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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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Where is their Proof of Claim?

In my understanding of commercial law (I am not claiming to be a licensed attorney), I don't think we have to worry about this site being shut down.

This attorney is only attempting to contract with you Michael. We are all honorable people here and we understand that they have to have a claim to move forward or their action is baseless. If you receive any documents from this law firm, always politely offer to settle this matter by removing any questionable content if they have a proof of claim that they had communicated with you in the past to remove such items.

Let's not get so carried away with the nonsense. We are only here to set off, settle, and close all disputes. Hiring an attorney to argue a case is counterproductive.

meekandmild's picture

No such thing as a "licensed" attorney

AS PER THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT;
A. The practice of Law CAN NOT be licensed by any state/State Schware v. Board
of Examiners, 353 U.S. 238, 239
B. The practice of Law is AN OCCUPATION OF COMMON RIGHT!
Sims v. Aherns, 271 S.W. 720 (1925)

Yeah props for that tidbit of

Yeah props for that tidbit of info

Noted...thanks for the

Noted...thanks for the info.
I'm constantly learning new things!

Soon enough this republic will be restored.

This will NOT stand...

we will definitely give them hell...

“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

You can count on funds from me

I've been a long time reader of the DP and I will definitely contribute to a defense fund.

Is a CLASS ACTION - COUNTER SUIT with the other 107 possible?

Also, a big question is, WHO IS MAKING ANY MONEY by using content from their publication?

WHERE IS THE DAMAGE???

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Freedom

I'm in. Get them Michael. Keep freedom alive.
Jim Mc

Complain to the Las Vegas and Nevada Bar Associations

The bar takes a dim view of this kind of predatory tactics. Besides, lawyers busy defending themselves against ethics charges have less time to support their plantiff(s).

BTW, if people don't think criminal charges can come from a newspaper article, they don't remember the John Belushi case. The woman who gave John Belushi the drug overdose was charged with murder after she was interviewed by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

Attorney

Michael should consult with counsel before filing a complaint with the bar; if there is any grounds for an official complaint (and whether there is or not, I don't know), it will be more effective if the filing thereof is assisted by Michael's counsel.

Vin Suprynowicz has opened for Dr. Paul in LV...and

writes for the RJ
will contact him immediately to voice my outrage
hoping others will do the same

and contacting all I know in LV to ask they do the same and/or cancel any subscriptions

EFF knows their stuff and has been decrying this very tactic for a while now....

so sorry MN...but know we will all certainly stand proudly, and gratefully, with you

cee cee

Whitehouse Copyright Czar

Victoria Espinel.. is also an executive for Sidley Austin Law Firm and so is Michelle Obama.

Sidley Austin is the firm RightHaven Founder Steve Gibson was an associate of during the same period Michelle Obama and Barak Obama were associates there.

see Executives list here:
http://www.nndb.com/company/955/000122589/

RightHaven the Blog and Forum lawsuit firm and the ties to Obama
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1144773/pg1

"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

said another way

when michelle obama worked at the sidley austin law firm, she met 2 colleagues there. one she married, and the other is suing alex jones, and michael nystrom.

hmm.

birds of the same feather, flock together?

whoa!

and then . . . WOE!

!!!!!!!!!

This thing goes ugly and deep then, doesn't it?

No offense to the Nevadans, but when I see L V I . . . start getting mad.

There's a lot of garbage floating around out there in glitz world!

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

now that is

interesting!

If he can't do it through a kill switch...

If he can't do it through a kill switch, he'll do it using proxies, controlled opposition and copyright law.

This is a racket and extortion..this copyright lawsuit BS is a tool to intimidate free speech. I think it will backfire bigtime and awaken and unify all forums and bloggers..not just the ones 'targeted'!!

"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

what a crock of dung

Looks like some of the smart folks here are up to speed on what this is really about - extortion.

This is a rampant issue today with big corporations teaming up with law firms to enforce copyright infringement for the sole aim of settlement to collect easy cash.

Id like to point out that this isnt new or something thats localized to the blogger world. INDIVIDUALS are also facing the same type of treatment currently through claims of filesharing infringement, with notices sent out with nothing but IP numbers attached to them rather than addressing an actual recipient. I realize the circumstances behind that are of a different manner altogether but it does go to show that there is a serious undergone effort in the corporate world to employ extortion-style techniques to cash in on money they would have never received anyway.

I think all of us here are ready to fight :)

We are with you

Michael. Do not back down. Anyone who settles just gives them more ammunition to harass others. Let us know what we can do.

Healthnut4freedom

The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment...Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight. Prov 12:19,22

If AJ is getting sued too,

If AJ is getting sued too, then maybe his lawyers would try to bring everyone together somehow on this. Did u check with him?

you know, what's to stop

Someone from Righthaven, or other shill, from actually posting the offending article, and then filing the copyright suit ?

I mean, many of us a pretty anonymous.

Check the IP address of the poster

That might reveal something, possibly.

Nope

use TOR and post here with an IP from Germany, Hungary, etc through proxy server!

Don't worry,

we will send them back under the rock from whence they came ;)

The DP is proof that the grassroots support for Ron Paul and his peaceful message of individual liberty is large, real, and not going away!

lose

rhymes with "clues"

"loose"... rhymes with "goose". It means 'to set something free'.

misuse of everyday, common words can be used to make us look foolish...my $.02

In searching for their sponsors I found this

Not from their site:Las Vegas Review-Journal Thinks Suing Sites Over Copyright Will Mean More People Link To It

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100816/03474210634.shtml

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.

Boycott is much more likely.

I'M certainly not going to their publications again. It isn't as if they have a name for particularly cutting edge news, or anything.

And think how many read the DP? Just losing the links HERE will cut down their traffic, significantly, I would think. We are good about linking.

Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesnt want to hear -RonPaul

This is weird....

The DP shows up in the wiki entry...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas_Review-Journal

Wiki links to this as an organization that will "help."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Frontier_Foundation

And it looks like these are the funders of the "help."
http://www.globalnetworkinitiative.org/participants/index.php

Seems like a tangled web.

LOL

I added the Blogger Shakedown section last night. Feel free to add more content!

ROFL!

Too funny.