Thursday, August 26, 2010

A RightHaven LLC Round-up


The biggest news is that the EFF - the Electronic Frontier Foundation - is stepping up and helping bloggers who have been sued by RightHaven LLC. In an announcement posted yesterday by Eva Galperin, they encourage those who have been a target of RightHaven's lawsuits to contact them. They say they can help a small number of bloggers by providing legal counsel. The EFF notes it has limited resources with which to provide direct legal counsel but is committed to providing referrals to those that they can't represent directly.

To contact the EFF for help, send an email to

Planted Stories?

Under the heading of what seems to be a planted story by the good folks at Stephens Media LLC, we have a story in NWAOnline - the NWA stands for Northwest Arkansas - that is is entitled "Firm holds websites to the law." What I see of the story reads like a press release from RightHaven.

Back in "Uncle Joe" Stalin's day, the Soviets referred to those in the Western press who believed their lies and would pass them on as "truth" to their readers as useful idiots. Seems appropriate here as well.

Google Cache

Techdirt has an interesting article on the legal theories used by defense lawyers in the RightHaven suits. One theory that is being tried out focuses on an earlier ruling which found Google cache legal. Here is how the theory goes:
So, with Righthaven, these lawyers are claiming the same basic thing. They're saying that the LVRJ gave an implicit license for a similar cache-with-link by putting the content up for free and by failing to limit the ability to copy & paste the text via technical means. On top of that, they point out that the LVRJ explicitly encourages people to "share" the articles on its site (something the LVRJ still does -- including quick links to share it with 19 different services).
While certainly not the same as the Google case, it will be interesting to see where this argument for fair use goes.


In another Techdirt story on the defenses being used against RightHaven, the lawyers for Ryan Burrage of Louisiana accuse the Las Vegas Review-Journal of entrapment. This argument contends by providing "email this" and RSS links constantly throughout articles as well as encouraging people to "share and save" up to 23 times per article , the LVRJ is encouraging the behavior for which they then turn around and have RightHaven sue.

Steve Green of the Las Vegas Sun

Reporter Steve Green of the Las Vegas Sun has been doing yeoman work following the RightHaven story. Much of what we know about the lawsuits has come from his stories. Indeed, the Techdirt stories above are from stories of his in the Las Vegas Sun.

His recent articles include:

R-J accused of entrapment over copyright enforcement

Blogger asks to pay $200 to close R-J copyright suit

Website operators use new defenses to fight R-J copyright suits



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