Sharron Angle hit with R-J copyright infringement lawsuit

Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle

The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s copyright infringement lawsuit partner on Friday sued U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle over R-J material posted on her website, allegedly without authorization.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by Righthaven LLC, seeks damages of $150,000 against Angle personally and forfeiture of her website domain name

The Democratic Party of Nevada, which has also been sued by Righthaven, charged in an Aug. 23 press release that the Review-Journal had a double standard to “hold Angle harmless while suing the Democratic Party and progressive organizations.”

Steve Friess, a Las Vegas freelancer writer and columnist for Las Vegas Weekly, a sister newspaper to the Las Vegas Sun, has been supportive of Righthaven because Friess has seen material owned by him and other freelancers infringed on.

In a blog post last month, Friess said Righthaven had to sue Angle. Friess posted several screenshots of R-J stories on Angle’s website and wrote that “thousands of readers have seen these stories on SharronAngle.Com and not ReviewJournal.Com; that’s a clear loss of the eyeballs that translate into advertising revenue.”

“Righthaven must sue. It took effort to find the cat blogger (a notorious Righthaven case), but this one was on a major candidate’s site, there in plain sight. If they don’t sue Angle, they provide dozens of infringers with a clear example of the company’s inconsistency in defending its copyright. And there goes the whole enterprise, right there,” Friess wrote at his blog site.

In its suit, Righthaven charged, “Ms. Angle did not seek permission, in any manner, to reproduce, display, or otherwise exploit the Works (stories)...Ms. Angle was not granted permission, in any manner, to reproduce, display, or otherwise exploit the works.”

In most of its suits, Righthaven detects the infringement, then obtains a copyright and sues the infringer on a retroactive basis. The suits usually seek damages of $75,000 for a single copyright.

The Angle suit, however, included two copyrights for material published on July 21 and Aug. 3. Righthaven didn’t indicate why it sued over two copyrights and is seeking double the usual amount in damages.

A request for comment was left with the Angle campaign.

Records filed with the lawsuit show the Review-Journal received full credit for a July 21 editorial posted on Angle’s site, “It’s the jobs, stupid,” which was critical of Angle’s election opponent, Sen. Harry Reid; and for an Aug. 3 story displayed on Angle’s site headlined “Angle: Reid’s clout misguided.”

Righthaven, which has now filed at least 117 lawsuits, has sued both liberal and conservative sites around the country ranging from the Democratic Party of Nevada, the Democratic Underground and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (liberal) to the Free Republic (conservative).