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Matt Drudge Settles Copyright Lawsuit With Righthaven

Drudge

OSKAR GARCIA   02/17/11 05:45 PM ET   AP

LAS VEGAS — The founder of the Drudge Report website has settled a copyright infringement lawsuit with a company that sued on behalf of the Denver Post newspaper over a photo showing an airport pat-down, federal court documents in Las Vegas showed.

Righthaven LLC filed a notice of dismissal in U.S. District court in Nevada on Tuesday, saying a written agreement was reached with website operator Matt Drudge. The dismissal with prejudice means Righthaven won't refile in the case.

Drudge did not immediately return an e-mail from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Righthaven CEO Steve Gibson declined comment, saying the settlement was confidential.

Details of the settlement aren't in the filing.

Righthaven is a Las Vegas company that sues website operators over copyright issues on behalf of newspapers, including the Post and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Righthaven acquires copyrights to online content from MediaNews Group Inc., parent company of the Post, then files lawsuits over alleged violations of copyright law. MediaNews is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher with dozens of publications.

Righthaven has filed nearly three dozen lawsuits in federal court in Colorado over the Post photo, which shows a Transportation Security Administration agent and a passenger. The defendants live in several states, and include former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

The photo was published by the Post on Nov. 18, and was distributed to media outlets by the AP. The picture was widely used to illustrate the debate about security protocols at airports.

Righthaven has filed more than 230 lawsuits in Nevada against bloggers, nonprofits and others. The company has copyrights rom Stephens Media LLC, the owner of the Review-Journal.

The Review-Journal has reported that settlements average about $5,000.

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Filed by Ethan Axelrod  |