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Righthaven v. Realty One Group

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Citation Edit

Righthaven, L.L.C. v. Realty One Grp., Inc., 2010 WL 4115413 (D. Nev. Oct. 19, 2010).

Factual Background Edit

Defendant Michael Nelson, a licensed realtor, operated an internet blog on home ownership in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ) published a newspaper article that featured a mix of commentary and factual reporting about the Las Vegas housing market. After the article appeared in LVRJ, defendant copied the first eight of thirty sentences from the article and posted them on his blog. The portion defendant used on his blog contained only factual reporting. After the quoted portion appeared on defendant's blog, LVRJ assigned the copyright to plaintiff Righthaven, LLC.

The issue before the court was whether defendant's unauthorized use of eight factual sentences from a news story constituted fair use. 

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

The court held that defendant's use was a fair use. It found that, while educational, defendant's use was primarily commercial, which weighed against fair use. However, the court further found that the value of the original work was primarily in the LVRJ's commentary rather than the eight sentences of fact-based reporting. As such, the court determined that defendant's use of only the factual aspects of the article was not likely to impact the value of the original article. Ultimately, the court ruled that the weighing of all four factors supported a finding of fair use.

Source Edit

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