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2010: Daily Paul / Michael Nystrom Sued by Righthaven LLC in Massive Blogger Copyright Shakedown


UPDATE: Please note the date - September 1, 2010. This happened over 2-1/2 years ago. I don't know how this ended up getting bumped this morning. The suit was ultimately dismissed. See my additional comments here. Thanks everyone for your support.


! Reddit !

The first I heard that I was being sued came in an email from Las Vegas Sun reporter Steve Green. Green and the Las Vegas Sun have been doing a tremendous job covering the saga of Righthaven LLC, a firm that has filed 107 suits against bloggers and website owners since March of this year, including one yesterday against yours truly.

Righthaven's standard shakedown seems to go as follows: The firm goes trolling the web, looking for content that from the Las Vegas Review-Journal that has been reposted on other blogs or websites. Once it finds a match, it acquires the copyright from the Review-Journal, then - without first contacting the accused blogger / website owner - files a lawsuit in Nevada Federal court. The standard damages seem to be for $75,000 and forfeiture of the domain name to Righthaven. I assume that is what I am being sued for as well, though I have yet to see it.

Most of the content on the Daily Paul is user-generated, and my understanding has always been that I am protected by the DMCA against liability for user uploaded content. Under the law, standard procedure is for the copyright holder to contact the website owner and ask that the offending content be removed. This is a request that I have complied with numerous times for other parties. In this particular case, I was never contacted by Righthaven, nor the Las Vegas Review Journal, nor, as far as I can tell, were any of the other 107 defendants.

You can see Steve Green's reportage of the suit against me at the end of this article.

The sidebar of that article contains an excellent archive of the Green's meticulous documentation of each of the 107 suits filed so far, as well as the relevance of these suits in his September 1 article, Why we are writing about the R-J copyright lawsuits

Many of the smaller bloggers have settled their cases for a few thousand dollars, leading lawyers to term this operation as a 'shakedown.' Some are unable to settle for that sum, as their websites don't make any money at all.

Of great interest to our community is that Alex Jones is also being sued by Righthaven. See here, here, and here. Alex is quoted as saying,

“This claim is totally without merit and appears to be purely predatory and I’m weighing all options with counsel including a possible counterclaim, not just to protect myself from being squeezed but also the other sites that have been sued,” said Jones, who said his national talk show is heard on 60 stations around the country.

Also being sued, according to the Las Vegas Sun, are The Armed Citizen (which has since shut down to avoid further legal trouble - see the letter on their website), Free Republic, and NORML, among many, many others.

On August 25th, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that they will make efforts to assist Righthaven defendants to the best of their ability. I have initiated contact, as I have absolutely no intention of settling.

Also reporting on this story: - Birth of the Copyright Troll - Newspaper Chain’s New Business Plan: Copyright Suits

LA Times: - Las Vegas Review-Journal bares its claws

- - -

While it sucks for me personally to be sued, I intend to fight this battle to the end, resources permitting. I am in the process of assembling a legal team to deal with this. After I get an idea of how best to approach this, I may ask for help in creating a legal defense fund, and I hope that I can count on your support in this battle.

I want to thank the members of the Liberty community who gave me great support today as I digested this news, including bigmikedude, Kurt Wallace, Trevor Lyman, Michael Boldin of the 10th Amendment Center, and others.

Based on what I have heard so far from my fellow patriots, and what other defendants are planning, I believe that Righthaven picked the wrong community to mess with!

In the mean time, I suggest that fellow bloggers and webmasters scour your sites for any links back to Righthaven has sued websites that published just four paragraphs of a 36 paragraph story, including a link. To be safe, I wouldn't even link back to those bastards at all. Who knows - they might even sue you for that.

If you have any information that may be of value, please do not hesitate to contact me using the contact button on this website above.

Thank you again for your support.


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ytc's picture

YOU win!

You had the spine :-)

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thanks - but this happened back in 2010

Ultimately the suit was dismissed. See the updated OP for the info.

Check out this article in the "VEGAS, INC." Yes, this guy is a real dirt bag. His own company tried to get rid of him.

I should have his address and personal public information in a couple of days for all to contact and will post for all.


Still Working on it.....

My investigator has got more informatin we are verifying...friends, associates..even a federal official...all will be patient...We are going to make this guy think of another occupation..


