Righthaven hits white supremacist David Duke with copyright lawsuit

Click to enlarge photo

David Duke

David Duke, the nation's best-known white supremacist, is being sued by Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC.

Righthaven, which sues over alleged online infringements of material from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post, filed suit against Duke last week in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Also sued was Duke's nonprofit Louisiana-based European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO).

Righthaven charged in its lawsuit that a Denver Post photo of a Transportation Security Administration officer patting down a passenger at Denver International Airport from Nov. 18 was posted on a website controlled by Duke and EURO, whitecivilrights.com.

"The defendants knew, or reasonably should have known, that websites, such as the (whitecivilrights.com) website, are the habitual subject of postings by others of copyright-infringing content," Righthaven charged in the lawsuit.

Yet Duke and EURO did not block the postings by others of copyright-infringing content on the website, didn't monitor for such content and didn't have a proactive policy of deleting such content, the lawsuit charged.

"The defendants’ failure to institute any proactive policies intended to address the postings by others of copyright-infringing content on the website constituted and constitutes the defendants’ willful blindness to copyright infringements occurring on the website," the lawsuit charges.

Righthaven, which has now filed at least 235 copyright infringement lawsuits since March, as usual in the lawsuit against Duke seeks $150,000 in damages as well as forfeiture to Righthaven of the whitecivilrights.com website domain name.

A Righthaven court exhibit shows the Denver Post photo on Duke's website accompanying a column by James Buchanan complaining about the "highly intrusive" enhanced TSA screening and pat-down procedures.

The exhibit shows the Denver Post was not credited as the source of the photo on Duke's website.

It's unclear from the exhibit who posted Buchanan's column and the photo on the website.

Numerous Righthaven lawsuits have been filed over the photo at issue in the suit against Duke. This appears to be the first lawsuit showing the photo illustrating a Buchanan column.

Duke, a former national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a former Louisiana state legislator, was in the news in 2009 when he was kicked out of the Czech Republic. He had been promoting a book there and was arrested on suspicion of denying the Holocaust, a crime in that nation.

Groups that track the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements in the United States -- the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League -- call Duke, respectively, the most recognizable figure of the American radical right and perhaps America's best-known racist and anti-Semite.

A request for comment on the Righthaven lawsuit was placed with Duke's office.