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thearmedcitizen.com under attack ... please help

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by esquare, Jul 23, 2010.

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  1. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Oh I see, because you don't perceive the loss as being significant enough to the victim that the victim should surrender the claim to copyrights. Funny how we are so willing to give up other people's rights but not our own.

    Of course none of the people who visit LVRJ's website would ever look at the advertisements for things other than plumbing like say, oh I don't know, hotels, gambling, resorts, entertainment packages.

    What sort of ill-will is being built. Do you have ill-will toward other companies that have sued to protect their copyrights? Just curious. I have not heard of anyone ever complaining about how negatively they feel about some company that went to court for their copyrights, but maybe I am missing something here. I know I don't harbor ill will toward the artists and recording companies that sued Napster.
     
  2. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    The group that is behind this did not produce any copyrighted material.

    They purchased/leased/whatever the copyright from the newspapers, for the sole purpose of this "legal extortion".

    And to be honest with you, before this foulness blew in, I'd never heard of the LVRJ, and even if I had, why would I go there to look at hotels, gambling, resorts, etc? It's a local rag - I'd be more likely to find job offers from those businesses than any "vacation packages".

    Time to wake up to reality here.
     
  3. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    No, you don't seem to understand how things work.

    [1] A lawyer can't do anything on his own. He must have a client with a legally cognizable interest.

    [2] The lawyer by himself has no claim. The lawyer by himself has suffered no injury and has no standing to seek redress on his personal behalf.

    [3] The lawyer must have a client who has suffered an injury. It is the client who seeks redress, and the lawyer represents the client. Any recovery belongs to the client, and the client pays the lawyer the fee that the client has agreed to pay, and the lawyer has agreed to accept, for services rendered.

    [4] Here the client is the person/entity who owns the copyright that was allegedly infringed. The injury to that person/entity was the infringement of that copyright. The law provides that copyright owner whose copyright was infringed with a remedy in the form of, among other things, a right to money damages from the person who infringed the copyright.

    [5] The lawyer pursues that claim for money damages, as authorized by law, on behalf of the copyright owner who has that claim. The lawyer does not, and can not, do it on his own behalf, because he does not own the copyright and thus has no claim of his own for damages.

    [6] And yes, the lawyer makes money doing this. That is is business, and he gets paid for the work he does. Don't you (or didn't you, if now retired) get paid for the work you do (or did)?

    Again, so what? That group is still the owner of the copyright. The newspaper didn't produce the copyrighted material. It "bought" the copyright from the author.

    The bottom line is that Righthaven's business model may be smarmy. But it is legal, and the folks it is going after did allegedly infringe copyrights. If they did infringe copyrights, they shouldn't have done it; and they are legally liable. (If they claim they didn't, they will have to defend themselves.)

    At the same time, it's really not all that hard to avoid infringing a copyright. True, it may be unclear how little is little enough to come withing fair use, but it's crystal clear that reproducing an entire article is an infringement.
     
  4. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Fiddletown, a law firm obtained the use/ownership/whatever to the copyrights for this material for the express purposes of pursuing this 'legal extortion".

    The newspaper got paid for their copyrights by the law firm.

    The lawyers are now out to get paid.

    I have been posting here because I feel that just because it's legal doesn't make it right, and these slimy lawyers are proving this.

    The above is what has me all irate. Copyright is great. Viva la copyright.

    Slimy lawyers suck.
     
  5. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    The fact that the CEO of Righthaven is a lawyer doesn't make Righthaven a law firm. Nor does it mean that in pursuing its remedies it is practicing law.

    The woods are full of businesses whose CEO, or other senior officers, are lawyers. Many lawyers decide to stop practicing law and instead become executives (or do other things).

    Again, Righthaven's business model may be smarmy, but its targets also shouldn't have infringed those copyrights.

    In effect, TAC and other Internet vehicles took a business risk when they got sloppy about the copyright laws. They exposed themselves to the risk that someone would come along who was aggressive enough to exploit the copyright laws against them. Well it looks like TAC and others gambled and lost.
     
  6. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    You are forgetting past cases which found that forum owners (or operators of other web venues with user-contributed content) weren't liable for the content their users presented.

    Viacom recently lost a case against Youtube over this very matter.

    As to "smarmy" and "shouldn't have infringed", let me paste some other stuff:

    They're not owners of the copyright at the time they find an "infringement"? Smells fishy to me.
     
  7. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    If you contend that there are cases in which forums or blogs successfully resisted these sorts of infringement claims, you will need to post citation and detailed information. We don't have to accept your assertions, and you need to support your claims or we are free to dismiss them out of hand. There's no reason we should do your research for you.

    So others don't like Righthaven's tactics either. It's still up to Righthaven how it wants to pursue its claims. If it's acting legally, it doesn't need your permission or the permission of anyone else (unless, perhaps, a judge finds it is doing something legally improper).
     
