RightHaven LLC Opposition Organizing

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.

If you want to read more about the RightHaven LLC lawsuits go to posts here and here. I have a couple other posts on RightHaven LLC here and here as well.

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.

Best Comment on RightHaven LLC

The Las Vegas Sun had a story today saying two more defendants reached confidential settlements with Steve Gibson and Righthaven LLC.

Jack Wooden of Columbus, Indiana who runs an outdoor site called madjacksport.com and Pennwell Corporation, an Oklahoma company which runs an energy information website, pennenergy.com, are reported to have settled their lawsuits with RightHaven LLC.

“BobbyG” in the comments section wins the comment of the day award with this:

Get me re-write:

“Righthaven LLC, the company suing website owners over copyrights to Las Vegas Review-Journal stories, has coerced confidential extortion agreements with two more defendants.”

Second Amendment Sisters Are Most Recent RightHaven LLC Target

According to a story in the Las Vegas Sun, five more website owners were sued by RightHaven LLC including the Second Amendment Sisters. This brings to 100 the number of bloggers and websites sued by RightHaven LLC.

The Second Amendment Sisters describe their mission as:

We are a grassroots national organization with representation in all 50 states. Second Amendment Sisters, also known as SAS, was formed in response to the Million Mom March. It was our founders’ belief that the Million Moms should not and would not represent all American Women.

Founded by 5 women from across the country, SAS has now grown to thousands of members across our Great Nation. We have taken on many functions. We teach and advocate for women to have the right to life – that is, we work to protect our basic human right to self-defense. Our members span the ages from the very young to the mature.

With regard to the lawsuits the Sun reports that,

Court records indicate 18 of the suits have been settled under generally undisclosed terms — and that more settlements are in the works.

In many of the cases, “mom and pop”-type website owners and bloggers are defending themselves, finding it cheaper to settle than to hire an attorney to litigate the cases.

However, not all defendants are rolling over. A Canadian website, MajorWager.com, is fighting back as is the Nevada Democratic Party. In their story on this lawsuit, the Las Vegas Sun notes that the Democrats have brought in a heavy hitter Washington, DC law firm Perkins Coie LLP. Attorney Marc Elias is one of the attorneys representing the Nevada Democrats. He served as general counsel to the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign in 2004.

H/T to Clayton Cramer and Sebastian

Will Steve Gibson, CEO of RightHaven LLC, Sleep with the Fishes?

Only an idiot would sue a reputed mob enforcer for copyright infringement. Steve Gibson, CEO of RightHaven LLC, qualifies.

Anthony “Tony the Animal” Fiato was the subject of a book by Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith and was also a source for many of his columns. The book was entitled “The Animal in Hollywood” and is still available on Amazon. Mr. Fiato is being sued for copyright infringement for putting up LVR-J stories about the mob in Las Vegas on his blog “Hollywood Goodfella“.

Fiato said he was surprised to learn of the lawsuit, since he had been unaware of any concern about him posting R-J stories on his website. Fiato learned about the suit because he was contacted for comment by the Las Vegas Sun.

“I’m not concerned about it. It sounds like someone made a mistake,’’ he said, noting his assistance with Smith’s book and in providing information to the Review-Journal.

Fiato said he lives at an undisclosed location as a relocated government witness.

 Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has more on RightHaven LLC and a program he has for WordPress blogs to check on links to any of Stephens Media LLC stories.

H/T Snowflakes In Hell

UPDATE: The Armed Citizen has an extensive update on the suit filed against them by RightHaven LLC. They also have a link to a website that gives in quite a bit of detail on the connections between Steve Gibson, both Michelle and Barack Obama, and Obama’s copyright czar Victoria Espinel.

UPDATE II: Walter Olson writing for Cato at Liberty discusses lawsuit filing “millls”. Among them is what he calls “the most recent to emerge – copyright mills” as evidenced by RightHaven LLC. It is an interesting article on all sorts of “litigation-mills”.