“Copyright-enforcer Righthaven demands $6,000 from young autistic blogger”

by Walter Olson on February 18, 2011

The guy had reposted a photo belonging to the Denver Post, a newspaper that’s among the clients of the copyright-enforcement mill [Westword via Romenesko, USWGO]

{ 7 comments }

1 captnhal 02.18.11 at 8:28 am

Ignoring the fact that Righthaven sues to intimidate people into giving them money, I’d like to see an itemized list that causes the settlement offer to be $6,000 for one photo from which I saw nothing in the article to indicate that the blogger made even a penny of profit. The word “barratry” comes to mind.

2 wfjag 02.18.11 at 9:38 am

The Denver Post is using Righthaven. According to commentators to the Westword blog, the picture that Righthaven is demanding $6K for copyright infringement over was asked to be shared; was on the websites last Nov. and Dec. 1st; is in Google photos; is on hundreds of web pages and was so on Dec. 1, 2010. Righthaven copyrighted the photo on Dec. 8th. The disabled young man Righthaven has sued first learned of the claim of infringement and the suit when “A reporter from the Las Vegas Sun, Steve Green, sent me an e-mail and told me about the lawsuit, and he gave me a copy of the lawsuit,” Brian Hill said. However, the Denver Post, whose interests Righthaven is allegedly protecting, has not reported on this or the other approximately 30 suits Righthaven has filed on its behalf.

3 Thomas Zak 02.18.11 at 12:56 pm

Your title seems to focus on “young autistic blogger”, but the truth is that he’s not a child. He is 20 years old. And there is nothing in the article which seems to indicate that his disability is in any way related to the cose. Come on! He’s maintinaingg his own alternative news blog.

I’m not saying that RightHaven deserves 6K for a photo in a random blog posting, but “young” and “autistic” are distractions from the real story.

4 gitarcarver 02.18.11 at 5:41 pm

The title is not an original writing of Mr. Olson but rather a quote (notice the quotation marks) from an article by Jim Romenesko on poynter.org.

The article is linked to start the thread.

5 Matin 02.21.11 at 12:59 am

Ditto to what Thomas Zak said! And that’s not even disputing the very disputable notion that “autism” is a real thing at all, and not just the greatest medical fraud (“characterized by non-specific symptoms”) of the last 100 years. The reality is that copyright law requires that copyrights be defended, and penalties and fines are meaningless if they are only for the amount of direct economic loss.. There are far better targets for this blog than this case.

6 Robert 02.21.11 at 4:29 pm

These stories–and the biased reporting–really bother me.

I spend a lot of time and money over compliance issues. We make sure all the content we use, from fonts to videos, is licensed. We pay for business licenses, pay taxes to three governments (county, state, and federal), and submit to audits and inspections.

Why do “bloggers” feel they are exempt from the laws regulating business and the use of intellectual property? And they way this kid plays the “disabled” card is disgusting, almost as disgusting as the biased news coverage in his favor.

7 gitarcarver 02.22.11 at 10:23 am

I spend a lot of time and money over compliance issues.

I’m sorry, but your statement is more of a condemnation of the system than supporting it. One has to wonder why you have to spend so much money? If it is to prevent lawsuits then you are smack dab in the land of the “overlawyered.”

Why do “bloggers” feel they are exempt from the laws regulating business and the use of intellectual property?

Most bloggers do not feel they are exempt from intellectual property laws. Most bloggers do not understand them. The laws themselves are written in such a way that the average person cannot understand them.

And they way this kid plays the “disabled” card is disgusting, almost as disgusting as the biased news coverage in his favor.

I just want to make sure that I understand your position here. You are happy with some legal firm who does nothing but use “scatter gun” lawsuits going after a person who had no idea they may have been breaking any law, never devalued the intellectual property, never made any money from the intellectual property and doesn’t make money from his blogging being presented with a $6000 demand for payment?

Let’s be clear here, Robert. Righthaven and their ilk are not about protecting intellectual property. They are about making money. It is a revenue stream from a source that no one would ever suspected or approve of.

Why not just send a letter or an email asking the image be taken down?

Because it is not about the intellectual property. It is about a revenue stream.

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