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

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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.

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! 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:

Law.com - Birth of the Copyright Troll

Wired.com - 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 lvrj.com. 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.

Michael

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northstar's picture

LVRJ CEO interview

From youtube description:
Jon talks with the CEO of the company suing websites on behalf of the LVRJ for alleged copyright infringement. Plus, candidates ...

http://www.google.com/search?q=righthaven&tbo=p&tbs=vid%3A1&source=vgc&hl=en&aq=f

The youtube link is a search string because the actual videos don't play in youtube. They are mp4 files and I have no idea why the files never got converted to play on youtube. I see parts, 1, 2, and 4 but no 3.

Real eyes realize real lies

We want our country back

Every year is a year for Ron Paul!

Seg1 is the only relevant one

It should be in the OP.

I love you, Jon Ralston, please don't sue Michael because we want to watch your work on mp4. ;)

Defend Liberty!

It appears we are at total war now.....

This statist thug Steven Gibson, friend of Obama & Bush is a disgusting neo-liberal hack of the worst order.

Ron Paul or Mr. Baldwin should scold this fraud.

He is actually defending CATO institute and insulting OUR Liberty candidates, OUR movement, all of our values as well....

When the media has no defense all it does is make up smears, attacks with terrorism & goes into control freak mode. Then they blame colored people.

This is total proof of that. The guy should not be loose on our streets, just like many in the corporate media. I will defend his right to free speech but may he pay criminal fines for trying to shut down free speech & even shut down Alex Jones.(whom I rarely agree with)

Righthaven's side of the story

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzRbC7lQ-EQ

Many people are listening to them.

;)

I got $20 for the first round

I got $20 for the first round of the defense. Just say the word....

Enter blowback and unintended consequences.

..

"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth." - George Washington

ANOTHER!

Probably not a good idea, that.

That photo wasn't by any chance copied and pasted from the newspaper's website? Where it was copyrighted? Which is why Michael is being sued, and you just did it again?

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

The mustache and the pin...

... are photoshopped, but did you change the color of his tie?

or does this "happy" man wear pink ties?

Check this

That is

AWESOME!!

Michael????

Any Updates you can talk about????

Michael Nystrom's picture

Not really

I've gotten a LOT of support from members of the community. Since everything here is public, I don't want to go into too much detail...

However, there is an effort to organize a joint defense:

http://www.thearmedcitizen.com/

I've spoken to a couple of lawyers informally, but haven't gotten much I can really say publicly. The EFF responded, and is looking over my suit, which is great.

My inbox looks like the crossroads of hell with all the new information.

I'm very happy that we're united on this, and I'm confident that we will prevail!

I wish there was more that I could say, but that is all for now.

Thank you for asking ;)

The Daily Paul continues to exist only with your support. Please contribute to the the DP's Summer 2014 Fundraiser.

Appreciate your response

I think I can speak for the entire DP community on this one.......We are on the edge of our seat....even though most of us don't know you personally, we feel the same stress as you do when our special place (The DP) is threatened since we have been on this site together for years. When something like this happens to one of the members it goes to show you that we all will be by each others side when action is needed. Please keep us updated as much as you can.
Thanks
Takeaction

I have a copy of the

I have a copy of the complaint if you need it. Its not very good. I think it fails to state relief to constitute a claim. You definitely have several good defenses.

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

We got your back, Michael

Everyone is behind you on this. No worries.

Some of my posts were

Some of my posts were removed. Anyone know why? I just made comments on the complaint and answered Amanda's questions.

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

One thing I really hate

is a coward. Righthaven is cowardly, and I hope the judge has a spine and throws them in jail for this obvious bullshit.

Can anyone organize a moneybomb for Michael?

Is http://michaelnystrommoneybomb.com taken?

I can donate an ounce of gold if necessary. I don't have the time to organize, though.

Steve Gibson has Obama ties

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1144773/pg1
Someone has done their homework!

Join me on Revolution Broadcasting .com at 8PM EST. Fri evenings. Tune in to Keep America Free with Amanda Moore

Debbie's picture

Good job on that one!! Also, see some of their

comments, they are great.

Debbie

Just a few thoughts on the lawsuit

First, If they didn't own the copyright before the article was posted there should not be an infringement.

Second, a lawsuit like this should be hinged on loss. What loss the the plantiff incur as a result of the reposted material?

Third, does his lawsuit infringe on your right to free speech?

Fourth, Was it the intention of the blogger to rip off or steal content was it an honest attempt to educate readers?

Fifth, Is Righthaven going after any left bloggers or mainstream media?

Sixth, If given permission by the author to repost an article, would righthaven still have dominion over the intellectual property?
Those are just some questions that I have. Does anyone have those answers?
Amanda

Join me on Revolution Broadcasting .com at 8PM EST. Fri evenings. Tune in to Keep America Free with Amanda Moore

Amanda, Brian...A Loophole in DMCA

is what is allowing them to extort settlements.
Please see:

"We've been wondering how they can get away with that legally and it turns out an obscure section of the DMCA concerning the "safe harbor" noticing proceeders requires that in order for a website to qualify for "safe harbor" and thus require a copyright complainant to first give the webmaster notice and time to take down the material before suing them, requires (amongst other things) that each website register their contact information with the United States Copyright office.."

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1146844/pg1
also posted here
http://dailypaul.com/node/143700#comment-1528468

And yes, some 'left' sites are being sued- Democratic Underground and the State Democratic Party. There's more ..see this article and check out all the archives on the issue to the right.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/sep/01/pr-firm-kirvin-d...

also see
R-J accused of entrapment
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/aug/23/r-j-accused-entr...

"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

Here is the loophole in the DMCA that R-J is using to sue

see first link above and read the full article in link!

"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

northstar's picture

Newspaper Chain’s New Business Plan: Copyright Suits

Steve Gibson has a plan...

More at:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/copyright-trolling-...

Maybe this is how we're supposed to post/link now 5 words or less? lol

Real eyes realize real lies

We want our country back

Every year is a year for Ron Paul!

Let's get these copyright

Just heard on Clark Howard

Collections agencies have been falsifying proof that people have been notified of summons so that they can get summary judgments. Watch out for that one.

Defend Liberty!

Countersue them under the RICO Act

They will go to prison.

That would be a meritless

That would be a meritless suit. He can just get this dismissed and seek fees for frivolous lawsuit.

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