterprise. The "fair use" doctrine provides room to copy some content (in this case eight sentences of a 30-sentence story) particularly when it is to relay factual information, the judge said. Courts have long held you can't copyright the facts of news events. The judge also said the reprint had little impact on the Stephens-owned Las Vegas newspaper's ability to market its product. Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman has signed up with the same outfit doing the legal work for Stephens to look for opportunities arising from use of his newspapers' material.

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