Michael Nystrom's picture

Yeah, that was a trip

- I don’t know why this thread was bumped this morning when I got up, but here’s another bump -

The day I posted this thread was the day I found out I’d been sued. In the early comments, people told me to ignore service, which is the best advice I got. Ultimately, that is how I beat it. Righthaven tried to serve me twice - each time, I pretended I wasn't home.

Ultimately how I beat Righthaven was by avoiding service. The only reason I knew to do that was because of the advice I received from Daily Paulers, both on the website, and through private emails. Righthaven tried to serve me twice. Each time I refused to answer the door. My lawyer told me not to share this at the time, but considering Righthaven is now defunct and bankrupt, I think that moratorium is over.

During that period of time, fall of 2010 into the winter of 2011, I was so paranoid that the process server was going to be waiting for me when I got home. A friend of mine who got sued (it is surprising how many people I know have gotten sued) said that is what happened to him. He pulled into his driveway one night after a long day of work, only to find the process server there waiting for him with the papers. There was no way to avoid him.

Based on that story, I was completely paranoid every time I came back home. Whether driving or on foot, I would do a visual sweep of the street, looking for any unfamiliar cars and people. On more than a few occasions, I got to my house and just kept right on going. It was nerve-wracking, but it was also kind of exciting. It was like being a character in a movie.

But the process server who was after me wasn't that aggressive. The second time he came, it was early on a weekday morning, around 7:00am. My apartment was on the second floor apartment of a duplex, and I was fast asleep in bed when I heard the soft knocking on the front door. After his first attempt at service several weeks earlier, I had unplugged the doorbell.

Alert, I listened intently from bed, wondering if the soft knocking would turn into a hard rapping, and then a violent pounding. Another friend of mine who had gotten sued told me the story of how she tried hiding in the closet when the process server came, only to have him start banging on the outside walls of her house, yelling: “I know you’re in there! Come out now! I know you’re in there!” He went on like this, around the entire perimeter of the house, until she came out.

This is something I wanted to avoid.

But his knocking did not get louder - it only persisted. I got up and got dressed as quietly as possible and went to the window. The mini blinds were drawn, and a dreary dawn was just breaking on an overcast morning. From the vantage point of my window, I could see the front street, but not my front door, which around the side of the house, off the driveway. I stood at the window in the dusky room, and carefully lifted one of the blinds the minutest amount and watched the street.

Eventually, the process server tired of knocking, and emerged from the driveway. He looked up at the house, and I swear to god he looked right at me, directly into my eye through my little crack in the blind. He stood there staring at me in his dark jacket and baseball cap. I froze. I didn’t dare drop the blind for fear that he would see the movement, and know that I was there. The house was dark and still. For all he knew, I had already left for work.

So I just stared back at him. Money must be tight for him to have to take a job like this. He wasn’t qualified for it. Banging on the sides of a house, yelling at the top of your lungs is how you get a job like this done. Waiting for hours in an empty driveway, like a spider, is how you get this job done. You don’t get this job done by meekly tapping on the door, then walking away after 15 minutes when they don’t answer.
He began to walk away, but then stopped short, as if he were Columbo, changing his mind, and briskly walked back, looking up at the window. He paced back and for like this a few times, like a cat - a big caged cat in a zoo, who resented being there - trying to make up his mind. Eventually, he did, and walked back to his car and got inside. I kept watch through my little slit in the blind until he started it up and drove away.

My whole plan was to continue avoiding service until Righthaven’s claim lapsed. From my lawyer, I knew that if I wasn’t served in 120 days, the case would be dropped, based on procedure. I knew that Righthaven was sloppy. They were an assembly line lawsuit factory, attempting to use our “Justice” system as a cash machine. For them it was a numbers game: Scare enough people who are ignorant of the law, threaten to take their domain name - completely unjustified, but who is Joe Sixpack to know? Then get them to cough up some change to make the problem go away. Their business model in a nutshell could be summed up as: “BOO! Give me some money!”

I knew that. I understood that. I’d talked to several lawyers at length about it. I’d looked at it from every angle. There was no way I was getting out of it without paying money - whether it was to Righthaven or to a legal defense team. The only possible way out was to avoid service. My lawyer advised against it. If it could be shown that I was intentionally avoiding service, that would be bad. And Righthaven could tack on extra fees to cover all the incompetent process servers they sent out to get me, and who failed to do their jobs.

I was clearly stuck.

