Fed court: quoting newspaper articles online is fair use

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Kurt Opsahl analyzes an important declaratory judgment from a Nevada federal court, which held that excerpting news articles in online postings was fair use.

Judge Roger Hunt’s judgment confirms that an online forum is not liable for its users’ posts, even if it was not protected by the safe harbors of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s notice and takedown provisions. The decision also clarifies that a common practice on the Internet – excerpting a few sentences and linking to interesting articles elsewhere – is a fair use, not an infringement of copyright.

The case is a remnant of the Righthaven copyright troll campaign, in which a newspaper owner and a lawyer formed a venture to get rich by shaking down websites. It's ended in bankruptcy, loss of investment, and an investigation from the Nevada bar.

Court Declares Newspaper Excerpt on Online Forum is a Non-Infringing Fair Use


    1.   … to ensure they are compensated by “commercial traders” that use pieces of their copyrighted content online…   The ruling meant that users of a clippings service must have a licence from newspaper publishers… 

      That seems very different. 

  1. In a surprise move, the  U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada came to a common sense decision. 

  2. Common sense prevails, for once.  If I read a newspaper article and then told you about it, would I be guilty of infringement?  I sincerely hope not. But that seems to be the direction these days, doesn’t it?

    1. You know those times when you hear a song in your head?  Well, don’t ever tell anyone about that, especially anyone associated w/ the RIAA.  One minute you’re jamming along to whatever, the next: lobotomy!

  3. Newspapers: The Internet is putting us out of business.

    Newspapers: We don’t want anyone talking about us on the Internet.

    Well played, Newspapers.

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