Bad: The Armed Citizen is the target of a law suit

This is a discussion on Bad: The Armed Citizen is the target of a law suit within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So dumb! http://www.thearmedcitizen.com/ oday, The Armed Citizen received informal notice in the form of a media inquiry about a lawsuit against this website and its ...

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Thread: Bad: The Armed Citizen is the target of a law suit

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    Bad: The Armed Citizen is the target of a law suit

    So dumb!

    http://www.thearmedcitizen.com/

    oday, The Armed Citizen received informal notice in the form of a media inquiry about a lawsuit against this website and its owners, David Burnett and Clayton Cramer. The lawsuit, reportedly filed in US District Court on July 20th, alleges that The Armed Citizen and its owners “willfully copied” original source content from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    According to news reports, Righthaven LLC has reportedly filed lawsuits against 75 other political websites and/or blogs without prior contact or attempt at resolution. The sites include FreeRepublic.com, the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

    The “offending” entries consist of six stories, some of which were short enough to qualify under the Fair Use Rule, out of nearly 4,700 entries. The six stories are still publicly available on the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s website, to which we linked.

    The Armed Citizen has been excerpting articles from newspaper, TV station, and radio station websites for a number of years. If any copyright holders decided that The Armed Citizen had exceeded fair use, they only needed to send us an email. Instead, in a bid to target and intimidate small websites, they have chosen to pursue legal action.

    At this time, the future of The Armed Citizen is uncertain, and possibly in jeopardy, thanks to Righthaven LLC and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    Their contact information is listed below.

    Las Vegas Review-Journal
    1111 W. Bonanza Road
    P.O. Box 70
    Las Vegas, NV 89125

    Main phone number:
    702-383-0211

    Newspaper office number:
    702-383-0264

    Copy of Lawsuit (As forwarded by a reporter…The Armed Citizen has received no official notice of pending litigation.)

    To e-mail David and Clayton, write to Tips@thearmedcitizen.com

    Further information:

    Las Vegas newspaper sues websites over use of content

    Conservative website among 3 sued over R-J copyrights

    LV Review-Journal may be violating law with selective copyright suits

    REVIEW-JOURNAL SUES ITS OWN SOURCE

    UPDATE: We have removed all postings except this one until such time as we can carefully review each one for compliance with Fair Use–and it is entirely possible that they will never come back. Make you sure thank the Las Vegas Review-Journal for destroying a valuable gun rights resource because they can’t figure out how to run a newspaper, and have to make their money with dozens of lawsuits filed against multiple organizations for unintentional violations of Fair Use.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    I don't think "The Las Vegas Review-Journal" has a case?

    If (BIG *IF*) the Armed citizen posted a article AND gave credit (attributed) to "the Review" then it's part of public domain and no case exists especially if the Armed Citizen did NOT have any financial gain from the article

    *IF* the Armed citizen copy and pasted the article(s) and did not give credit (attributed) and tried to pass it off as there words/article, that's Plagiarism and is prosecutable.

    I see a big anti-gun media outlet trying to shut down a little pro-gun website by extreme financial pressure. The only ones that will win in this case are the lawyers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmac00 View Post
    I don't think "The Las Vegas Review-Journal" has a case?

    If (BIG *IF*) the Armed citizen posted a article AND gave credit (attributed) to "the Review" then it's part of public domain and no case exists especially if the Armed Citizen did NOT have any financial gain from the article

    *IF* the Armed citizen copy and pasted the article(s) and did not give credit (attributed) and tried to pass it off as there words/article, that's Plagiarism and is prosecutable.

    I see a big anti-gun media outlet trying to shut down a little pro-gun website by extreme financial pressure. The only ones that will win in this case are the lawyers
    It is more complicated than this. Merely citing a source doesn't give you a right to use the material. The copyright owner has to give permission.

    In general you can only copy small segments, titles, index, a sentence or two. It isn't about passing off someone else's work as your own. It is about
    using someone else's intellectual property without permission.

    This statement from the above thread is not correct: "If (BIG *IF*) the Armed citizen posted a article AND gave credit (attributed) to "the Review" then it's part of public domain" No. Not at all. You don't get a right to use someone else's stuff just because you openly state who it belongs to.

    I think there is a lot of confusion about the two terms, "public domain" and "fair use," neither of which is applicable to copying the entirety of a current news story without obtaining permission--- as btw, we often see done here.

    A better way is to summarize and provide a link.

  5. #4
    Member Array Once Bitten's Avatar
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    This will probably be the end of the Las Vegas Review journal
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    Unfortunately, no; it's the end of the Armed Citizen blog and Clayton Cramer's personal blog. He just posted a goodbye article.

    I've followed Cramer's stuff for years. He was a named author on amicus briefs widely quoted by the majority in both Heller and McDonald. He has been an absolute must-read for intellectual and academically rigorous conservatism. This is a terrible loss to the blogosphere if he truly decides not to come back into the public forum.

    There is not sufficient damnation that can be called down on the goons at Righthaven, LLC.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Once Bitten View Post
    This will probably be the end of the Las Vegas Review journal
    they may take TAC along with it :(
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    Unfortunately, no; it's the end of the Armed Citizen blog and Clayton Cramer's personal blog. He just posted a goodbye article.

