PDA

View Full Version : Legal Copyright Trolls RightHaven, LLC about to be officially smacked


healthpellets
03-22-2011, 01:08 PM
Serves them right. I hope every single defendant requests, and is awarded, attorney's fees.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/03/fair-use-win-righthaven-case

Fair Use For the Win in Righthaven Case

News Update by Kurt Opsahl

Last Friday, a judge in the Nevada federal district court patiently explained why fair use disposes of Righthaven's copyright claim arising from the republication of an entire news article by a nonprofit organization. The hearing was in one of the now-250 Righthaven copyright cases. A written order, which will help set a persuasive precedent for other copyright troll cases, will be issued later.

The hearing was in Righthaven v. Center for Intercultural Organizing. Righthaven sued CIO, an Oregon non-profit organization promoting immigrant rights, alleging copyright infringement of a Las Vegas Review-Journal article. Righthaven did not create the news article, but claims the right to sue based on an assignment from the LVRJ.

The copyright troll's business model is to search for blogs and websites that include a newspaper's material, acquire the right to sue on particular articles from the paper, and then file a lawsuit without any prior notice to the defendant. Righthaven seeks the maximum damages under the Copyright Act as well as control over the domain name, but is willing to settle for four-figure sums that seem calculated to be less than the cost of defense. Meanwhile, the actual articles that Righthaven sues over remain available for no charge on the newspaper website.

At the hearing, the Judge went through each of the four factors of a fair use analysis, explaining why they favored a finding of fair use and why Righthaven's legal arguments were unavailing. The judge noted that the work was being used by Righthaven "exclusively for lawsuits", and the lawsuits were having a "chilling effect" on fair uses. Since Righthaven's use of the work "does nothing to advance the Copyright Act's purpose, which is to encourage and protect creativity," Judge Mehan was inclined to find CIO's non-commercial use to be fair even thought it used the entirety of the article.

The Judge asked the defendants and amicus Professor Jason Schultz to draft the order. Righthaven will have an opportunity to comment before it is signed by the Judge and becomes final.

This case is the second case to rule on the merits of Righthaven's copyright-trolling lawsuits. The first, Righthaven v. Realty One, also found a fair use. Righthaven says it intends to appeal both cases.

EFF is representing the defendants in two Righthaven cases - Righthaven v. Democratic Underground and Righthaven v. DiBiase.

If you want to read more about the mounting PR issues RightHaven is facing, then you can check this out: http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/business-notebook/2011/mar/22/pr-problem-widens-righthaven-nc-bloggers-demand-at/

Simplex3
03-22-2011, 01:36 PM
This whole Righthaven thing reminds me of all the people DirecTV sued because those people had equipment that could be used to pirate their service. DirecTV didn't care that there were hundreds or thousands of legitimate uses for that equipment, they just called you up, told you that you could pay them a few thousand to settle or they'd sue you.

A friend of mine got the call/letter from DirecTV because we were working on some smart card/mag stripe integration for a possible product we were developing. I can't remember the amount they demanded, but I think it was $3k. We spent hours and disclosed trade secret documents and they did eventually back down, but that was time we should have never had to spend. They had no evidence that we were pirating their signal. The real irony was that we were both paying DirecTV customers at the time.

chopper
03-22-2011, 02:09 PM
Wow, I'm sure that pissed you off. How did Dtv come to find out you had this equipment?
Posted via Mobile Device

Simplex3
03-22-2011, 02:22 PM
Wow, I'm sure that pissed you off. How did Dtv come to find out you had this equipment?
Posted via Mobile Device

They would sue places that sold smart card equipment to get their customer list, then send these letters/phone calls to everyone on the list. The act of having purchased smart card equipment meant you were clearly guilty of stealing DirecTV's signals.

healthpellets
03-22-2011, 03:10 PM
They would sue places that sold smart card equipment to get their customer list, then send these letters/phone calls to everyone on the list. The act of having purchased smart card equipment meant you were clearly guilty of stealing DirecTV's signals.

were business required to keep a list of customers that had bought that specific product?

cash is king.

Simplex3
03-22-2011, 03:28 PM
were business required to keep a list of customers that had bought that specific product?

Most mail order businesses (which most smart card tech was sold through) keep records of who they sold what to for marketing purposes as well as tax purposes. DirecTV would take whatever they could get. If all they had was an address you could bet the person living there was getting a notice. If all they had was a name and a general metro area (records from a walk-in retail store for instance) You'd better hope you didn't have the same name.

They used the DMCA to, in a number of cases, shut down and take over legitimate resellers of legitimate equipment.

This explains it much better than I do: http://www.directvdefense.org/hunt/

I forget how much money they made from the scam, but if you assume 1/2 the people they sent letters to paid the minimum amount DirecTV extorted ~$300M.

These Righthaven scum are no better.

Simplex3
03-22-2011, 03:47 PM
Software patents have become even more absurd. A Canadian company by the name of I4i has sued Microsoft and won on a patent which basically patents the use of one file to store a document's data and a second document to store the presentation of that data.

The USPTO granted the patent. The person who did so was clearly retarded, because HTML/CSS, XML/XSL, LaTeX, and a number of other technologies already existed that did that very thing. I4i's patent application was, like most software patents, very wordy and vague, but dropped in just enough specifics to make sure it could clear any existing patents. Then the Canadian company (I4i) sued the Seattle, Washington company (Microsoft) in Tyler, Texas.

Tyler, Texas is famous because it has 96,900 people (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyler,_Texas) and more patent attorneys they you can shake a stick at (http://goo.gl/49F5y). The courts are known far and wide as a joke for being so plaintiff-friendly in patent cases. To be fair the problem is rampant in East Texas, and Tyler may or may not fairly get the brunt of the abuse.

Swanman
03-22-2011, 04:12 PM
A friend of mine got the call/letter from DirecTV because we were working on some smart card/mag stripe integration for a possible product we were developing. I can't remember the amount they demanded, but I think it was $3k. We spent hours and disclosed trade secret documents and they did eventually back down, but that was time we should have never had to spend. They had no evidence that we were pirating their signal. The real irony was that we were both paying DirecTV customers at the time.

It was $3,500, iirc. The people at Directv are scum for pulling this shit, as well as the early cancellation fee bullshit (where they reset your 2-year commitment every time you sneeze or look at them sideways). I was a customer for almost 10 years and they hit me up for early cancellation fees because I upgraded one box in my home to hd 18 months earlier.