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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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Don't they know that DP'ers

Don't they know that DP'ers love going up against "the man". In fact, we live for it! They won't know what hit em...

Cuimhnigh orm, a Dhia, le haghaidh maith.

send the Las Vegas Review-Journal some feedback

Let's all send the Las Vegas Review-Journal some Feedback about this and do whatever we can to support Daily Paul. Michael, with so many bloggers involved in these unjust attacks, maybe a class action would be in order :-)

If the 'Fair Usage ' doesn't stop them...

a class action lawsuit should!

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Premature at this point I think

We should wait until Mr.Nystrom is served.

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

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you all for the support

I cannot tell you how much strength it gives me.

I'm not going to let this bother me. But I am working on organizing a defense, finding out how much it costs, and how to go about it.

When I have some news that I can share, I will let you know.


Looks to Me like

You have one of the largest families in the world for sure.

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

I take it that this firm was not a member of DP.

Therefore ANY documents copied or implied in their suit are DP copyrite covered. They would be guilty of the same crime, to use copyrite info from DP. All DP privlages are not afforded to non members or members not in good standing. Therefore their proof would be copyrite theft.
The 5th amendment prevents them from collecting information from you MIKE or your site as the owner and copyrite person of DP.

Watch what you send them in response , do not incriminate yourself or your site.

Unfortunately that argument

Unfortunately that argument is not legally sound. Evidence in a court case is not copyrighted or no case would ever be presented. Neither is your 5th Amendment argument because it deals with criminal cases, and this is a civil copyright case.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

Another way to fight back

We talk about not supporting businesses that support LVJ, Righthaven and it's cronies..This might help..

Just block them and insert a reminder of why it is being blocked so you don't ever forget.

The hosts file is a good place to put them.

# Suing happy sites do not ever unblock them.
# To block a site map that site to the loopback IP address of the machine (IPv4: or IPv6: ::1)

# Righthaven addresses to block
127. 0.0.1

"I have found that being rich is not about having the most but about needing the least"


you should repost this list on other sites that are being sued or are sympathetic to freedom of information issues.

Fortune Favors the Bold

so many good ideas

Wonderful to see such outpouring of support.

I wanted to be able to help in some way so I created this post:

LL on Twitter:
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

ytc's picture

LL, you DID help me. . . again. . . just yesterday

your libertypoet anti-war music offering lifted me out of my gloomy melancholy, which came with G Beck feel-good-to-be-aggressive-prowar-christian racket and LVRJ affair.

You really DO know how to keep our spirits up. All the fantastic knowledge and wealth in the world will be worthless, if we let our souls get over-exhausted & malnourished, losing sight of the spiritual meaning of our efforts and lives.

So, LL, thank you for being our haven for rest and rejuvenation! -y

Big smile here on my face

Your honey sweet comment just made my day!

To know that I help thousands of people feel good makes me feel so good inside.
There was one DP member saying how her little child loves my website...there was a guy in Apple store coming up to me and saying how great Liberty Poet site is and that he spend 2 hours on it yesterday.
These "little" things I will carry in my heart all my life.

Thank you!

LL on Twitter:
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

File a cross complaint for defamation of character

Unsubstantiated cause of action, unjust enrichment, filing frivolous lawsuits. The more you hit back with the better. make sure to rebut every accusation lodged against you point by point affidavit ,autograph, notarize ,copy ,send registered mail,return receipt to the court clerk with jurisdiction.

Class Action Counter Lawsuit

Could a class acton counter lawsuit filed by all who are being targeted by Righthaven be a possible action?

fireant's picture

I'd rather see him hit with dozens of counter claims,

or hundreds for that matter.

Undo what Wilson did

Spread his firm out

across the country,to make it not worth it.

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

fireant's picture


Why bundle them all up in a neat package making it easy for him?

Undo what Wilson did

I got up early this morning an started emailing

I have now sent out 14 emails to National Companies and Corporations about how unfortunate it is going to be for their advertising future on the Internet.

Please forward to Risk Management.

Your company is about to lose a huge advertising base due to any associations with (SM-LLC) and their associations with the very small petty suits of (RH).

The result of RH actions will unfortunately end all link referrals to any and all advertising your Company has with SM and any association with RH.

