'Copyright troll' seeks $150,000 from republican candidate

When infringement is big business

A copyright enforcement service has filed a lawsuit seeking $150,000 from Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle for posting two newspaper articles without authorization.

The complaint, which was filed in US District Court in Las Vegas, is at least the 117th lawsuit to be filed since March by Righthaven LLC, a controversial group that sues websites mostly on behalf of The Las Vegas Review-Journal, according to The Las Vegas Sun. In the vast majority of the cases, Righthaven obtains the rights to the copied work after detecting the infringement and then files a complaint seeking damages of $75,000 and rights to the domain name of the infringing site.

In almost all the cases, Righthaven files suit with no warning and without first requesting the website remove the copyrighted material. Groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation have labeled Righthaven a “patent troll” that is abusing the intellectual property system and have offered to defy the group.

The latest suit takes action against Angle for posting two Review-Journal articles critical of her opponent, US Senator Harry Reid, on her website. The group is seeking possession of her domain name, sharronangle.com, but in a departure from previous actions, it is seeking $150,000 in damages.

The Sun reports Righthaven has now brought at least 117 such actions against a wide variety of sites, including the Democratic Party of Nevada, The Democratic Underground and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

A PDF of Righthaven's complaint is here. ®

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