    I've followed Cramer's stuff for years. He was a named author on amicus briefs widely quoted by the majority in both Heller and McDonald. He has been an absolute must-read for intellectual and academically rigorous conservatism. This is a terrible loss to the blogosphere if he truly decides not to come back into the public forum.

    There is not sufficient damnation that can be called down on the goons at Righthaven, LLC.
    For all those who say, "what part of illegal don't you understand," and "illegal is illegal," there are laws on this subject. I personally think they sort of stink, and that Congress messed up and provided excessive penalties for minor violations--- think RIAA suits. Nevertheless, the law is the law and although copyright violations are very widespread, sometimes it comes back to bite.

    This should be a reminder to all who post here, protect Bumper. Don't post the text of newspaper articles in their entirety as we so often see done here.

    It is easy enough to write a brief summary and include a link.

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    Member Array logan's Avatar
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    This really sucks...

    I would check this website weekly and really enjoyed reading the stories. Without this website, I won't ever get to read most of these news stories.

    Why did they have to go and ruin a good thing...stupid newspaper!
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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logan View Post
    This really sucks...

    I would check this website weekly and really enjoyed reading the stories. Without this website, I won't ever get to read most of these news stories.

    Why did they have to go and ruin a good thing...stupid newspaper!
    Yes! that was my main source of CCW stories as well!
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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I would think that a professional establishment that publishes information of this kind, would be familiar with copyright laws and such.
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  12. #11
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    So, how does this effect how many of us have been posting here?

    Have we put this site in jeopardy?
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    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    So, how does this effect how many of us have been posting here?

    Have we put this site in jeopardy?
    Starting with the usual IANAL, I think the answer is potentially yes, but probably not. The risk will shift as this site appears to be commercial instead of social, but that is only because someone will see "opportunity."

    Intellectual property law is a complex sub-discipline, and thanks to Congress (and a few major corps. and special interest lobbyists) lots of stuff that seems and is innocent, can become a gotchya.

    If I were sitting in Bumper's shoes I would add to the forum rules a prohibition against posting a copy of copyrighted material and instead encourage
    the use of paraphrased summaries, links and citations.

    What I really don't like about our present copyright law is that many many people innocently post things like copies of Dilbert cartoons, political cartoons,
    a recent comic strip, a copy of some wise statement, without really thinking about the fact that the material is protected. I know for example that many professors will copy something from a paper and distribute in a class, and they aren't really aware that such an innocent act could be construed as
    stealing--ah, civil copyright violation. Indeed some have gotten in trouble for distributing copies of manuscripts they authored to their own students, because they signed a copyright transfer prior to their work being published.

    By analogy, the situation as I understand it is a lot like the interstate transfer of guns without a FFL holder being involved. Just as that can be done innocently, but is still a violation, the posting of copyrighted material is usually done innocently, but is still a violation of the owner's right to control his own property.

    That's my understanding of the situation until I learn otherwise, and again, IANAL.

    Added a few minutes later. Here's a link to a US Gov site on Fair Use--http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

    Still more: http://www.starr.net/is/fu.html From this link you can see that certain traits make it more likely that permission is needed-- e.g. entire work copied for commercial or entertainment of a large public audience.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array DaveJay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Starting with the usual IANAL, I think the answer is potentially yes, but probably not. The risk will shift as this site appears to be commercial instead of social, but that is only because someone will see "opportunity."

    Intellectual property law is a complex sub-discipline, and thanks to Congress (and a few major corps. and special interest lobbyists) lots of stuff that seems and is innocent, can become a gotchya.

    If I were sitting in Bumper's shoes I would add to the forum rules a prohibition against posting a copy of copyrighted material and instead encourage
    the use of paraphrased summaries, links and citations.

    What I really don't like about our present copyright law is that many many people innocently post things like copies of Dilbert cartoons, political cartoons,
    a recent comic strip, a copy of some wise statement, without really thinking about the fact that the material is protected. I know for example that many professors will copy something from a paper and distribute in a class, and they aren't really aware that such an innocent act could be construed as
    stealing--ah, civil copyright violation. Indeed some have gotten in trouble for distributing copies of manuscripts they authored to their own students, because they signed a copyright transfer prior to their work being published.

    By analogy, the situation as I understand it is a lot like the interstate transfer of guns without a FFL holder being involved. Just as that can be done innocently, but is still a violation, the posting of copyrighted material is usually done innocently, but is still a violation of the owner's right to control his own property.

    That's my understanding of the situation until I learn otherwise, and again, IANAL.

    Added a few minutes later. Here's a link to a US Gov site on Fair Use--http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
    I agree with your assessment about have people put this site in danger...

    There is a site I use to visit that if you posted more than two paragraphs of a news article...even with the correct link...you would get a nasty note from a mod...repeat offenses got you a strike...

    The site owner wanted to avoid any issues like this...
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    Got it!

    From now on I'll just be posting links and a teaser.
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    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

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  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Kind of interesting how fast something, that is seemingly innocent can turn around and bite you so fast.

    although I wouldn't worry about "the review" being around to long. Most print Newspaper in this country will probably be gone by 2015.

    On top of that, The Armed Citizen can always "re-emerge" under a different title
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