I will never read or advertise in the Las Vegas Review Journal again. Why, you may ask? I believe the stance the Las Vegas Review Journal has taken in suing website owners for theft of copyrighted material is wrong. Now don’t get me wrong, stealing copyrighted material is wrong plain and simple but I believe the right thing to do is to request the copyrighted material to be removed before a lawsuit is filed. However, Sherman Frederick the publisher of the Las Vegas Review Journal stated “We’re Not Taking it Anymore”.
COMPLETE LAS VEGAN: Copyright theft: We’re not taking it anymore http://bit.ly/8Xlamv
In his article, Mr. Sherman stated they have partnered with a company called Righthaven LLC whose job is stop people from stealing content from the Las Vegas Review Journal. So far Righthaven LLC has filed over 20 lawsuits against website owners for allegedly using copyrighted material from the Las Vegas Review Journal without permission. According to articles in the Las Vegas Sun, many of these website owners didn’t even know a lawsuit was filed until they were contacted by the Las Vegas Sun for a comment on the lawsuit. I placed a comment on Ron Futrell’s Facebook page with the link to the Las Vegas Sun article that stated he was a target of a lawsuit for copyright infringements and he advised this was the first he was hearing of it. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the lawsuits seek $75,000 in damages.
I get stealing content is wrong and is a major problem but when a major corporation sues the little guy just because they can doesn’t make it right. Lately is seems everyone is sue happy and people wonder why insurance rates are rising and why some can’t even afford insurance.
Obviously I don’t run the corporation that oversees the Las Vegas Review Journal and I don’t claim to know their overall financial position but if you ask me, this appears to be all about money. Everyone knows that newspapers are losing revenue from advertisers who are now spending their advertising budgets on the Internet. Newspapers around the country are filing BK, laying off staff and even going out of business because of falling revenue. So it’s my opinion this is about finding another source of revenue for the Las Vegas Review Journal. With each lawsuit costing the defendant a minimum of $75K and with over 20 lawsuits filed, that’s a nice pay day for the Las Vegas Review Journal. According to the Las Vegas Sun, a few of the lawsuits have been settled and I would bet there was still a financial gain for the Las Vegas Review Journal.
So like the Las Vegas Review Journal whom has every right to sue those that have stolen from them, I have to the right to say I won’t read or advertise in their newspaper again and will recommend to my family, friends and colleagues to do the same. Maybe it will have some affect and the Las Vegas Review Journal will do the right thing and stop these ridiculous lawsuits and request that website owners remove their content from their sites before suing them for $75,000 in damages but don’t hold your breath!
I don’t doubt writing this article could cause the Las Vegas Review Journal or it’s parent company to file a lawsuit against me but I might just have to file a counter suit and state reading their article caused me undo stress that prevented me from being able to work.
****Update June 2nd****
Jon Ralston with Face to Face did a segment on this very issue earlier this evening on his show which aired on Channel 3 at 6:30 pm. This segment starts at 4:02.
****Updated June 6th****
According to the Las Vegas Sun, 8 more websites have been sued for copyright infringements. It doesn’t appear the RJ plans to stop filing lawsuits against website owners. Their position appears to be file a lawsuit and ask questions later.
****Updated June 26th****
The RJ is still at it and with the recent lawsuits the total is now 40!