home | about us | contact | site map | credits | disclaimer | bookmark

Righthaven LLC: abuse of copyright law for profit and the potential damage to the internet's single greatest asset

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Righthaven LLC: abuse of copyright law for profit and the potential damage to the internet's single greatest asset

Righthaven LLC, a Las Vegas company working on behalf of online publication the Las Vegas Review Journal, has found a novel way to hustle dollars. According to Wired:

Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission.

Gibson's vision is to monetize news content on the backend, by scouring the internet for infringing copies of his client’s articles, then suing and relying on the harsh penalties in the Copyright Act - up to $150,000 for a single infringement - to compel quick settlements.

Since Righthaven's formation in March, the company has filed at least 80 federal lawsuits against website operators and individual bloggers who've re-posted articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, his first client.

This might seem a reasonable response to what they may perceive as theft of their intellectual property if it were not for the way they're going about it. Techdirt reports:

There were some oddities in the way RightHaven was acting, starting with the fact that it gives no warning to sites and doesn't send a DMCA takedown. It goes straight to suing...and then quickly demands a settlement fee.

Clearly, if the LV Review Journal was concerned only, or primarily, for the protection of their intellectual property, they would contact the website hosting the offending article copy and request that it be removed, followed by a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) takedown order if private contact failed to elicit a response. As a last resort, they would turn to the courts for help.

But there is no attempted contact and request for deletion of the offending content, and as such, demonstrabley no interest in the principle of protection of intellectual property. This a hustle for money, pure and simple.

American copyright law was brought in to provide for the protection of unique work. The Copyright Office's Copyright basics page is quite clear about this:

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright.

Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time.

There is no question that these copyright laws were created to protect the principle of intellectual ownership, and not for the purpose of enabling the kind of tacky hustle that Righthaven is indulging in, where no interest in the principle involved is blatantly demonstrated in Righthaven's failure to request removal of the copied material prior to taking legal action. As stated in the Techdirt article:

This is, clearly, a blatant abuse of copyright law, and not at all what the law intended to do.

So what are the consequences of the abuse being practised by the LVRJ and Righthaven LLC?

The blog The Armed Citizen has had the pleasure of an encounter with Righthaven:

The Armed Citizen closes – site named in infringement suit

On July 21st, The Armed Citizen received an indirect and informal notice of a lawsuit against this website and its owners, David Burnett and Clayton Cramer.

Righthaven has offered no prior contact, cease-and-desist warnings or any attempt at good-faith resolution whatsoever.

The Armed Citizen has been excerpting articles from newspaper, TV station, and radio station websites for a number of years without a single complaint or infringement notice. If any copyright holders decided that The Armed Citizen had exceeded fair use, they only needed to send us an email.

Until this matter can be resolved, and a thorough review of Armed Citizen content can be made, all updates and archives at The Armed Citizen are hereby suspended.

At this time, the future of The Armed Citizen is uncertain, and possibly in jeopardy, thanks to Righthaven LLC and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

You can also read the charmingly-worded lawsuit from Righthaven that this blogger received, apparently second hand from a journalist. I particularly like article 62:

The Defendants' acts as alleged herein, and the ongoing direct results of those acts, have caused and will continue to cause irreparable harm to Righthaven in an amount Righthaven cannot ascertain, leaving Righthaven with no adequate remedy at law.

I wonder what the nature of the "irreparable harm to Righthaven in an amount Righthaven cannot ascertain" was, in the posting of the article in question on some penny-ante blog that few people had even heard of?

Mild nuisance, yes. But irreperable harm?

And why wasn't repair sought by means of a request for deletion?

Also engagingly overblown is:

Righthaven requests a trial by jury.

Yes, clearly nothing less will suffice for this heinous crime.

So, Righthaven's hustle has taken at least this blogger offline, possibly for good. There will be many other such cases, as Righthaven has apparently filed to date eighty one lawsuits.

The whole point of the internet is information exchange. You see a word or expression which is entirely new to you, but rather than having you get out your encyclopedia or trot off to the library, the webmaster has conveniently provided a link to another page which provides an explanation.

The internet is about linking.

Or rather: it's about linking.

Or for that matter: linking.

You cannot realistically link to another page without quoting from it, and when you want to comment on specific aspects of the linked page it is impossible to not quote - it would be tantamount to hearing only one side of a conversation. Without linking and quoting, the most valuable resource the internet has to offer is radically undermined.

But Righthaven has no interest in the finer points of education and empowerment, they want money.