  8. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  9. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    The Viacom case doesn't give operators of websites a free ride on copyright infringement. All it essentially provides is that the party claiming copyright infringement must identify with particularity the infringing material. That is not an issue here.

    Your other link doesn't work.
     
  10. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Your other link doesn't work

    Which is why people (used to) post links and quoted excerpts.
     
  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Theoretical Question

    If authors or publishers who regard free credited reprints of news items a form of free advertising for their source suffer a perceived loss as a result of the chilling effect of Righthaven' s profit strategy, would they have grounds for disapproving of Righthaven's conduct?
     
  12. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

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    My understanding of the business model is that Righthaven approaches publishers and tries to get them to sign a contract where Righthaven gets money from infringers and they split the proceeds some way. There may be some vetting of potential clients, something like "we found 12,000 infringements in our search, and since 70% of infringers pay an average of $2,955 within 60 days we think that we can collect $24.8 million within the next few months. Of course, we have our costs to consider, but our very generous payout of 30% will net you nearly $7.5 million in a reasonably short timeframe. In these harsh economic times when traditional business models are being undermined....." (This is all made up and pulled out of the air, but it's easy for me to put together a pitch, and I think something similar is happening behind the scenes.)

    You get the idea. It's appealing to lots of publishers, I'd bet. And I don't think anyone will get a letter from the company in question until the copyright holders have signed on.
     
  13. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Las Vegas Review-Journal's rival, the Las Vegas Sun, is having fun with this.

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/aug/04/some-targets-righthaven-lawsuits-fighting-back/

    If you find watching a train wreck in progress both scarifying and fascinating, do click the link.
     
  14. lloveless

    lloveless Member

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    I am not a lawyer. Fair use to me is giving someone credit for their work. If someone quotes what we say here on another forum without our permission is that grounds for litigation? I think not. When somone writes a story for a newspaper it is meant to be made public. The newspaper gets its pay from advertising(within the paper) and selling the newspaper to people interested. One article etc doesn't constitute infringement to my way of thinking especially if credit is given. I travel. Trying to get to links is a PITA, because I get an OOPS the line is broken. Maybe the blog being sued should countersue for the advertising that the newspaper recieved persuant to their reproduction of the article?
    ll
     
  15. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    To your way of thinking, perhaps. Nonetheless, it is legally infringement, even with attribution.

    And what constitutes fair use is also pretty well settled, and it's more than just giving credit. The fair use doctrine allows quoting only a small part of the written material, together with attribution. How small is "small" may be vague, but it's clear that reproducing all, or substantially all, of copyrighted material is infringement, even if credit is given.

    The law may not seem sensible or fair, but it is what it is -- at least unless and until Congress changes it. And while Righthaven may be smarmy, that in itself is not a defense to an infringement claim.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  16. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    A newspaper publisher who won a national award commented that the actions of Righthaven and Los Vegas Review-Journal surprised him. As soon as a news item is stale and the competition cannot scoop your breaking news, a credited reprint in a blog is like free advertising.

    Also, since I have been checking Las Vegas area stories (like the Erick Scott shooting), I notice Las Vegas Review-Journal website shows up less and less in search engines when I search by subject. I am told that is because search engines tend to reflect the (usage of the searchers) linkage of websites. Which implies since the Righthaven lawsuits started, (searchers are less likely to look for) websites are less likely to link to Las Vegas Review-Journal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  17. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

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    That could also reflect the fact that less people are linking to the LVRJ, and as a result their page rank has gone down.

    It's easier to say "delete it" than it is to make a measurement over what level of fair use RightHaven will allow (apparently 4 of 34 paragraphs exceeds fair use in their mind, resulting in a $75,000 lawsuit).
     
  18. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Righthaven's latest "achievement":
    Read more (with commentary) Senate Candidate Sued By Copyright Troll - /.
     
  19. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Well of course it isn't grounds for infringement as what we say here isn't copyrighted.
     
  20. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    The Armed Citizen is up and other developments

    According to Wired, Realty One Group (Michael Nelson) won a summary dismissal in the suit filed by Righthaven. The judge agreed that quoting 8 of 30 sentences of a story was "fair use" under copyright guidelines. (David Kravets, "Righthaven Says It Will Stop Suing Over News Excerpts", Wired, Threat Level, 18 Nov 2010. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11/righthaven/ ) Also according to Wired after losing to Nelson, Righthaven asked the judge in their case against Democratic Underground to dismiss Righthaven's claim against DU.

    judges ruling: http://www.scribd.com/doc/39767798/Righthaven-v-Realty-One-Order
    There were four tests used by the court:
    A. Purpose and character of the use (commercial versus educational)
    B. The nature of the work (factual news was copied but not the reporter's commentary)
    C. Amount of copyrighted work used (eight out of thirty sentences)
    D. Effect on the potential market for copyrighted work ("little to no effect on the market for the copyrighted news article")

    Even though the commercial nature of Nelson's blog counted against fair use, the other three points were in favor of a finding of fair use.