And then, something just like out of a movie happened. Like when the main character is trapped and doomed, about to be eaten by a dinosaur, and he closes his eyes and accepts his fate and then, out of nowhere comes a bigger, meaner dinosaur that eats the one that was about to eat me. That is exactly what happened.

What happened was the EFF responded to Righthaven on behalf of the Democratic Underground, and filed a massive countersuit. Suddenly, Righthaven had a serious issue on its hands that it had to deal with.
Weeks went by without another attempt at service, then months. The Righthaven scare had peaked. I knew I was in the clear. The only thing left was to watch the clock run out.

- There is more, but now it is time for breakfast -

ytc's picture

What a suspenseful account!

Can't wait for the sequels, MN. And thanks for enduring all that exhausting tribulation. . . to keep DailyPaul alive :-)

BTW weren't Righthaven lawyers former colleagues & friends of The Obama's, esp Mechelle's?

How did this tread end up on the front page ...

... when it was from 2010?

Ahh guys this is old news

The suit is over and done with, unless there is something new to report, right?

LOL -- I didn't even look at the date (2010) ...

... so, what happened?

Michael Nystrom's picture

Hey guys - sorry to scare you

I don't know who or why it suddenly got some attention. But it is old, and over. Here is my summary after the case was dismissed:

The very worst they can do is make you change name

of website. It seems to me.

If the worst is played out, I am very sure within a few days any new domain name you could choose would be populated by the very same individuals that come here now.

Ever hear the story about Tar Baby, the fox was so smart yet each time he struck out at Tar Baby he just ended up in a worse position.

That is the key to these attacks to insure on the other side you achieve an advantage from their attack. It makes the fox think about if he realy wants to strike out at Tar Baby again.


Any time these blood suckers attack a free person

Its unpleasent to a pure nitmare.
It is why I am a proponent of the leaderless revolution. By having this website you become a target for take over one way or another.
I am sorry this happened to you. I stand with you and offer my assistance in any way.

I think a possible response would be your state atty to prosicute for racketeering both the ones pulling the lawsuit scam and the media outlet that is participating in NV.

Another possible venue are the many free men that are versed in comon law they have very interesting responses to these vile serpants who use the UCC to extort.

Thank you for putting yourself out there in the name of liberty.


A few thoughts ...

(1) Yeah, it sucks that you have to even deal with this. We'll help out.

(2) Are the articles in question original works of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, or were they Associated Press articles? Would that make a difference in terms of rights to assign?

(3) Newspapers are quoted all the time. Is there a special exception to copyright law for quoting content from "recognized" media?

(4) Sounds like the newspaper and the company in question are engaged in a conspiracy to damage certain businesses, unless they sue EVERYBODY who uses LVRJ content. Why would they pick and choose WHO to sue if they are concerned about distribution of their content? In addition, if LVRJ is using a surrogate to do their dirty work, they may be open for a counter lawsuit.

(5) If someone other than the owner of a website is responsible for posting content, then would it be for a non-commercial purpose?

(6) In the future, you might consider turning the DP over to a non-profit entity that you control, so that it is for educational purposes, and the revenue is to further that purpose. At least, check into it.

(7) You can sign up to for a few bucks and get legal advice on various topics, and they might also be able to point you in the right direction.

(8) You might contact the Institute for Justices ( for their opinion.

(9) You could always try the Japanese-American card -- "Hey! It's racism!" Works for the liberals on numerous topis. LOL

(10) By the way -- if you haven't been served, then you haven't been sued. Yes, it is good to get out in front to plan your moves in case it goes forward. But keep in mind: It is illegal to THREATEN to sue someone if the person/entity making the threat has no intention of actually suing. This MIGHT be why you are hearing it from a third party rather than the party itself. Just a thought.

Keep us posted and let us know all the gory details of what those jerks are up to.

By the way ...

... isn't the Daily Paul part of "the Press" ... as in, the First Amendment "right of the Press ..."

Ultimately, that's probably what this is all about -- other than shakedown money.

Maybe some owners of "recognized" media are trying to rub out anyone not politically connected as not being part of "the Press."

Just random thoughts here.

bumping, because--

I saw this on the main page--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Just in case anyone asks,

Just in case anyone asks, anything I post or write on this website is released as public domain, retroactively and in perpetuity.

I own a small publishing business myself, so I know all about protecting copyrights, but nine times out of ten, it's nothing more than a waste of time chasing geese that will only result in alienating customers, so I don't bother, but believe me, people post my copyrighted material all over the net.