So let's put it in terms they might understand:

Links to a website are some of its most valuable assets, as amongst other things they tell the major search engines that your site is good.

Conversely, lack of links is bad.

As of now, we know that quoting from the Las Vegas Review Journal is probably not a good idea, as they'll pull a copyright hustle on us.

So no more quotes.

And no more links.

And ever-decreasing weight in the search engines.

And ever-decreasing advertising revenues as a consequence.

Or, to sum it up in two easy to understand words: less money.

Regular readers of my articles, if such exist, may have been wondering why, at the top of the page, I abandoned my customary practice of linking to the subject matter when I first mention - unlinked - the Las Vegas Review Journal and Righthaven LLC.

I reckon you've got your answer now.

1 Previous Comments

Do not link to these morons, or thier papers at Stephen's media or whatever they're called, is the correct way to deal with these trolls.

By Blogger Sandracer, at 12:13 pm  

Post a Comment

May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | August 2006 | October 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | December 2011 | February 2012 | May 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | March 2016 | April 2016 | June 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | March 2017 | May 2017 | June 2017 | August 2017 | Atom feed
© 2005 hundred percent gambling


• Online casino news


• Can't split 10s?
• Overbetting
• EV charts
• The IPCA
• Basic strategy master
• Back to the future
• Site hack


• Better comp value
• Pit bosses are a pest
• 32Red buys Roxy Palace
• Winneronline is gone
• Paradise Win Casino
• Blackjack simple strategy


• Court refuses Ivey winnings
• Phil Ivey versus Crockfords
• 32Red does the right thing
• Wizard Of Odds sold
• Gambling addict sues Ritz
• Better blackjack conditions
• FL: the beat goes on
• Phil Ivey and the Borgata
• LadbrokesFOBT profit
• Chat with the Met
• "Bonus abuse" and the Met
• Casino industry crooks.
• Debate to curb the FOBTs
• Labour idea to ban FOBTs


• Ruby Fortune: terms buried
• Royal Vegas: bad outcome
• Russia illegalises gambling
• RV: player breaks no rules
• Gib casinos and UK laws
• The GGC (GRA) useless
• BetFred rigged games 9
• BetFred rigged games 8
• Betfred rigged games 7
• BetFred rigged games 6
• BetFred rigged games 5
• BetFred rigged games 4
• Phil Ivey: is he entitled?
• BetFred rigged games 3
• Betfred rigged games 2
• BetFred: rigged games 1
•  UK GLA Act 2013
• 888.com and Facebook
• Crockfords denies Phil Ivey
• Bad dealers
• Betfair Blackjack test
• Playtech software update
• Cheap blackjack
• Hippodrome Casino


• The UK's FOBT addiction
• Conan Casino beware
• Intercasino misleading
• Fortune Lounge
• UK Gambling Commission


• Small Claims Court
• Gamcare
• Full Tilt Poker saved
• Full Tilt ponzi scheme
• Casino Barcelona
• Irakli Kacharava
• Betfair processor no pay
• Full Tilt licensing meeting
• UK Gambling Commission
• Full Tilt Poker investors
• Full Tilt license suspended
• Twitter
• Betfair resolution
• Casino Web Scripts 2
• 32Red bonus marketing
• Casino Web Scripts 1
• Poker domains seized
• eCOGRA independent?
• Easystreet Sports theft
• Betfair to Gibraltar
• Rigged blackjack 2
• Betfair responses
• Rigged blackjack
• 888.com theft
• Betfair poker problem
• UK gambling controls
• Harry Reid


