When Brian Hill, a 20-year-old blogger from North Carolina, posted on his Web site last December a photograph of an airport security officer conducting a pat-down, a legal battle was the last thing he imagined.
A month later, Mr. Hill received an e-mail from a reporter for The Las Vegas Sun who was looking into a Nevada company that files copyright lawsuits for newspapers. The e-mail informed Mr. Hill that he was one of those that the company, Righthaven, was suing. Though the airport photo had gone viral before Mr. Hill plucked it off the Web, it belonged to The Denver Post, where it first appeared on Nov. 18.
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