I have to ask is RH succeeding in their petty suits worth you losing extensive exposure on the net at a possible great loss for your Company?


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



I'm glad you're standing up for yourself and speaking out. Even though I don't post here often, we're all in this together. Keep fighting the good fight, and we all back you 100% for sure.

Take care of yourself in this tough time.

Josh Davis
The Currency of Democracy
LIVE every other Wednesday at 7:00 on DCAT
Danvers, MA

Michael, Thank you for acknowledging

you recieved the very informative post I wanted you to look at and am glad you are reviewing it thoroughly! The forum communities are pulling together to help each other by sharing legal information to help fight this shakedown. I wanted to make sure you scroll to the bottom of that post link by admin of GLP to see the disclaimer he has for his site. Also I want make sure you didn't miss this important advice:

"There is one more VERY IMPORTANT POINT that almost ALL websites have overlooked.

That is the matter of LEGAL JURISDICTION....

Remember the last thing you want is for someone like righthaven to be able to sue you in their own home town where it costs them NOTHING to walk across the street and file piles of legal paperwork against you. Not to mention the judges in their own town might be slightly biased.... (it happens)

You need to make a statement somewhere on your website that states users of your website are operating passively under the Jurisdiction that your company / you are based in.


If you do this the people suing you will be forced to hire council in your local jurisdiction (if they are not on the bar in your state) and they will have to actually TRAVEL to where you ARE if it goes to court.

This makes you a much more difficult target for legal bottom feeders..."
Anyone that has a website/forum should read this thread in full! Here is the thread again from GLP:

The Righthaven copyright lawsuit legal loophole and how to protect yourself from being sued... SPREAD THE WORD TO ALL WEBSITES!!

* Anyway, I hope the info helps save you some frustration, time and money as well as all site owners here and elsewhere.

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

Thanks, Liberty_Belle

If we set up a site, this will be helpful.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Bumping for attention~For ALL website owners

~ Very important that you please read all the info in the link above.


"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

Dead Tree Media

trying not to die too quickly


Hit their insurer with a multi-million dollar claim

As it sounds like a clear-cut case of a vexatious litigant engaged in malicious prosecution.

ytc's picture

We just sent our "tuition" to Michael N in gratitude for. . .

going through this plight FOR us and helping us learn aplenty about:

1) (predatory) copyright (trolling) business, Fair Use doctrine etc.

2) the (sleazy) character of former colleagues of Michelle & Barak Obama at Sidley Austin law firm in Chicago.

3) the resourcefulness of quick and unequivocal support of the capable DP community.

Thanks for all you do, Michael N and other key players here. Hang in there!
We are looking forward to learning a lot more through this episode and many other great threads that pass by here.

northstar's picture

Righthaven now suing the Democratic Party

Real eyes realize real lies

We want our country back

Every year is a year for Ron Paul!

Looks like "Righthaven" is uniting all sides against them...

Looks like Righthaven is uniting all sides against them, proving we don't even have to do any work to educate the left.

The leftist liberals know a fraud when they see one. "Righthaven" is known as Lefthaven, as far as I'm concerned where all the elite neo-liberal statists go back home to play.

If it is possible for the left to wake up from their delusion about the far-left being good for them, then perhaps the government still has a chance.

The far-left is run by a pack of rampaging, lunatic neoliberal scumbags. And they are all "on the same side", so don't try to fool people.

Keith Olbermann, CATO, Steve Gibson, WorldNetDaily, Glenn Beck, Pelosi & the United Nations are all on the same team. Same side, same nasty face!

The far left communist agenda. From Roosevelt down to Clinton down to Bush and Obama.

Who's worse? The devil you know? Or the devil you don't. We know "Newt" and the marxist bishops.

Who do they know? Do they know James Warren, the loser who is friends with Steve Gibson is in fact a neo-liberal hack? Newsweak magazine.

Rand Paul laid the smackdown on these fools two weeks ago when we were still wide awake.

photoshopwiz's picture

short reid clip

Errrr ... really dislike this new site, and their sleazy videos. That being said, in this vid Reid is stated to have said that he hopes a certain Las Vegas publication goes out of business ...