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Copyright troll sues for ownership of Drudge Report domain

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A copyright enforcer that's filed more than 180 complaints against websites for quoting all or parts of newspaper articles is suing for ownership of the Drudge Report's domain.

In a federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday, Righthaven sued the venerable gossip website for posting a picture originally published by The Denver Post. In a procedure followed in virtually every case the Nevada-based outfit has brought, Righthaven acquired the copyright to the work after it was reposted and then sued the website without first demanding it be removed.

Drudgereport.com and drudgereportarchives.com included the picture of a Transportation Security Administration official administering an enhanced pat down under headlines that included “TSA XXX: Airport wants 'opt out.'” The photo originally ran that same day in The Denver Post.

Including the latest complaint, which names Matt Drudge individually, Righthaven has brought 181 copyright infringement suits against websites, according to The Las Vegas Sun, which has been following the cases closely.

The complaint, which was filed in US District Court in Las Vegas, seeks an order “to lock the Drudge Report domain and transfer control of the Drudge Report domain to Righthaven.” It seeks the same for drudgereportarchives.com.

In late October, a lawsuit Righthaven filed against a blogger for quoting eight sentences of a 30-sentence article published in The Las Vegas Review Journal was summarily shot down by the federal judge hearing the case. That give critics hope that Righthaven might curb its copyright-trolling ways.

Instead, Righthaven is back suing one of the most popular websites on the internet. It's also picked up a huge new source of material to sue over. Until last week, the outfit sued only over material published in the Review Journal. The addition of the Denver newspaper suggests this saga is just getting started. ®

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