The U.S. District Court in Nevada has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit against a blogger who copied and re-posted several sentences from a Las Vegas Review-Journal article. In a highly unusual motion to dismiss ruling, the court held that “[the blogger’s] use of the copyrighted material is likely to have little to no effect on the market for the copyrighted news article.” Righthaven v. Realty One Group, Inc., — F.3d — (Dist. Nev. October 18, 2010).
Generally, when analyzing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, courts are limited to the allegations in plaintiff’s complaint (read: cannot look to facts beyond the complaint in their analysis). A fair use analysis requires considerable fact finding, or else a decent array of undisputed facts. Thus, it is highly unconventional for a court to grant a fair use ruling on a motion to dismiss.
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