Skip to comments.RightHaven Ramping Up Its Copyright Trolling Business
Posted on 07/26/2010 6:06:27 PM PDT by Lorianne
We've written a couple of times about RightHaven, the new operation set up by the publisher of the Las Vegas Journal Review to shakedown any site that reposts its stories. There were some oddities in the way RightHaven was acting, starting with the fact that it gives no warning to sites and doesn't send a DMCA takedown. It goes straight to suing... and then quickly demands a settlement fee. Of course, most of the sites its suing aren't competitors to the LVJR at all. In fact, they're usually organizations or people written about by the newspaper, who want to post the publicity -- with links back to the original -- on their own sites. In many cases, it would seem that they have pretty strong fair use claims, but fighting a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court is expensive, which is exactly what RightHaven is counting on.
Wired is now running a profile of Righthaven, where the company's CEO (who was or is the general counsel for LVJR) is pretty upfront that this has nothing, whatsoever, to do with stopping infringement. It's entirely a way to squeeze money out of people. And he's rapidly expanding. Apparently, he's filing new lawsuits every day, and the publisher of the LVJR has given him the right to sue on behalf of other newspapers he publishes, while they look to sign up other publishers as well. This is, clearly, a blatant abuse of copyright law, and not at all what the law intended to do. Between this and the shenanigans of US Copyright Group, is it really too much to ask that the courts or Congress recognize that copyright law is being blatantly abused in a quasi-shakedown system?
Along those lines, JC was the first of a few of you to point to a blogger who was just sued by Righthaven. Because of this, the blogger has taken down their entire blog, because it now represents too big a liability. Again, this is not what copyright law is supposed to be for.
This sounds very similar to the Getty Images extortion scam that is being pulled now.
I’m not a law-talking guy, but I wonder if it would be possible for all the entities being sued by RightHaven to file a class-action anti-SLAPP lawsuit against RH, claiming that RH is unfairly trying to limit their ability to exercise their First Amendment rights to discuss political subjects in the public arena.
Don’t forget SCOx (cough** M$***Cough) vs. IBM, Novell and Linux, in general.
This will end badly
I don't remember seeing anything about that in months. Apparently, they are still flogging that dead horse.
Looks like they have just appealed to the 10th Circuit.
SCO files appeal of March Unix decision
Updated Jul 9, 2010
I'm still cheering for IBM against Microsoft in that litigation.
I believe the lawsuits would fail in a court because one could argue that lacking previous complaints by the LVRJ about unauthorized use, their Internet business plan was previously to encourage people to quote them. Changing business plans in mid stream without notice would then be extortion.
For those not aware, these are the same jerks who are suing FR.
Interestingly, one of the reasons that Fred Phelps (yes, that Fred Phelps) was disbarred was for pulling essentially this stunt: Filing frivolous lawsuits and offering to settle with the victims for less than the cost of defending themselves.
There is a strong connection between the Obamas and Righthaven in Sidney Austin LLP, a Chicago law firm.
Really? Please tell me more.
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