Miami Beach's most infamous blogger resident Matt Drudge is getting sued. A notorious copyright infringement company claims that Drudge posted a copyrighted picture from The Denver Post of a TSA enhanced pat down on his site, DrudgeReport.com, without permission. The company isn't only seeking $150,000 but also Drudge's domain name.
Righthaven LLC, the Las Vegas-based firm, has an interesting business model: they buy copyrights to newspaper content and then sues blogs and other websites that post the material without permission. Wired.com profiled Righthaven and its unusual, but apparently successful, business model earlier this year. Their model has been called "legal trolling," "frivolous," and a "shakedown."
Drudge seems to be Righthaven's biggest target yet, and one of the first times that the company has sued over a photograph.
Drudge's site offers very little original reporting, and mainly posts pictures from other sources with links to new stories. Generally a link from Drudge is welcomed by news sources as they tend to generate tens of thousands of web hits.
Unless Righthaven plans to make an example out of Drudge, it's likely, as with most of their targets, he'll be able to settle for far less than the $150,000 and won't have to surrender his valuable domain name. It's also likely, though, that Drudge, unlike many of Righthaven's targets, could come up with the money and resources to fight the suit without settling. So this could turn into something very, very interesting.
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[Random Pixels: Miami Beach's Matt Drudge sued]
[LVSun: Drudge Report owner sued by Righthaven]
[Wired: Newspaper Chain's New Business Plan: Copyright Suits]