Do I care? Not really. It doesn't affect my bottom line adversely at all. If anything, it's free advertising.

I am out of touch with most Americans precisely because I am not out of touch with reality.

Keep up the great work Rusty

~If your not having fun during a revolution, your not doing it right!~

"It's better to get there slow, than to not get there fast". - ATruePatriot

And never forget, “Humans, despite our artistic pretensions, our sophistication and many accomplishments, owe the fact of our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.”

Micheal find out if you have actually been sued yet ..

Or if this is just a threat . It might not be too late to obtain Legal Insurance at a minimal rate of just 50 dollars a month. Just google legal insurance and to obtain the coverage you need.It also a tax write-off.


Michael I am sorry to hear this. You know you can count on us here at DailyPaul to help you though.

I don't see how they could possibly legally force someone to surrender a domain name. That is your property and they should have no right to it.

I'll let you know as soon as I'm back up in Boston, and if you need any help I would be glad to assist you. I'm not a legal expert or anything, but if there's something I can do to help I will do it.

They will not take our internet home away from us!

For Liberty!

"So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause."

* * * * * * * NEW R3VOLUTION HIP HOP TRACKS!! * * * * * * *

Concur-Legal Defense Fund

We need to think about a legal defense fund for when the Daily is sued now or in the future. This law suit regarding copyright law is baseless, but local district court judges have a problem with common sense and following precedents.

Domain name

Ever since first reading about this a few days ago, I can't seem to get the surrendering of the domain name out of my head. I find it so deeply disturbing that it qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment and I can't even begin to speculate as to why they have asked for it. "" is unique in the world and cannot be used for any other purpose, so to steal it from the world is an attack on the world itself.

Any idea why they are asking for this? Right now it just seems downright evil to me. If someone knows of a reason that makes sense I'd sure like to hear it.

Congratulations, Mike, you've finally made it in the real world.

You have proved your legitimacy as a webmaster, you mean something to somebody. So, they're not after damages, they're after your domain name, which is part of your holdings -- since it can be transferred or sold. They claim they have a problem w/ what you do to shut you down & get your domain name. Since you can't prevent anybody from suing you the only thing you can do is say do I do this website or not do it & you did it! Welcome to the real world. Just think, not that this comes as a convenient time, but this would be an experience you didn't have if it hadn't happened. However, may this not be the 1st of many lawsuits.

Cheers! I'm having a hot cup of coffee to celebrate, you?

finish auto-reply

Thank God for bugs, they're company for people in solitary confinement, including Phil. Rezko (sp), who was put in solitary confinement & prevented from testifying at R. B.'s trial in Ill.. Stay out of jail, & that means stay away from the police! The next time you receive a traffic citation & have to pay it, inform your church that they were just denied a donation.

For some reason, we're expected to know every law that exists in America & in our state so we don't break it. We're supposed to know this when we're 18. There's no litmus test for them, as in the 10 commandments or rhyme or reason. C.U.R.E.

Sounds more like Sue Lowden

Sounds more like Sue Lowden is getting her cronie LV friends to get some vengeance for her losing the Senate candidacy.

Is the post that they are accusing the DP of even still available? They need evidence and if there isn't then they have nothing.

I have been searching over the lists

provided by Jon and the stuff I found in the last few days and can't help thinking that there may be some "Entrapment" posts.If just one of these could be proved to tie in with RH or RJ it could raise the question of intent by them.Everyone implicated in suits with them should check for these type of posts,It would only take one to disprove intent and credibility.

Unconstitutional War - "The story you are about to hear is true; the names and places are being changed to protect the guilty."

My thought is

for them to use or access DP at any time to build a case would involve copyright infingement on their part. DP is Mike's and they need his permision to access the records and posts to built a case from.
The legal service is using copyright from DP to build a case. It's all within commercial use. They are using what is on DP forin a commercial enrterprise.They are running a professional business, making money or professional livelyhood

Unfortunately from what I have been chasing

It isn't quite that simple.

Unconstitutional War - "The story you are about to hear is true; the names and places are being changed to protect the guilty."

northstar's picture

Be sure to email Michael

Explain your thoughts in detail to him, so he can maybe connect dots or something.

Real eyes realize real lies

We want our country back

Every year is a year for Ron Paul!

You rock Northstar:) look

You rock Northstar:)
look time no see.
As for DP I will back you with everything I have:) Just lay a path for me with what to do.

Life is great with Isagenix