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Righthaven Sues Ars Technica Writer "By Mistake"

Posted by: , 23:03 AEDT, Wed March 30, 2011
Tags: Copyright

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Only at Righthaven could a "clearical error" lead to a full scale lawsuit, as one Ars Technica writer found out

Popular tech website Ars Technica is the latest victim of notorious "copyright troll" Righthaven's lawsuit filings. But only for a day.

Righthaven claimed that a writer at Ars Technica had used an infamous image that got Drudge Report into trouble with the copyright law firm. The image, depicting a pat-down at an airport, was one that Drudge had posted on his website, but the copyright of which belonged to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Righthaven is representing LVR-J, and suing any and all that uses content from the newspaper without authorization, even if it's only a couple of sentences from a newspaper article, and it didn't matter if the victim happens to be a non-profit either (although it *did* matter to the judge).

The problem with Righthaven's lawsuit against Ars Technica though was that, Ars Technical didn't use a copy of the original LVR-J photo - the photo used in the Ars Technica article which Righthaven alleges the copyright infringement is a black and white grainy version of a screenshot of Drudge's website, featuring the offending photo. And the best part was that this actual image came from Righthaven's own court filing documents, and that Righthaven had sued the writer of the article, not Ars Technica itself.

But before Ars Technica's lawyers could get involved, it appears that the lawsuit had been "dismissed with prejudice" by Righthaven, which claim it was all an innocent "clerical mistake".

One wonders how many other lawsuits filed by Righthaven have been due to "clerical mistakes", and why any sort of mistake would lead to a lawsuit being filed. Sue first, ask questions later?

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