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On being sued...
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Posted by Fred 2010-08-17 13:49|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [3949 views ]  Top

#1 Bleargh. Guess there's not really anything such as fair use anymore, really.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2010-08-17 14:31||   2010-08-17 14:31|| Front Page Top

#2 So that everyone understands, we mods work to ensure that we're not actively violating copyright laws as we understand them. We're not lawyers and we've always believed that we're doing what is legal and proper, especially as we see it around the blogosphere. Apparently the LVRJ disagrees.

What is 'fair use' is open to dispute, apparently, and we mods want to make sure that we don't have any other posts that might be of concern to copyright holders. We have posted our roles in the past, including this past Sunday, and we refer you to them. Let's be conservative until the world figures out what 'fair use' really means.

In the meantime, any contributions to Fred and the Burg are greatly appreciated. We'll get this sorted out.

Posted by Steve White 2010-08-17 14:41||   2010-08-17 14:41|| Front Page Top

#3 Also, if anyone has any thoughts on the legal side, whether professional or amateur, and would like to share, all emails gratefully accepted. Or here in the thread, if that's appropriate (I don't know much about such things). Fred's email is the second hotlink from the top of the yellow bar in the right margin of Page 1 -- just let your eyes slide over there as you scroll back up a bit. ;-)
Posted by trailing wife in Germany 2010-08-17 14:52||   2010-08-17 14:52|| Front Page Top

#4 Wonder if they will sue Walmart?

Walmart has setup
Who – and what – you vote for is your decision. is dedicated to providing you with the resources, tools, and information to help you make that decision – in a non-partisan and objective format.

They have already posted 4 article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal!

H/T to a commenter at the LV Sun, which is :
tracking all the lawsuits here
Posted by Sherry 2010-08-17 14:55||   2010-08-17 14:55|| Front Page Top

#5 "The Righthaven copyright lawsuit legal loophole and how to protect yourself from being sued... SPREAD THE WORD TO ALL WEBSITES!!"

Hope this helps, this is a conspiracy forum...really off the wall, but there was an administrator named SHR with some really interesting comments during the BP oil well blow-out in the gulf that I managed to google into. He is apparently an oil industry insider.

Anyhow, I noticed this a ways back and remembered and seems like some good information regarding these suits.

Also, here's an interesting link from SHR himself regarding a possible link between Righthaven and Obama? Never read it, but might be interesting...
Posted by Black Charlie Chinemble5313 2010-08-17 15:11||   2010-08-17 15:11|| Front Page Top

#6 Well, sh*t. Leeches.
Posted by Barbara Skolaut 2010-08-17 15:25||   2010-08-17 15:25|| Front Page Top

#7 Get a good lawyer Fred. These guys are scum.

Questiosn to raise;

1) Venue. Do NOT accept the Nevada court. Federal court rules do allow you to petition to move the trial to where the alleged damages occurred, and that would be your home state Fred. First move would be to move it out of Nevada, find a lawyer that can do that.

1a) Standing. I assume they purchased the copyright well after whatever article was publish. Did they purchase the copyright after the ALLEGED infringement here at Rantburg? The article is cached? Is it fair use except? DEMAND they produce evidence.

2) Actual Damages (not much you can do about statutory ones) - show that the actual damages are nearly nothing.

3) Mitigation - show steps that mitigate ANY of the alleged damages, but admit to NO infringement.

If you or you and some allies have the money, use the defendant's power of subpoena to dig through their records, and pierce the corporate veil if you can to get to the scumbag behind all this. Make it evident that THEY will have some skin in this game. Bombard them with motions, requests for information, subpoenas, anything you can to tie them up and cost them more money than this iw worth.

Start protecting your assets. Make Rantburg and LLC, get safe harbor protection from the US copyright office if you have not already done so. Prep a new site, and protect it, move your archives off line. Prepare to shutdown Rantburg, and prepare to help whatever LLC get started, carryign over all legal content (be sure to SELL the indexes, bad guy galleries, comments, and such to whatever LLC, transferring legal ownership of comments, usernames, etc, that you do in fact own).