    The judge noted that "Nelson directed readers of his blog to the full text of the Work" by providing a link to the full article after quoting eight sentences of news, and not quoting creative commentary by the reporter.
     
  21. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Righthaven and Stephens Media "Strategic Alliance Agreement"

    http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/04/why-righthaven-s-copyright-assignment-sham-and-why Electronic Frontier Foundation: April 18th, 2011 "Why Righthaven’s Copyright Assignment Is A Sham – And Why It Matters" by Kurt Opsahl

    http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/righthaven_v_dem/79-1.pdf
    DECLARATION OF LAURENCE F. PULGRAM IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS’ SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM ADDRESSING RECENTLY PRODUCED EVIDENCE RELATING TO PENDING MOTIONS
    in UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEVADA Case No. 10-01356-RLH (GWF)
    RIGHTHAVEN LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, Plaintiff,
    v. DEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND, LLC, a District of Columbia limited-liability company; and DAVID ALLEN, an individual, Defendants, and
    DEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND, LLC, a District of Columbia limited-liability company, Counterclaimant,
    v. RIGHTHAVEN LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, and STEPHENS MEDIA LLC, a Nevada limited-liability company, Counterdefendants.
     
  22. TexasBill

    TexasBill Member

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    Nothing like a good, sweeping statement. Wrong, but definitely sweeping. There are liberal newspapers and conservative newspapers. In the good old days, larger cities would have at least one of each.

    If you hope newspapers go out of business, how are you going to get your state and local news? The 30 minutes of news, sports and weather you get a couple of times a day that's mostly devoted to violent crime and fatal accidents? Even what you see on the national broadcasts is selected primarily for its lurid interest because the network is driven to gain the maximum audience so it can command the maximum advertising rates.

    Actually, it sounds to me like you're not looking for news; you're looking for a bias that agrees with yours. News is just that: news. It's neither liberal nor conservative and doesn't care one way or the other.
     
  23. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    recent developments

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/06/fair-use-defense/

    David Kravets, "Righthaven Loss: Judge Rules Reposting Entire Article Is Fair Use", Wired, 20 Jun 2011,

    The decision by U.S. District Judge Philip Pro was in regard to a user of a website who had re-posted an entire editorial about public employee pensions in a discussion. Details in link posted above. The defendant's lawyer was Marc Randazza, who asked for the court to order the loser, Righthaven, to pay the defendant's legal costs.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...ighthaven-now-starts-paying-those-it-sued.ars

    Nate Anderson, "Copyright troll Righthaven now starts paying those it sued", Ars Technica, 6 July 2011.

    Righthaven sued one Michael Leon in Sept 2010; a 20 Apr 2011 hearing dismissed the case and decided Righthaven had to pay the defendant's legal costs of $3,815.00. In another case, Randazza Legal Group also won a finding of "fair use" against Righthaven and is asking the court to award them $34,000.00 from Righthaven for legal costs. Read more in linked story.

    ------------------------

    Judges have gone from deciding 8 of 30 sentences is fair use by a website to deciding a user of a website posting an entire editorial is fair use. Things don't look good for Righthaven.

    (Do note that in "fair use" the original source must be given credit for authoring the material. This is not like academic Ian Ayres peppering his book "Supercrunchers" with long quoted passages without quote marks or in-line citations of source. "Fair use" is outlined in the tests used by the court in my post above of 5 Jun 2011, 11:57pm)

    It also appears from the agreement between Righthaven and Stevens that Stevens actually retained rights to use of the works (reprints etc), so all Righthaven was given was a fictitious right to sue, not a real right to the works involved. In other words, Righthaven lacked legal grounds to sue.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  24. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    So Carl, would this then appear to mean that many of the gun forums will be able to go back to allowing the posting of articles if properly cited as to author/source? A lot of the articles online now, if you copy and paste a section, come with an automatic citation anyway, which is rather cool.

    If it is deemed fair use in the courts, then I would have to say that my concerns that it isn't fair use would therefore be null.
     
  25. MrSpiffy

    MrSpiffy Member

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    Righthaven, as some have mentioned, is a fairly well-known copyright troll. Meaning, they exist solely for the purpose of suing others over copyright materials on behalf of other parties. They do this all the time, suing people all over hoping that they'll win a few cases that they can cash in on, while their clients get the people posting their material silenced. These people all need to be put back in their place.

    It sounds like the site being sued is set up for informational/educational purposes, which would seem like an obvious case of fair use. But Righthaven probably hopes to win anyway with a settlement, as court costs and lawyers aren't exactly cheap. Let's hope they don't settle...
     
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