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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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yes

send me the list, please.

Sent!

I need to read my own quote from time to time,The second has the link.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

thank you

It is *useful* info to have, isn't it?

I wonder if there is a way to quantify how much traffic was SENT to thier website from the DP - if it can be quantified, part of the countersuit could claim that not only was it "FAIR USE", but the site increased exposure to the slime balls.

Yes very useful

Just go straight to Daddy and have the allowance cut off because you abused your privileges with the vehicle.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

fireant's picture

I'd like to see it...

. Thanks.

Undo what Wilson did

Sent !

Thanks!

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

This issue obviously needs to

This issue obviously needs to be legally addressed and solved.

What is to stop these criminals from signing up for user accounts on sites or logging on as guests and then posting their own articles with the intention of suing? The whole thing is ludicrous. Aside from some individuals settling to avoid the hassle, have these criminals actually won any damages from any defendants?

Could there be some larger organization behind this action to try to curtail public criticism against certain policies or agendas?

Great point.

Find an article on DP, post it on their website, and sue the crap out of them, or tell them to hand over their domain.

Excellent

That is a great point, and definitely one which Michael should discuss with his eventual counsel as a possible argument if it goes to trial. That is not to say there is any proof that Stephens Media did this, but rather that the reasonable possibility of that happening could be used in court as an argument against the basic legitimacy of the lawsuits or the constitutionality of the law.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Not Yet

None of the cases have gone to trial yet. About 30% or so have settled for a few thousand dollars. It just doesn't make sense economically to sue for most of the victims.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Sneaky jerks

Welcome to my world.
These guys sue you for this amount and it will take a similar amount as well as a ton of aggregation to fight them off. That's why people settle.
Principle says fight but it's very unsettling and time consuming.
I am so sorry.
I will do what I can.

Patriot News
http://redpillpost.com
*
Stand up For your Civil Rights
http://SueBadCops.com

We will not stand for this

information is unlimited now, and free to copy. This will not last.

Viva Freedom!!

LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP

Money, emails, anything...let us know. We are an army for freedom at your service.

And what about an

And what about an old-fashioned email bomb and 'opinion bomb' on their site. We used to be really good at flooding a website with comments:

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion

This action may be premature at this point.

We might want to wait until a real legal action has been done.Mr Nystrom has not been served yet.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

We need..

a law that states when someone posts anything to the public domain (the internet) they release the ownership rights and grant full licensing agreements to copy and reproduce that content.

You know what i'm trying to say right? I'm no lawyer but if you post something that is FREELY accessible to people, there should be no grounds for copyright suites.

Fair use guidelines

are important since most all posting contain a lot of commentary. The other aspect is damages. If there is data that shows a significant number of readers clicked through to the original site, thus increasing the readership, what damages are there ?

Most news outlets want there articles linked and discussed on blogs, it increases their readership, and gives the writers more reach and credibility.

Michael Nystrom's picture

If LVRJ wants to protect its content

There are simple ways for it to do so.

One defendant is counter charging LVRJ with entrapment.

At the very least they could be civil, and send an email.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

This is the exact reason why

This is the exact reason why I had been repeatedly warning people here to provide links, not wholesale cut and pasted articles. The likelihood of copyright lawsuits increases exponentially when content is simply lifted.

Do we need a DP money-bomb to

Do we need a DP money-bomb to fight back against these people?

Know your SCUM:

Courtesy of the InternetS, COMPLETELY PUBLIC Info:

Steven A. Gibson:

http://www.nolo.com/ldir/lawyerprofile.do?lawyerId=3547

I will be sending out....

emails and texts about this tonight when I get home to gather local support where I am at....hope this pisses people off enough for them to show support for the DP if needed....

“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." - Eric Schmidt

fireant's picture

It took a while for this to soak in for me.

Now I see it as a PERSONAL ATTACK upon my ability to freely discuss political opinion on this most valuable site. Thank you Michael!

I'd be madder than I am, except for the fact I know they have done picked on the wrong crowd.

I don't know what the motive is, but I can only imagine it will end up driving more hits here, which is a good thing. So, in that sense, thank you Righthaven LLC.

Undo what Wilson did

They will lose

Whomever said they picked the wrong group to mess with is right.

A multi million dollar counter sue is in order- we'll destroy them in court and this frivolous will be put out of business.

Hmm maybe sue Las Vegas Review since they seem to be in bed with this guy..

Lets get a campaign going!!

Government is supposed to protect our freedom, our property, our privacy, not invade it. Ron Paul 2007

Who are the Advertisers for the "plaintiff" - Templates please

All of their advertisers should be aware of the activities of this organization and we can let the Free Market :) decide if they like what is being done.

If anyone can pull the advertising list of this organization I will be glad to participate in developing a template email that could be sent to each email address we can find.

Boycotting is an act of Liberty!

We'll make this thread, Legal Craig's List for Liberty Central.

In Liberty,
Francisco

Yours in Health and Freedom

Trying to find it now

But I won't post it,I will email it to those that want it when I get it compiled.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

fireant's picture

I was wondering about that.

What's the reason for not posting the list?

Undo what Wilson did

Their ad list IS protected material for sure.

but I nailed it down and have the link to it for anyone who wants it,Please do not represent the DP when emailing them.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

0_0

Michael, don´t worry about the money, we will have a money bomb to help you if something happens FOR SURE!

Ask if you can go on Alex Jones Show to talk about this, it has to go VIRALLLLLL!

~~
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for the rest of his life.
Teach a man to phish and he'll clean out your bank account.
~~