Copyright troll

Just wanted to inform y’all that I will be scrubbing the site of any news images that could result in a copyright lawsuit, as has happened to several other bloggers.

So at some point I may be limited to 1) official PR photos or 2) photos I take myself. Of course, I can still use YouTube videos.

By law, you’re supposed to get a takedown notice, and as long as you comply, it ends there. This company, owned by a Nevada lawyer, finds the images, buys the copyrights and then sues the websites in federal court without any kind of notice.

So far, they’ve made almost $400K in settlements.

Anyway, I’m not sure if they’re starting with the big blogs and working their way down, but I’m going to start removing them now, at least until this case is settled. In case you were wondering why:

New evidence surfaced Friday in the Righthaven LLC lawsuits that attorneys say could undermine Righthaven’s entire copyright infringement lawsuit campaign over Las Vegas Review-Journal stories.

Attorneys for the online freedom of speech group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed heavily-redacted court papers in Las Vegas on Friday asking the federal court for permission to use the evidence against Righthaven and Stephens Media LLC.

Stephens Media owns the Review-Journal and a Stephens Media affiliate co-owns Righthaven.

Righthaven in the past year has filed 239 copyright infringement lawsuits against website operators and message-board posters, charging material from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post has been re-posted online without authorization.

The information filed Friday involves a Righthaven lawsuit against the Democratic Underground, which was sued after a message-board user posted on the Democratic Underground site four paragraphs from a 34-paragraph Review-Journal story.

The Democratic Underground fired back with a counterclaim against Righthaven and Stephens Media. Both the lawsuit and the counterclaim appear headed toward resolution with competing motions for dismissal by Stephens Media and Righthaven and for summary judgment by the Democratic Underground.

A key issue in the litigation is the relationship between Righthaven and Stephens Media and their arrangement in which Righthaven was able to file its lawsuits after obtaining copyright assignments from Stephens Media.

Key to understanding the relationship is that Righthaven obtains rights to the copyrights weeks or months after they are allegedly infringed on by defendants posting stories, photos and graphics on their websites. Then, weeks or months after that, defendants are sued.

That’s why critics call Righthaven a copyright troll. It finds alleged infringements and then obtains the copyrights — and after that files its suits.

6 thoughts on “Copyright troll

  1. I read about these parasites several weeks ago — and if they’re after Dem Underground, well, who knows how desperate they are to find marks.

  2. Uh-oh, I’m screwed… Should have known there was a lawyer out there waiting to cash in on something like this. Sounds like the sort of guy who, if he could copyright the sunshine, would charge you a thousand bucks a minute to bask in it.

  3. I got the impression that we all abided by the copyright rules. Are you now saying that it’s not TRUE!?


    (No, seriously, I did.)

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