Banding together with others will help. Get your suit moved in with the others as a class if possible.
Posted by OldSpook 2010-08-17 15:29||   2010-08-17 15:29|| Front Page Top


Do not get Fred into trouble. I know a lot of us are ops (former) military, and as such we tend to take a direct fight. This is nto the time or palce for it. Fred needs lawyers, lawyers cost money. If you must do something, Give MONEY to carry the fight to the enemy! No matter how tempting do NOT do any of the following in association with Rantburg (DU is already doing a lot of these things anyway, so let them handle questionable direct/personal and possibly illegal activities, which seems to be their stock-in-trade, that they do so well.

LET OTHERS Launch accusations of Barratry - show Righthaven's choosing of suits and venues is designed not to serve justice, but to harass and put in the most unfair position specifically targeting defendants least capable of properly responding - and show it as a pattern.

LET OTHERS publish this guys name, HOME address, credit report info, cars make model and license tag, real estate tax information, state tax information, voter registration data, home phone, mobile phone number, wife's name and mobile number and where she works, children' names and ages and schools, parents and siblings names and addresses.

LET OTHERS protest at this guys house, his children schools, places of business, and associated businesses (Hey DU, great place for your Giant Puppets and bullhorns!)

Do NOT do those things because that would be wrong and possibly illegal. If you do that here the Mods will quickly and completely delete such data, you can bet on that.

Let win this the right way.
Posted by OldSpook 2010-08-17 15:39||   2010-08-17 15:39|| Front Page Top


"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. And he says he’s making money."

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.

Now he’s talking expansion. The Review-Journal’s publisher, Stephens Media in Las Vegas, runs over 70 other newspapers in nine states, and Gibson says he already has an agreement to expand his practice to cover those properties. (Stephens Media declined comment, and referred inquiries to Gibson.) Hundreds of lawsuits, he says, are already in the works by year’s end. “We perceive there to be millions, if not billions, of infringements out there,” he says.

Read More

Posted by Black Charlie Chinemble5313 2010-08-17 15:44||   2010-08-17 15:44|| Front Page Top

#10 That totally sucks. Let me know if you need Hong Kong or China hosting, I can arrange it.
Posted by gromky 2010-08-17 15:45||   2010-08-17 15:45|| Front Page Top

#11 Oops, does that mean someone needs to remove my comment from my last post up above? Sorry OldSpook. :-(
Posted by Black Charlie Chinemble5313 2010-08-17 15:47||   2010-08-17 15:47|| Front Page Top

#12 Good suggestion, OS.

But I can tell you that discovery is expensive. :-(
Posted by Barbara Skolaut 2010-08-17 15:47||   2010-08-17 15:47|| Front Page Top

#13 Fred, I would suggest you contact Mark Levin at the Landmark Legal Foundation for a free consultation/opinion. This smacks of pro'bono bag the bad guys material.
Posted by Muggsy Glink 2010-08-17 15:49||   2010-08-17 15:49|| Front Page Top

#14 snail mail address again please
Posted by bman 2010-08-17 16:05||   2010-08-17 16:05|| Front Page Top

#15 I'd be glad to kick in.
Starting a new job at the beginning of the month, when I get it, you'll get it.
Posted by bigjim-CA 2010-08-17 16:37||   2010-08-17 16:37|| Front Page Top

#16 bman dear, contact me (click on my name, below, for the email unless I screwed it up) or send Fred an email. Fred might be faster -- there's a time change here and we're going to be picked up at 8-bloody-15 tomorrow morning for my mother to give a talk at one of the local high schools. *sigh* The talk is interesting, the time... not so much. At any rate, I won't even look at email until tomorrow afternoon or evening, local time. (For perspective, it is now ~10:32 p.m. here.)
Posted by trailing wife in Germany  2010-08-17 16:38||   2010-08-17 16:38|| Front Page Top

#17 It appears I am the one that got you in trouble. I'll be kicking in later this month as well

Posted by Beavis 2010-08-17 16:46||   2010-08-17 16:46|| Front Page Top

#18 what is to keep these people from paying trolls to post copyrighted material long enough for righthaven to get a screen shot?
Posted by Omimp Hatfield3280 2010-08-17 16:58||   2010-08-17 16:58|| Front Page Top

#19 Nothing at all...
Posted by Fred 2010-08-17 17:10||   2010-08-17 17:10|| Front Page Top

#20 Beavis, it could as easily have been me, or somebody else...
Posted by Fred 2010-08-17 17:12||   2010-08-17 17:12|| Front Page Top

#21 #18 Hatfield. That is a very good argument for defense.

