The re-posting of an entire news article on the blog of a nonprofit organization is fair use as a matter of law where the purpose was to educate the public, a district court ruled. The court concluded that the nonprofit’s use was transformative from the use of the current copyright holder, a copyright enforcement firm, a use which the court characterized as "nothing more than litigation-driven." Thus, the court said, the defendant’s use “does not constitute a substitution for plaintiff’s use.” The court also found that the purpose of the news article was informational and thus the work entitled to less copyright protection than a “creative work of entertainment”; that the use of the entire article was reasonable because the purpose was to educate the public and because the factual nature of the information made it "impracticable" to cut the article or edit it down; and that no market harm was demonstrated by the plaintiff.

Righthaven LLC v. Jama and Center for Intercultural Organizing, Docket No. No. 10-cv-01322 (D. Nev. Apr. 22, 2011) Opinion

Editor's Note: Righthaven is a copyright enforcement firm that has brought hundreds of lawsuits challenging the online posting of news articles of which it is the copyright assignee, primarily in the District of Nevada on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and more recently in the District of Colorado on behalf of the Denver Post. Earlier fair use rulings in Righthaven litigations are discussed on the Proskauer New Media and Technology Law blog. Further information on the Righthaven lawsuits in general is available at RighthavenLawsuits.com.