Righthaven Moves On To Suing Message Board Posters, Rather Than Just Site Operators

from the oh-come-on dept

visual77 was the first of a few of you to send in the news that copyright-lawsuits-as-a-business-model firm Righthaven has expanded its targets to include posters on various message boards. In the past, it had focused on suing the various operators of sites, but not the users who often posted the content. For sites that had not registered a DMCA agent, the site operators were potentially (though not definitely) liable for any infringing content posted. However, the posters of such content themselves, of course, have always been potentially liable. In this case, they're even suing a guy who had forwarded a Las Vegas Review Journal story to a Google Groups mailing list. While this guy will probably settle, I would imagine it would be a fascinating fair use discussion in court.

Separately, that same article lists a number of other sites that Righthaven has gone after, and there's one surprise: Business Insider, the Harry Blodget-owned blog network that has been growing in popularity quite a bit lately. The site has something of a reputation for copying large segments of articles from other places at times, but you would think that the folks working there would know better than to try that with stories associated with Righthaven, with a primary reason being that Business Insider has had posts (admittedly "aggregated" from other sites) all about Righthaven and its lawsuits against other sites.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Is there any way to block the Las Vegas Review Journal from my internet?

    I'm terrified that I might click and be counted as a pageview. Can't the just put up a paywall and go away?

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

  2. identicon
    GrokIt, Jan 17th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Block the troll!

    Add the following to your hosts file:

    # Las Vegas Review Journal - troll lvrj.com www.lvrj.com
    127.0 .0.1 media.lvrj.com

    If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm for a good set of places to block and instructions on how to make a hosts file in windows. If in linux, just copy the text version to the end of your /etc/hosts (as root of course).

    That should cover all the bases, I haven't tested it yet though.

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

  3. icon
    average_joe (profile), Jan 17th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    Will we soon see Righthaven mass John Doe lawsuits? I can't imagine why not.

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

  4. identicon
    James Carmichael, Jan 17th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    Law Quiz

    Mr. X holds up a corner store using a pistol, and a Hyundai as a gateway car. He found the store on GoogleMaps on his Dell computer but still got lost along the way there and asked Mrs. Y, a pedestrian, for directions. Who should be sued?

    a) Mr. X, for the hold up;
    b) None of the below;
    c) The corner store, for failure to prevent hold up;
    d) Hyundai, for allowing robber to get away;
    e) Dell, for assisting in the robbery;
    f) All of the above;
    g) The pistol manufacturer, for making people-killing devices and distributing them;
    h) Google, for failing to add a notice on GoogleMaps that corner stores should not be robbed;
    i) Mrs. Y, for linking to infringing activities;
    j) The United States Government for failure to educate Mr. X on proper conduct;
    k) Microsoft, for having a lot of money;
    l) God, for standing by while it was happening;
    m) The Universe, for allowing the robbery to happen;
    n) Only the people on this list who have money.

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

  5. icon
    average_joe (profile), Jan 17th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Re: Law Quiz

    Who you sue depends on where you draw the line for proximate causation. In your hypo, I'd say definitely (a), and maybe (c) depending on the facts.

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

  6. icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 17th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Law Quiz

    If you're Righthaven, the answer seems to be o) all of the above.

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

  7. identicon
    James Carmichael, Jan 17th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Law Quiz

    Well, my answer to this question would be that Mr. X is the only guilty party here, and that someone should assign a psychologist or something similar to find out what caused him to rob a corner store (poverty, drugs... how can we help and turn him in the right direction rather than stick him in a hole at our costs).

    The quiz is really just a half-serious question directed at lawyers out there, and is related to the story in how so many lawsuits don't make any sense or sue the wrong party.

    It's not a matter of who CAN be sued, but who SHOULD be sued, a question that not many people are asking themselves. I'm sure you have to pass some sort of ethics class before you pass the bar exam, but who the fuck is teaching that class???

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

  8. identicon
    Pixelation, Jan 17th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Sue 'em all

    I have a new motto for Righthaven...

    Sue 'em all, let God sort 'em out

    Following the links, it appears that copying less than 75% of an article will now avoid a lawsuit from Righthaven.

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

  9. icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Jan 17th, 2011 @ 9:19am

    Re: Law Quiz

    if youre rightheaven, the answer is N

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

  10. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 17th, 2011 @ 9:53am


    Will we soon see Righthaven mass John Doe lawsuits? I can't imagine why not.

    Might be tough to find such "masses" -- especially those who copied the same content.

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

  11. icon
    average_joe (profile), Jan 17th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re:

    I'm thinking they sue the site, the original poster of the infringing material, and also anyone who responds to the original poster. They could throw in anyone who links to any of the posts for good measure. Hell, they could sue us for even talking about it. Who isn't a John Doe these days? :)

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

  12. icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Jan 17th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Law Quiz

    I seriously hope you're joking about (c)...

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Block the troll!

    I don't think it covers nearly enough my blocking includes 84 websites that are part of that scheme.

    Here are they.

    http://www.bo onevilledemocrat.com
    http://www.c olumbiadailyherald.com
    http://www.elyne ws.com
    http://www.herald-democr at.com
    http://www.pbcomm ercial.com
    http://www.snhom es.com
    http://ww w.stephensdc.com
    http://www. PineBluff.com
    http: //www.LA.com
    http://donrey.koz.com/servl et/community_ProcServ/DBPAGE=cge&GID=01003011620948298958442745
    htt p://www.reviewjournal.com/about/print/rjstaff.html
    http://www.c abotstarherald.com/
    http:// www.freeweekly.com/
    http://www.jackson villepatriot.com/
    http://www.paris-expre ss.com/
    http:/ /www.sherwoodvoice.com/
    http://www.van-buren.co m/
    ht tp://www.808classifieds.com/
    ht tp://www.westhawaiitoday.com/
    http://www. reviewjournal.com/
    http://www.courier-tri bune.com/
    http://www.amtr ib.com/
    http://www.vanalstynelea der.net/
    h ttp://www.stephensdc.com/

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Block the troll!


    Addon that blocks websites on Firefox.

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

  15. icon
    Mike Acker (profile), Jan 18th, 2011 @ 4:17am

    Predatory Litigation

    I think this comes under the heading "Predatory Litigation".

    "Predatory Litigation" would include the article on a_cademic a_dvantage which appears also in today's clips

    The crap about a_cademic a_dvantage I am guessing was derived from using a "Reputation Defender" type scan and then processed using a robot.


    If this sort of process is allowed to continue the New Rules to the Net will become: "Post a comment: Get Sued". It will effectively suppress free speech on the Net. There will be cheering from certain areas

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

  16. identicon
    spamgirl, Jan 18th, 2011 @ 5:19am

    ongoing list?

    Is there an ongoing list of their clients somewhere on the web so we can continually update our blocked sites list?

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

  17. identicon
    Steve, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 12:06am

    Re: Block the troll!

    Good insight...

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

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