I also recommend counter-suing. A half way decent attorney will find a way how. Make it class action. Have someone do a discovery of how many people these flee bitten dogs have gone after.
Posted by Helmuth, Speaking for Omaimble1886 2010-08-17 17:14||   2010-08-17 17:14|| Front Page Top

#22 Posting Reminder: Regulars have recently been doing a very good job with adding inlines, but also, please, please make a stab at rewriting the headline. Crazy attorneys can point to that deficiency as well.

Being a crabby bitch is part of my charm.

Don't just paste the headline. Please write your own.
Posted by badanov 2010-08-17 17:33||  2010-08-17 17:33|| Front Page Top

#23 This SUCKS. I'll kick in something to help out. I took a look at the links provided by Black Charlie Chinemble5313--interesting. Ethics is not the strong suit of this administration. I don't know, there could be a link to Steve Gibson and his unholy cause. How do newspapers get around this copyright issue? They post and re-post stories (as well as writing original stuff.) Seems like Rantburg does this also. Are blogging sites such as Rantburg not considered journalistic sites. This is going to be tested in the Federal court system at some point. In the meantime this guy is going to continue to make money being a nuisance to others. OS had some good advice.
Posted by JohnQC 2010-08-17 18:04||   2010-08-17 18:04|| Front Page Top

#24  This is a list of all Stephens Media pubs. Avoid them like the dickens! If need be, ban any links to them on Rantburg.

A list of the organizations, websites, and FB page dedicated to opposing RightHaven and their suits. It could put you in touch with others who have been sued and can help.
Posted by JRichardson 2010-08-17 18:12||  2010-08-17 18:12|| Front Page Top

#25 I tried to include the links. Let's try again.
Posted by JRichardson 2010-08-17 18:14||   2010-08-17 18:14|| Front Page Top

#26 please, please make a stab at rewriting the headline

I'll second that, and add it's really not that hard to make the headline more interesting or informative than the MSM does.

Fred, quite a few years ago I was heavily involved in software copyright issues. My experience was that lawyers were remarkably ignorant on the subject and frequently got issues of fact wrong.

My 2c worth is that if you engage a lawyer, make sure he actually understands how the Internet works.
Posted by phil_b 2010-08-17 18:28||   2010-08-17 18:28|| Front Page Top

#27 I followed some of the links within links of your news at and found this...Maybe you've seen it already yourself, but it's apparently from a trademark attorney in Vegas with advice on how to avoid suits (from the media company in question too).

Avoiding the Wrath of Righthaven
Posted by Black Charlie Chinemble5313 2010-08-17 18:30||   2010-08-17 18:30|| Front Page Top

#28 Check into a class action countersuit with the others to maybe RICO this clown.
Posted by OldSpook 2010-08-17 18:36||   2010-08-17 18:36|| Front Page Top

#29 "Starting a new job at the beginning of the month"

Congrats on the job, Jim! :-D
Posted by Barbara Skolaut 2010-08-17 18:50||   2010-08-17 18:50|| Front Page Top

#30 Oh, and something's coming your way, Fred. I'm paying bills tonight and you're listed after the electric bill and the credit card bill.
Posted by Barbara Skolaut 2010-08-17 18:54||   2010-08-17 18:54|| Front Page Top

#31 Facebook site on the sewer rats.

(Apologies to any sewer rats).

Posted by CrazyFool 2010-08-17 19:01||   2010-08-17 19:01|| Front Page Top

#32 Google Righthaven and Obama and see what pops up.
Posted by Besoeker 2010-08-17 19:13||   2010-08-17 19:13|| Front Page Top

#33 something a little larger than usual coming your way via PP, Fred, and Professor Reynolds has linked your plight. Since he has, you know, legal connections, perhaps someone will step up to help?
Posted by Frank G 2010-08-17 19:40||   2010-08-17 19:40|| Front Page Top

#34 Do some background searching on "the Stephens Family" of Arkansas. You've never heard of them, unless you grew up in Arkansas --

Richer than Sam Walton (put him into business)and their tentacles have long, long reaches. (Political party no issue, gave money to W Bush)

Check out Stephens Media, LLC, and then check the connection between Righthaven and Stephens Media, LLC. And follow deeper, if you can, the Stephens Media,LLC to Arkansas.

