23 votes

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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Chicago style extortion/racket

"Chicago style extortion/racket" some one said that below and I feel they are correct.

You have my support Michael and when you take this to court and WIN you and the DailyPaul will have made history - again.

Jury Duty

This is why we should all be glad for a jury summons. Our votes count.

Judges absolutely hate plainiffs who don't attempt to settle or make any attempt to communicate. They weren't smart to pick on the DP.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Michael Nystrom's picture

I wish I could pick my jury from the pool of individuals here

on the Daily Paul.

I would have nothing to worry about.

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

If this continues, it would be the end of free forums

Perhaps this is the "internet kill switch." There is no way DP can police the content of users to the degree that would be required.

Can you guys get together and do a class-action countersuit?

meekandmild's picture

The Las Vegas Review Journal is probably going bankrupt

like others in the printed newspaper world, trying to raise money how ever it can.
I'll help with what I can on the defense fund. I'll avoid using any info from The Las Vegas Review Journal or link.

Long live the Daily Paul

Michael Nystrom's picture

LV Sun is the good paper

meekandmild,

I edited your comment. The Las Vegas Sun is the good paper. Steve Green has been a tremendous help to me.

It is the LV Review Journal that has got me in the bind with Righthaven.

Frankly I'm terrified now of even posting a link to their site. Who knows, they might even sue me for that!

Long Live the Daily Paul!

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

Why on earth would you want to increase their traffic?

I think we should all just avoid them, and we can start with the Sun, instead, for our Las Vegas news...

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

meekandmild's picture

No worries

I see it was corrected in the OP too.

I am going to try and make sure they do

With absolutely no connection to the DP I am contacting their sponsors about this alliance.

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.

Point out how you will not link

to their site, and how that will drive their web traffic down, so no one will see the ads.

Also because of their association with this scam

My friends and I that add up to thousands will boycott their products.

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.

well, this is . . .

just a nasty business.

I'm sorry, Michael, but it sounds as though you have heavy artillery behind you. I may only have a b-b gun, but I'll use it . . .

These people sound like sharks.

l v r j . . . sounds like an 'operation'--

?!

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

Bravo, dexterszyd!

I was going to suggest the same thing. We need to discuss strategy and such with Michael "off line".
This whole "rumor" of a lawsuit is just to test the waters to see what our approach would be for our defense--hence, the fact they haven't served yet. They also needed to know how much financial assistance DP will get from supporters.
So everybody, just be cool...

We need a secondary site to meet at

if this site is pulled down in an injunction...or some other crap. Any suggestions? If this site was pulled...we all would be lost. Any plan?

ronpaulforums.com

ronpaulforums.com would be a good choice. C4L too.

Surely most of us are not so helpless as to be unable to find Ron Paul info on the internet... This is my favorite Ron Paul site, but it's not the only one I visit. Once upon a time there were a bunch of links to other RP friendly sites, but I see that's gone now.
I always thought that was a good idea, so why did it go?

As someone suggested below

Nip it in the bud and contact their sponsors about their association with these slime balls.

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.

Just when you think

it is as close to as bad as it can get....it gets worse. This is an outright attack on our little freedom that we have here. This is horrible. Michael.....whatever is needed just let us know. We will support you 100%, Financially, Spiritually, and if it comes down to it we got your back.
.
Takeaction
.
P.S. Even though we "Bicker" within the DP community and some hold animosity towards others...this is a time to welcome all new comers and stand by all that are here. We may be divided in some conversations....but we all stand strong when one is attacked.
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One more thing.....Michael....I am a busy person with life just as you. This sucks to have to deal with this bullshit right now while you try and work/play/family/DP....etc. Nobody needs this extra crap on the plate. I will tell you right now.....this may propel the DP into the spotlight. Watch the traffic...it may go through the roof. The ads on the DP....may start getting thousands of clicks......and end results...Profit...Quit your regular job and run the DP from Hawaii.....wooohooo...it may all be predestined for the better!!

legal expense help

I have limited income but believe me there is no doubt I would support your legal defense fund. This is one very important battle and imho, more important than any of the same party, different color political fund raisers going on. Michael you are in my prayers as always. Dark days indeed and the storm waves just keep rolling in, God help us all. It would be interesting to know who is funding this Righthaven LLC.

chinkadaro

Since Steve Gibson admits in the WIRED article,...

that his sole intention is, not to exercise "intellectual property rights," but to intimidate and collect funds those who may have innocently abused those rights, I wonder if the Nevada Attorney General's office should be contacted, as that could be construed as criminal extortion. Since Mr. Gibson did this repeatedly across state lines, the DOJ may need contacting and a RICO suit filed.

This should start with you Nevada DAILY PAUL supporters.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Yes,

Basically what he admits to is running a racket. And he's running it across state lines.

Anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) laws can be applied in an attempt to curb alleged abuses of the legal system by individuals or corporations who utilize the courts as a weapon to retaliate against whistle blowers, victims, or to silence another's speech. RICO could be alleged if it can be shown that lawyers and/or their clients conspired and collaborated to concoct fictitious legal complaints solely in retribution and retaliation for themselves having been brought before the courts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrup...

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

Go, Michael!!

:D

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 stood out to me..

"In addition, the LVRJ.com website encourages and invites its users to 'Email This,' 'Save This,' 'Print This' and subscribe to its 'RSS Feeds.' This not only puts the users of LVRJ.com in a quagmire, but it is the opinion of the defendant that LVRJ.com is guilty of ENTRAPMENT (emphasis mine), or at least setting up the users of LVRJ.com for a potential lawsuit."

MN if you want, email me your cell, and I will try to get you in touch with AJ.

I was having a discussion with an attorney last week. He was talking about the general attitude of juries lately, and how they were acting favorably toward the little guy, and sticking it to "the man".

There is a bubbling anger amongst the population, and I see this action as something that will be shot down in flames from all directions.

Several years ago, Direct TV tried to sue people that they thought were stealing its signal. The laws in Canada were grey at the time regarding access of DTV's signal, from a country where it wasn't offered. There were several small companies that sprung up selling ISO chip smart card readers and other types of equipment, almost overnight.

Long story short, Canada eventually changed the laws and began kicking in the doors of these companies, which resulted in some of them releasing their customer lists.

DTV sent out "trolling" letters accusing people of stealing, and claimed that they could settle for a certain amount, to avoid being sued by DTV.

The problem was that much of the equipment being sold was not made specifically for stealing DTV or Dishnet signal. It could be used for Ecommerce, and other Internet security type applications.
In many cases they were counter sued for extortion, and cases were dismissed.

I don't know why I bring this up, other than to help some folks realize that an entity that seems like a Goliath, can sometimes be a paper tiger, and folded up and trashed.
Never underestimate your opponent though.

Here to help if I can.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Excellent, thank you

I'm sending you my contact info now.

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

Just a few hours and already 163 comments. The DP community is h

Just a few hours and already 163 comments. The DP community is here; Ready, willing and able!

Boris in Miami

"it is good for the establishment to adopt liberty ideology, but it is not good for those who have already adopted liberty to fall to the feet of the establishment." ~ Annica2

Mad As Hell !

Don't worry Michael..not only are the DP members Mad as Hell ..the whole interent community of bloggers and forums will stand against this! Already 307 results for google search 'DailyPaul RightHaven'

MAD AS HELL! ( Network scene)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMBZDwf9dok&feature=related

"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

fireant's picture

I hope this guy gets hit with hundreds of counter actions.

I'll be happy to chip in...

Undo what Wilson did

The real scam.....

Is the person suing the Daily Paul. It's a similar scheme to Monsanto suing farmers for patent infringement when their GMO products show up on near-by farms. Just the fact that a bee or the wind might polinate crops doesn't matter. They can blanket sue farmers hoping they will give in and pay to settle.

No way we can let them win against the DP. We definitely need to stand behind Michael and make sure the site stays up.

Does this mean we're now legit?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju0UOrnWoZk

Today we fight! Please don't worry too much about this Michael. Past levels of generosity can be easily exceeded. What's the alternative? We give up and quit? Make a payoff so we can keep our freedom? We've got your back.

The question "where are the damages?" is a good one. Where are the damages? It's not like any Daily Paulers would read/subscribe to any of the snot-rags these stunted monkeys publish.

Censorship by proxy?

It would be very interesting to find out all the parties involved on the other side of this. If it were a simple grab for money, I would say it could just be the news organization looking to fill its coffers with some fast cash in the wake of printed media's demise.

However, the inclusion of the forfeiture of the domain name immediately caught my attention. What possible benefit could that serve beside quieting an opposing voice?

I think a massive 'chip-in against censorship' campaign should define our line in the sand. Hopefully, there are some libertarian minded law-dogs here that can handle the legal aspects so Michael isn't left swinging in the breeze.

Let's wait till the papers are filed first and see what the best recourse is.

Oh, and did I forget an absolute boycott of the Las Vegas Sun and Review Journal. If they think they're hurting for cash now.... just give it a few months.

Is it civil disobedience to follow newspaper delivery trucks and pick up all copies of the Sun? Would it be considered a violation of the first amendment to empty all the street corner coin-op boxes of their papers and use them for kindling?

These are the things I wonder about....

I may not know the truth, but I know when I'm being lied to...

Ill help

In any capacity I can. If I were a younger man.. Id take different steps, but luckily with age, comes wisdom.

You have 100% of my support Mr. Nystrom. This is total B.S.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul