Sharron Angle Settles With Righthaven

from the just-get-it-over-with dept

visual77 points to the news that Sharron Angle has settled with Righthaven. This is hardly news. Now that Angle lost her campaign for the US Senate, there was little reason to keep up the fight. I'm sure Righthaven, since it's really an arm of Stephens Media and the Las Vegas Review-Journal -- which supported Angle's candidacy at the same time it claimed she was "stealing" from them, made it quite easy for her to settle for next to nothing. The only reason the company sued in the first place was because some local press had questioned why it had sued others, but had ignored Angle. So, it was all a publicity stunt, and now that the campaign is over, I'm sure both sides found it easier to just close out the case and move on.

Separately, that same article highlights one person who's been sued who plans to fight back, no matter what the cost. Robert Zumbrunnen, who runs the popular Silicon Investor web board, doesn't seem to want to back down:
"I'm really as aggressive about this issue as I can be. But I can't, as they whine that I didn't, read all of the thousands of messages posted every day, devoting what would amount to every waking minute (only to fall further and further behind), rather than little things like operating the site as a business," Zumbrunnen said in an email. "It's obvious they don't really want a fight. Unfortunately, I rather enjoy a knock-down drag-out and they did swing first.

"They've been scratching out a living catching minnows in nets and have decided to test deeper waters with me. Or they have no clue that they're trying to intimidate not the average blogger here, but a grey-bearded guy who's been around the block more times than he can count.

"The average blogger is likely not very well-versed in the legal realities of online publishing, so my guess is they're hoping that I'm also not, and further hoping I have deep enough pockets to help line theirs but not deep enough to pay the real sharks (lawyers) to take care of these things.

"They chose poorly. There will be no settlement.

"If need be, I won't bat an eye at spending a multiple of any proposed settlement amount in the interest of defending myself and making an example of these folks, because it's very simply the right thing to do," Zumbrunnen concluded.
Silicon Investor is really quite a large forum for tech investors, and I'm actually quite surprised to find out that they apparently never bothered to register a DMCA agent. Yet another reminder, that if you run a website that allows any user participation, you really should register a DMCA agent.

Still, even without a DMCA agent, given the sheer volume of content on Silicon Investor, it seems like Zumbrunnen should be able to make a strong case that the site's operators should not face liability for postings of users, even without the DMCA's specific safe harbor. It's just an issue of properly applying liability, which Righthaven has failed to do. Hopefully some of the smart lawyers who are fighting Righthaven's awful campaign will step up and help Silicon Investor as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    abc gum, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    "because it's very simply the right thing to do"

    And hopefully, Robert Zumbrunnen will prevail.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

    It's just an issue of properly applying liability, which Righthaven has failed to do

    You don't think Righthaven should be suing any website operators, whether a user on their board posted an article, or whether the operator of the board herself posted it. Given the fact that you don't agree with (or evidently understand) the issue of direct liability, it's no wonder you don't grasp the issue when it's indirect. By the way, your criticism of secondary liability in general might carry more sway if you demonstrated that you possess even a basic knowledge of the subject.

    And, yes, the fact that you are cheering for all of the defendants in these Righthaven cases is further evidence that you're a cheerleader for the pirates. All one need do is read your blog for a week to be certain that you're a piracy supporter and apologist. Yet, you'll still deny that you are. It must hurt to be so dishonest about your true self. I couldn't do it.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      abc gum, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 8:27pm

      Re:

      Your demented viewpoint is noted and summarily rejected.
      Thank you for your opinion.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 3:48pm

      Re:

      Perhaps you'd care to explain how someone is liable for the actions of someone else? The closest analogy that comes to mind is suing the fast food joint when someone runs into the rear of your car at the drive-thru. I'm sure you're familiar with such things, and no, I don't want fries with that.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 4:52pm

        Re: Re:

        Perhaps you'd care to explain how someone is liable for the actions of someone else? The closest analogy that comes to mind is suing the fast food joint when someone runs into the rear of your car at the drive-thru. I'm sure you're familiar with such things, and no, I don't want fries with that.

        It stems from the law having to do with publishers. If I'm a book publisher, and I publish your book which contains defamatory statements and copyrighted passages (used without permission), then I can be held liable. Section 230 exempts websites from such liability, because otherwise those sites would potentially be liable.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 10:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The key word, here, is 'potentially.' This hinges entirely upon how tech savvy the judge is, or can be made to be.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 4:43pm

      Re:

      "The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $6 billion. If the dollars don't shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association."
      http://www.thestar.com/business/article/735096--geist-record-industry-faces-liability -over-infringement

      Have a great day rooster sucker.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 8:08pm

    Or they have no clue that they're trying to intimidate not the average blogger here, but a grey-bearded guy who's been around the block more times than he can count.

    But I guess he hasn't been around the block enough times to know that he should have registered a DMCA agent. Good luck with that, dude. I predict that he settles. His tough talk might carry more force if (1) he actually knew what he was talking about, and (2) he seemed to grasp the fact that he's liable for infringement. Perhaps next time around the block he'll know how $105 and some paperwork could have relieved him of liability.

     

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    •  
      icon
      btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 4:42am

      Re:

      "First, I took Davenport Lyons to Small Claims Court and WON! They didn't send anyone, only some letters to the court. I won £250 from them for wasted time leading to lost earnings (charged at my hourly rate of £45+VAT), letters, stamps, envelopes, phone calls and interest. It even includes the hour I spent in court and petrol costs to drive there and back, plus parking. Oh, and £30 court costs as well.

      My argument was simple: they had no intention of ever taking me to court, as evidenced by the fact that they backed down very quickly once I started asking for more details. As such they caused me financial loss (having to waste time checking computers and networks used for business, writing letters etc), which I have now recovered."
      http://www.cableforum.co.uk/board/34690659-post287.html

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 9:57pm

    "And, yes, the fact that you are cheering for all of the defendants in these Righthaven cases is further evidence that you're a cheerleader for the pirates. All one need do is read your blog for a week to be certain that you're a piracy supporter and apologist. Yet, you'll still deny that you are. It must hurt to be so dishonest about your true self. I couldn't do it."

    Talk about dishonesty. Either you actually drank the koolaid, and can't admit you are wrong, or you are stupid. You can always admit you are wrong, call the time and mileage invested a loss and move on. If you are just stupid, you have my sympathy.

     

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    Bluezy (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:50pm

    If you can share news articles on Facebook you can share it with your blog watchers. WTF
    The RJ should be boycotted and all eyes away from their advertisers. A newspaper could GIVE away their papers with all the revenue they make from advertising, yet you have to pay. They are a bunch of nickel stealing rectal orifices bullying a woman because of political bias and calling it an ad loss issue? Bully Bully Bully with a lawyer bully!

     

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  •  
    icon
    Bluezy (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 11:05pm

    blogger freedoms

    A blog is like talking to your hairdresser but electronically. If you have a following(like the girls in the corner having their nails done) you have the freedom to discuss published works from what you saw on YouTube to the latest novel you read or advice from the happy nature blog on how to deal naturally with menstrual cramps. Blogging is networking and electronic communication amongst your peers/followers.
    They will be forcing the world to go back to private bulletin boards where anything can go between ONE phone line.
    As long as you link the source, you are actually providing another avenue for traffic. A lot of stuff on the internet takes so long to search and if you find it and share it that means x amount more people find it and share it and it becomes viral...duh. To share is to honor and NOT steal.
    Bully Bully Bully with lawyers.

     

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