If you are blogging or running for office be aware not to just copy and paste an article that you see, but rewrite and reference the article. See what can happen to you if you do not heed these words.
It appears that Sharon Angle's campaign is the target of a Copyright Infringement Suit according to Fox News (Click here for the original story).
Fox is reporting that the campaign allegedly reprinted two stories from the Las Vegas Review Journal. What's really interesting is that the Review Journal sold their rights to Righthaven, who actually filed the suit. Fox News reports that Righthaven scours the Internet looking for copies of Review Journal stories. When they find someone with deep pockets, they purchase the copyrights and file suit.
If you've read my other blogs on Copyright Infringement you know I'm dead set against the theft of intellectual property. What I find really interesting about Righthaven is that they have turned this into a business. Find a potential violation, buy the rights, and file a suit.
This tactic reminds me of the now-famous Getty Images letter program. Getty hired a third-party to scan the Internet looking for copies of their images. Once found, they would send the site owner a letter demanding proof of licensing or a fee between $1000 and $1500 per image as a settlement in lieu of a lawsuit.
One of their major issues was that the vast majority of the images they sell have not been registered with the Federal Copyright Office. The lack of registration severely limits what they are entitled to collect. That said, if the material is registered, statuatory damages can be huge.
There are a couple of lessons in this for bloggers.
First, never "reblog" a copyrighted article. You're better off rewriting the story and referencing it than "reblogging" it (note this does not apply to AR's reblog button). Second, always use your own photos or purchase them from a reliable source.
Tom and Gina Branch, The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, service the greater North Dallas suburbs including Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Lewisville, and Carrollton. While Gina concentrates on traditional listings and buyer/tenant representation, Tom specializes in assisting distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Tom and Gina have published two books (Achieving Rock Star Status and The Field Guide to Short Sales) and are available for speaking engagements in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex.
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The Branch Team - Texas Real Estate Broker 0547597 | Team Members are Texas Licensed Real Estate Professionals
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Tom Branch, Broker Associate, RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, http://www.thebranchteam.com