Saturday, January 22, 2011
"Champerty": a new vocabulary word, for bloggers as well as SAT's
A Second Amendment site named Ammoland (“The Armed Citizen, Armed with Knowledge”) has an account of its own brush with Righthaven, link here. The gist of the article is “ But a lawyer in Nevada decided there was a gold mine in suing mom-and-pop blogs for money. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our battle to fight. There was too much to lose, so we settled. Our fans were awesome with the donations, we didn’t lose a penny in the end. But we still hope Righthaven’s litigious little jihad comes to an end very soon.”
In other words, they had to give in to a shakedown, legal extortion, a kind of bullying. That is indeed how it looks. Do the newspapers object to the copying, or just to low-cost, no-overhead competition? Again, “free entry” is at stake.
Another site ("pak") of Azkar Choudhry) has filed a counterclaim accusing Righthaven of “champerty” (legal definition here ), or an arrangement where a party with no standing in a lawsuit supports it financially in order to share in the profits. (It’s not in Word’s thesaurus.) It still is unclear what the courts will say about this. Do “property rights” allow reassignment of “standing” for such pursuits?
English teachers (and maybe government teachers), you have another vocabulary word for the kids. It ought to make the SOL's.