• eWallet Xpress
• Kevin Stillmock
• Blog back up
• Betfair happy hour
• Ladbrokes bonus increase
• Absolute Poker tricks US
• Absolute Poker rigged
• Last position no difference
• Basic strategy simplified
• Online casino bonuses
• Righthaven LLC
• Ladbrokes bonus rules
• Malta LGA nonsense
• Purple Lounge theft
• UK affiliates issue
• Online casino problems
• GPWA code of conduct
• One Club Casino problems
• Rushmore theft resolved
• Realtime Gaming cheats
• Absolute Poker Ultimate Bet
• Rushmore Casino theft
• Ask gamblers service
• Intercasino bonus terms
• Profitting from poverty
• Gambling dooms UK to ruin
• Want To Stop Gambling
• Gambling Therapy
• Gordon Moody Association
• Breakeven
• Online gambling jobs
• Gamblock
• Gamble Aware
• Gamblers Anonymous
• Gamcare
• Video poker auto hold
• Gambling Wages help offer
• Blackjack double down
• Intercasino rules
• Tradition Casino warning
• Tradition Casino problem
• Be The Dealer
• eCOGRA approved casinos
• UK underage gambling
• iGaming Super Show
• eCOGRA reputable portals
• eCOGRA exposed
• Slots Oasis warning
• Slots Oasis problem
• HR 2267 comments
• HR 2267 proposed bill
• Search fully functional
• Gambling hearing delayed
• Betfair download blackjack
• Betfair blackjack
• The Federal Wie Act
• Casino Rewards warning
• Kahnawake dumps GP
• GP dumps Microgaming
• UK online gambling
• Gambling checklist
• Online casino problems
• Gambling Grumbles
• Casino Rewards
• Brian Cullingworth
• Casino Wager Tracker
• Grand Prive affiliates
• Jackpots Heaven Casino
• Kahnawake commission
• UK gambling problem
• eCOGRA and Grand Prive
• Bet365 misleading bonus
• Mastercard and Visa
• Online gambling rules
• 32Red sign up bonus
• Ladbrokes data theft
• Ladbrokes unfair settlement
• Palace group bonus rules
• Grand Prive and eCOGRA


• Blackjack in the UK
• Seminole Hard Rock
• The APCW and MG
• Sportsbook.com
• Slot beaters slot strategy
• Rushmore Casino theft
• Paddy Power affiliates
• Slots
• 888.com problem
• Neteller contest winner
• 888.com bonus problem
• Casino Club meeting
• Online casino directory
• 32Red debit card bonus
• Blue Square Casino
• Budapest Affiliate Expo
• Rushmore payment issues
• Modern Blackjack volume 1
• Eurolinx certain insolvency
• Buzzluck winnings theft
• PaddyPower removed
• 32Red lawsuit
• William Hill Casino Club
• Betfair video poker
• APCW underage children
• Odds page updates
• VP Genius
• Video poker page updates
• Blackjack page updates
• Progression page updates
• Single deck page updates
• Betfair Playtech license
• Cherry Red Casino
• Online gambling debate
• William Hill & Teddy Sagi
• Rogue casinos section
• Pontoon correction
• Microgaming poker scandal
• Casino Club confiscation
• Casino Club steals €8000
• Villa Fortuna Casino
• Grand Prive affiliate issue
• CAP and Cardspike 2
• Virgin Casino bad results
• CAP and Cardspike 1


• iNetbet removal from site
• Mario Galea and Malta LGA
• Cold Mountain Resort
• The AGCC
• Moneybookers privacy
• Virtual Casino rebranding
• Captain Jack Casino
• Royal Ace Casino
• Ringmaster Casino
• Catseye Casino
• Lucky Palm Casino
• Pharaohs Gold Casino
• Goldstream Casino
• Plantet 7 Casino
• Betfair bonus confiscation
• Malta LGA worthless
• The GIA
• Interwetten theft of £5000
• Lucky Ace winnings stolen
• The KGC and Absolute


• HippoJo Casino
• Microgaming All Aces VP
• Neteller issues
• Lou Fabiano responds
• Lou Fabiano selling stats
• Betfair Zero Lounge
• ICE 2007 brief visit
• RTG cancels ICE visit


• Crystal Palace Casino theft
• eCOGRA & Jackpot Factory
• English Harbour cheating
• Boss Media single deck
• Bella Vegas / Grand Prive
• The KGC worthless
• Gambling Federation
• Playtech sued
• Meeting Andrew Beveridge
• Playtech confirmed listing
• African Palace Casino
• G-Fed ICE discussion
• Playtech ICE meeting
• Playtech issues escalation
• Chartwell hands off


• Crystal Gaming silence
• Price Waterhouse Cooper
• Crystal Gaming flotation 2
• Vegas Frontier
• Crystal Gaming flotation 1
• Playtech public listing
• African Palace & Indio
• Kiwi Casino
• Rochester Casino
• G-Fed theft 2
• Warren Cloud best avoided
• Golden Palace stupidity 3
• Golden Palace stupidity 2
• G-Fed theft 1
• Golden Palace stupidity 1
• Russia online expansion
• Wan Doy Pairs Poker
• Microgaming CPU usage
• Net Entertainment RNG
• Cryptologic & William Hill
• Casino growth slow
• English Harbour paying
• Fraudster or not
• Blackjack surrender
• Integrity casino group audit