back to article EFF backs political site's Righthaven counter-suit

A political discussion website has launched a court action against so-called copyright troll Righthaven, the company which is demanding website operators pay it when material from a Nevada newspaper is posted online. Righthaven is reportedly part-owned by Stephens Media, the publishers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens …

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Silver badge

Pervert legal system

This and the patent trolling is only possible because of the crazy American system when in a court case the losing side is not liable to cover the winning side's legal expenses. Therefore, people will often give in to settle even a most ridiculous and unjustified claim because they know it will be more expensive for them to win than to pay the extortionist. There is even a term for this - it's called "nuisance fee".

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Pirate

4Chan - help!

We need you now.

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Plugins and DNS Block lists

There are plugins for both Firefox and Chrome that are intended to prevent inadvertent visits to Stephens Media newspaper sites and other Righthaven clients. There is also a DNS block list and a very good site that explains what small hosting companies (like me) must do to avoid such lawsuits.

http://righthavenvictims.blogspot.com/p/avoid-righthaven-lawsuit.html

http://claytonecramer.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-make-you-dont-accidental-visit.html

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So don't quote them.

It should be possible to regurgitate the information without copying. Better yet boycott them altogether.

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RE So don't quote them

No, no, that's the sensible adult way. The freetard way is to stomp your little feet, spit out your dummy and DEMAND your RIGHT to freely take other peoples stuff. For bonus points you can do this while rabidly insisting that the copyrights enforcing the GPL are absolutely sacrosanct.

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Coat

Other Steve

I think you forgot to take to two little yellow pills this morning.

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Happy

Meds

"I think you forgot to take to two little yellow pills this morning."

Au contraire, mon ami, I took four. Everything now has a nice yellow tinge to it.

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Boffin

*sigh*

Except that in this case the freetards are correct, under US law they *DO* have a right "to take (use) other peoples stuff" for the purpose of commenting on it. This is the well-established and oft misunderstood (and maligned by folks like yourself) doctrine of "fair use."

Quoting GPL code for the purpose of commentary is also protected by the same doctrine, but it's quite irrelevant, as even if it wasn't, the GPL specifically allows for this usage. Of course, I have other reasons for preferring other licenses, but that is for another discussion.

Thanks for playing!

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FAIL

Oh my fair boffin, how many are the ways you fail

"This is the well-established and oft misunderstood (and maligned by folks like yourself) doctrine of "fair use.""

If it is, then there is no legal case, and nothing to worry about.

So why the fuss ? Oh, and where did you see me malign the doctrine of fair use ? Thought not.

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any more questions?

Who's worried? The only thing to worry about is that the company might place their protection money at a cost below the lawyer's fees for the defense and therefore make it cheaper to pay them off (even if they have no legal case) then to fight it. The EFF is involved to bring the cost to fight it to effectively to nothing (at least for party with standing).

Who's making a fuss? Righthaven is making a fuss. Mr Allen is making a fair use defense. He's making a number of other defenses too, there's the I didn't post it and you should be going after the person who did defense and the you are actively asking everyone who visits your site to post this to other sites defense. There is also some amusing arguments as to the proper name of the plaintiff's counsel, but really the most important one is the fair use defense.

Characterizing a quite proper fair use defense as "stomp your little feet, spit out your dummy and DEMAND your RIGHT to freely take other peoples stuff" easily exceeds the bar of "maligning the doctrine of fair use."

Feel free to come after me for "freely taking your stuff" by quoting you for the purpose of commentary.

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Bang goes that then

Everything that the EFF gets involved with turns into an epic legal fail

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Dead Vulture

Sad but true.

In this case the EFF didn't bother to look up "hot news doctrine", which may or may not be applicable in Nevada, but which certainly exists in US law.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/31/ap_web_destroyer/

Neither did the author of the article.

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Boffin

Nor did you.

The hot news doctrine only applies to competitors, and even then only for a limited time. I hardly consider that forum to be a competitor... to a print publication. I know, maybe they could start advertising "we are no better then web forums!"

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/linking/doctrine/index.html

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This sounds like...

... a similar business model to that of ACS in the UK. Whilst they may be able to get away with it in the UK, it strikes me as an activity that could be quite personally dangerous in a society where most people own guns...

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Good to know Canadians won't put up with it....

well, then I'm sure it wont go over well in Canada.

Not everyone in the US owns guns, not by a long shot. Canada has a higher per-capita rate of gun owners.

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Grenade

I can't believe

This is the first thing I've ever agreed with the democraticunderground on.... that hurts.

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Happy

So what would happen if someone were to post something on 4chan and Righthaven sues?

There will be tears before bedtime.

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PT
WTF?

Background info

Missing from the article is the information that the Las Vegas Review Journal takes a rabidly partisan political line, and the actions of Righthaven seem to be intended predominantly against bloggers of opposing political views. The effect is to prevent people drawing attention to errors, inaccuracies and downright fabrications published by the RJ in the runup to a bitterly fought election. Rupert Murdoch can only dream of having such control.

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