If you are a mom and pop blogger, getting hit with a Federal lawsuit out of the blue has got to be terrifying. Many of those being sued by RightHaven LLC do not have deep pockets and are afraid that they will lose everything. Clayton Cramer reported that some of those being sued will probably have to declare bankruptcy.
Fortunately, its seems that the victims and those opposed to RightHaven’s tactics have started to organize. Realizing that information is key, a new website has been established called RightHavenLawsuits.com. They say their mission “is dedicated to gathering together and posting for the public information about Righthaven LLC.” They have links to some of the lawsuits as well as articles on RightHaven LLC.
Another website called RightHaven Victims lists every individual, business, and blog that has been sued by RightHaven LLC for copyright violations. It encourages those sued to work together to share information and to unite to form a collective front against RightHaven LLC. They realize that one of the keys to RightHaven’s success will be the use of a “divide and conquer” strategy. This website is also sharing defense strategies being used by the defendants.
A Facebook page has been established called “stop the LVRJ/RIGHTHAVEN witch hunt!” In addition to providing resources for those being sued, they are also seeking to publicize that RightHaven LLC did not give any sort of “cease and desist” or take-down letter before suing. While not required in most cases, it is the common practice to do so.
Finally, law professor Eric Johnson has a new post on his blog, Blog Law Blog, on the RightHaven LLC lawsuits. The post, entitled “Righthaven’s Innovation? Stooping Lower”, sets forth his opinion on what they are doing.
I think what the Las Vegas Review-Journal and its thugster stooge Righthaven are doing is completely obnoxious. It reeks. It also makes the Las Vegas Review-Journal look like a pack of feral alley dwellers instead of an earnest news organization that is deserving of the public trust.
That said, Professor Johnson goes on to say that the lawsuits are not frivolous. The suits are based upon perceived copyright violations that are actionable. The law makes it easy to sue for copyright violations and they are using it. That said, he notes as we go through life we come upon many opportunities to sue others. What makes our system of civil law work, however, it that we exercise restraint and discretion in filing lawsuits. If we didn’t, the courts would be clogged.
Professor Johnson finds it particularly objectionable that the Las Vegas Review Journal and their extension RightHaven LLC are filing their lawsuits without making any attempt to resolve the disputes informally. He concludes:
Righthaven and its associated newspapers are on the cutting edge because they have stooped lower than anyone else in the news business has been willing to go. That’s nothing to be proud of.
I couldn’t agree more.
UPDATE: My first Instalanche! Welcome Instapundit readers. Stay a while and visit.
UPDATE II: If you would like to listen to an interview with Clayton Cramer, he was a guest on Tom Gresham’s GunTalk Radio show last Sunday. The episode can be found here or on iTunes. The interview with Clayton begins at about the 24:20 mark.