There are deep, deep pockets behind this -- it will take deep, deep pockets to fight it. Can only let the fantasies pretend a motive, but there is one.

Watch to see if they go after WalMart -- who has published online, four articles from the Las Vegas whatever it is, attributed to them. Reprints each of them.

Stephens' investment group gave Sam Walton his start and the rest is history -- as they say, "The ties that bind."

Oh, and throw in a lit'l Bill and Hillary. You might be up all night.
Posted by Sherry 2010-08-17 19:54||   2010-08-17 19:54|| Front Page Top

#35 Just kicked in for the defense fund. Give 'em hell Fred!

A few comments (bear in mind IANAL) ...

1) They are NOT interested in DMCA takedown of the articles, just threatening to financially ruin bloggers if they don't give them large sums of money. This sounds to me, to be awfully close to extortion. Might be worth contacting the local prosecutor or state AG to see if they agree. If so, since they are suing in bulk, do RICO statutes apply?

2) Barratry (harrassing law suits) are illegal in California, Texas, ans several other states.

3) In Dante's Inferno, Dante put lawyers practicing barratry in the Eighth Circle of Hell. Dante was too kind.
Posted by DMFD 2010-08-17 20:31||   2010-08-17 20:31|| Front Page Top

#36 SCUM SUCKING !@#$%^&* MONEY GRUBBERS!!! Bullies who try to pick on the small guys! I hope they get a major counter-blow up their arrogant asses!
Posted by Lumpy Anguting2786 2010-08-17 22:06||   2010-08-17 22:06|| Front Page Top

#37 We need to do this the right way, Fred. We need to ALL join together in boycotting Las Vegas - EVERYTHING in Las Vegas. Let them know it's because they have a totally out-of-control newspaper and an equally out-of-control lawyer working in their city. If a few million people began boycotting anything and everything about Las Vegas, including their newspaper and this a$$hole lawyer - and making sure they understand WHY they're being boycotted, I'm sure the city fathers would have something to say about it. The LVRJ can die a slow, painful death from this.
Posted by Old Patriot  2010-08-17 22:24||   2010-08-17 22:24|| Front Page Top


I think you're wrong on this, OS. What we're seeing is the opening salvo of a war against non-traditional news sources. It's being conducted by a "friend of Michelle", and it's aimed not so much against people who have abused "fair use" of RJ data, but a war against ALL use of "copyrighted" material from anyone in the news business. That will kill just about 90% of all "news" weblogs. That will be followed by a war against the people owning the servers. The ultimate goal is to limit what damage the Internet can do to politicians and those close to them. I would like to be proved wrong, but I don't believe that idea has a snowball's chance in he$$.
Posted by Old Patriot 2010-08-17 22:58||   2010-08-17 22:58|| Front Page Top

#39 A very good point, OP. Bambi's people used the web in the 08 election and now they're seeing it used against them. They don't like the latter.
Posted by Steve White 2010-08-17 23:17||   2010-08-17 23:17|| Front Page Top

#40 Is there such a thing as a class-action defense?
Posted by gorb 2010-08-17 23:24||   2010-08-17 23:24|| Front Page Top

00:08 JosephMendiola
23:55 JosephMendiola
23:50 Alan Kellogg
23:30 JosephMendiola
23:24 gorb
23:17 Pappy
23:17 Steve White
23:10 Pappy
23:07 Pappy
22:58 Old Patriot
22:57 DMFD
22:56 Barbara Skolaut
22:54 Barbara Skolaut
22:54 gorb
22:51 Barbara Skolaut
22:50 Barbara Skolaut
22:44 CrazyFool
22:35 Frank G
22:24 Old Patriot
22:18 gorb
22:18 John Coleman
22:11 DMFD
22:06 Lumpy Anguting2786
22:04 DMFD

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