Friday, January 14, 2011

Now, Righthaven sues message board posters, no chance at all of DMCA safe harbor warning first

The Righthaven saga continues.  Now, two individual posters on message boards have been sued. The defendants are James Higgins (for a story on Google Groups) and Wayne Hoehn for a post on madjacksports, ironically in a post that reportedly copied a story about public employee pensions, something I write about a lot on my retirement blog.

Righthaven also now has one suit in South Carolina, against a defendant named Eiser. All others (now 206) are in Nevada.

Steve Green covered the message board suits in a Jan. 12 story in the Las Vegas Sun, link here

Righthaven is remaining very insistent in its position that individual infringers (even on message boards) are not entitled to prior notice under the DMCA safe harbor, only service providers are.  In fact, Righthaven had already settled with madjacksports.  The whole question still needs close attention, that I don’t think is anything close to definitive yet.

Note that Green links to an Oct. 20 story on the LVS site about the one trial settled so far, one that went against Righthaven on Fair Use grounds.

It does seem that Righthaven is doing this "because we can."  

There is a site, RFCExpress, that stores the documents for federal district suits, and will retrieve all documents associated with a case, but charges a small fee for each document.  For example, for Wayne Hoehn the direct link is this. Most of the individual cases should show up here from search engines.

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