Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, September 17, 2010

YOU could be Sued by RightHaven

I’m too pissed off about this to even rant about it. First off, Hat Tip to Jolly Roger at Reconstitution, where I first read about this.

RightHaven is a gang of lawyers with one mission: Scouring the Internet to look for any website or blog that contains ANY written content that originated in the Las Vegas Journal Review. It doesn’t matter whether an entire article was copied, or just a sentence or two. And it doesn’t matter that the blogger or webmaster linked the quoted sentences back to the Las Vegas Journal Review.

Needless to say, search your own site for ANYTHING quoted from or linked to the Las Vegas Journal Review; and delete that post, or at least remove the “offending” text.

This is RightHaven’s M.O.: When they find a sentence or paragraph somewhere on the Internet that was quoted from a Las Vegas Journal Review article or column, RightHaven buys the copyright to that particular story. Then RightHaven threatens the offending blogger/website operator with a federal lawsuit for copyright infringement.

RightHaven has filed over a hundred of these lawsuits so far. More often than not, the website operator is too intimidated to go to court so they pay a few thousand dollars in shakedown fees.

There’s nothing political about this. Nevada’s favorite tinfoil hatter, Sharron Angle, was sued by RightHaven for $150,000 because her website contained some text from a Las Vegas Journal Review article About HER.

The Las Vegas Review Journal is RightHaven’s only client — so far. But they reportedly are looking for additional customers.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is observing and monitoring RightHaven’s activities, but hasn’t taken any action yet.

Here are some more links to RightHaven.

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Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

I'm thinking I'm going to rely more and more on sources from outside the US. It's just way too easy with DMCA to cross that invisible line.

September 17, 2010 at 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Hmm, so much for all that information people want to get out there. A new money making venture for the newspaper no doubt, since most of them are going to be extinct soon enough.

September 17, 2010 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, in all but two of the cases, the websites had copied entire articles from the paper; sometimes they linked back, sometimes they didn't.

One of the two instances on excerpts was the Democratic Underground - 4 paragraphs of a 34 paragraph story - and I don't know of the other one.

They also got around the DMCA rules of issuing a takedown notice first because these websites did not register with the copyright office, and therefore Righthaven is not required to issue a takedown notice first.

I would still recommend deleting all Las Vegas Review-Journal content, just on principle. And register with the copyright office for DMCA protection.


September 17, 2010 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Righthaven is the most American company in the history of America. Sniff. God Bless You, Righthaven.

September 18, 2010 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

I'd love to see them sue me. Note the disclaimer I have at the bottom of my home page. It's tied to the one Google wrote and I'm sure Google has better lawyers than theirs'. Second you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.

September 18, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

That's Despicible. I don't think I have ever referenced them.

Demeur, it's too bad that your Disclaimer is Blogger specific.

September 18, 2010 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: I keep meaning to do that too. I have several foreign sites linked, but somehow I keep going back to Yahoo.com and Think Progress.

Jess: I think that's it, the print media is going through its death throes.

Anonymous: Thanks for the information, and the link.

Randal: Damn right. RightHaven has followed the Great American Tradition -- building a better lawsuit.

Demeur: I hope your disclaimer works. I also read that if you get served with one of those intimidation "shakedown" lawsuits, you can demand a trial in your own jurisdiction instead of theirs, and the plaintiff won't usually pursue the case any further after that. I don't know if that's true or not; I read it at one of the linked articles yesterday.

TC: It sure is despicable. There are a lot of articles about it at the Google Search link in the post. But I hadn't heard about it until I saw Jolly Roger's post on it yesterday.

September 18, 2010 at 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

So is this just the beginning of what could be a form of censorship that will cut into the truth.?

September 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Tim: Either it's just the beginning, or RightHaven will get a crippling fine for filing frivolous lawsuits. I hope it'll be the latter.

September 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Ravi said...

Thanks for the article. It is good to know these kind of matters that can affect our health.

September 20, 2010 at 3:24 AM  

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