Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Righthaven LLC Sues Dr. David Duke For Copyright Infringement; Asking $150,000 Plus Forfeiture Of The WhiteCivilRights.com Domain Name

On February 7th, 2011, the Las Vegas Sun reports that Righthaven LLC, a serial litigator who files copyright lawsuits against various people without warning, has now targeted Dr. David Duke for alleged copyright infringement. They're asking $150,000 plus forfeiture of the WhiteCivilRights.com domain name. Both Dr. Duke and his nonprofit European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) are named as defendants; he's posted no reaction on his website yet. The suit was filed on February 4th, 2011 in U.S. District Court in Colorado, and has been designated Case No. 1:2011cv00307; the suit documents are available for purchase HERE (I've found no free alternatives yet).

[Ed. Note: Righthaven is also going after Pajamas Media for the same thing. This story is also of interest because isn't a case of someone just grabbing a photo to illustrate a story. Instead, the opening paragraphs -- which clearly identify and link to the Denver Post as the source of the image -- are about how this image has "become the symbol" of the "Don't touch my junk" movement. It would seem that this gives Pajamas a really strong fair use claim, since the image was being used within a news report for commentary on the iconic nature of the image. Newspapers and other media have long used similar situations to claim fair use over imagery.]

Righthaven accuses Dr. Duke of allowing a Denver Post photo of a TSA officer patting down a passenger at Denver International Airport from November 18th, 2010 to be posted on WhiteCivilRights.com. A Righthaven court exhibit shows the Denver Post photo accompanying a column by James Buchanan complaining about the highly intrusive enhanced TSA screening and pat-down procedures. The exhibit shows the Denver Post was not credited as the source of the photo on Duke's website.

Research indicates the only qualifying post is the one entitled "TSA Abuses: Is Flying A Right Or A Privilege", published on November 24th, 2010. It shows a picture of a TSA officer grabbing a man's crotch with his right hand and holding the man's belt with his left hand. However, a Google Image search of the term "TSA" (without the quotes) indicates the picture is available from multiple sources, so Righthaven will have to prove that WhiteCivilRights specifically used the Denver Post version. In addition, no copyright jurat appears on the photo posted at WhiteCivilRights; one would think anyone seriously interested in copyrighting their images would affirmatively protect their rights by appending a copyright jurat upon the image.

What's also odd is that Righthaven LLC did not take the preliminary step of issuing a DMCA takedown notice to WhiteCivilRights host. While most people who believe their rights are infringed upon will take preliminary steps such as attempting to notify the webmaster, and then, if necessary, sending a takedown notice to the webmaster's host, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) does not require a complainant to take preliminary steps. A complainant is permitted to sue even as a first step. And Righthaven is taking full advantage of that; they've filed at least 235 copyright infringement lawsuits since they got into the copyright mining business in March 2010.

Back in September 2010, I provided more details about Righthaven's tactics on Alaska Pride. In March 2010, Righthaven LLC was formed by Steven Gibson, who immediately partnered with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to cut down on other websites indiscriminately copying their stories, many without attribution (obviously, they're now also partnering with the Denver Post, too). Specifically, Righthaven "trolls" or finds an infringement of an R-J copyright to a specific story, buys the copyright for that story from the R-J’s owner, and then sues the infringer — all the while continuing to troll for additional violations. Buying the copyright is an important step because it allows Righthaven to seek statutory damages (some defendants argue that Righthaven lacks standing to sue them because Righthaven didn’t own the copyrights at the time of the initial infringement).

Steven Gibson has found a small loophole in DMCA which permits him to bypass the notice and go straight for litigation. For a website to claim the "safe harbor" coverage which would mandate that a copyright complainant first send a takedown notice, website owners must designate a contact and register their contact information with the U.S. Copyright Office. Gibson's targets have been websites which have not registered -- and thus do not qualify under the safe harbor provision. Righthaven normally seeks quick settlements of anywhere from $3,000-$5,000, much like RIAA used to do to people who downloaded unauthorized music. This means that if Dr. Duke chooses to settle, he might pay no more than $3,000.

The Las Vegas Sun published a detailed story on Righthaven back on August 4th, 2010 (you'll notice links to many more Righthaven stories on their right sidebar). In addition, other Righthaven victims are listed on the RighthavenVictims blog. Because Righthaven targets so many people, I don't believe at this point that Dr. Duke is being targeted specifically because he is a White Nationalist.

Only one political candidate of whom I'm aware wants to free us from copyright tyranny. Billy Roper, a Presidential candidate, has crafted a detailed platform involving the wholesale reform of copyright and the re-definition of intellectual property, as follows:

-- Separation of Intellect from Property
-- Reform of Copyright
-- Reform of Patent
-- Reform of Trademark
-- Abolition of the DCMA
-- Abolition of the DRM
-- Rejection of the Concept of Online Piracy

14 comments:

FeminizedWesternMale said...

"I don't believe at this point that Dr. Duke is being targeted specifically because he is a White Nationalist."

Perhaps not explicitly. We are all implicitly targeted as obsolescent. Not very patriotic (smirks)

Anonymous said...

That photo went viral, I have seen that on hundreds of blogs and web sites, how can they prove where Duke got that from???

Anonymous said...

David Duke is an effective white activist. He would be an easy target for anybody with half a leg to stand on in court.

Anonymous said...

8:33, you are right about the photo being on lots of sites and blogs, but Duke is a big name and Righthaven see's him as having deep pockets. They might even sue this blog for using their name in writing about this news story. I think also, Duke has a fundraising element or a donate on his web site, thus Righthaven can say Duke was using their picture to make money, where a blog that does not accept any money and is just information and discussion, is ok as there can be no case made that the picture was used for money making.

Anonymous said...

Billy Roper a presidential candidate after that disastrous campaign he was in for Governor of Arkansas? That's just a ridiculous as Brian Holland running again? lol

Anonymous said...

Nothing was as comical as the "Bowles campaign." Could you image someone like that running against Duke or professional politician?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Bowles' campaign must have been pretty lame. Just think, an average "White Joe", daring to run against slick con-men like Duke or these other "professional political whores". Yep, Ol'David got elected due to all the average White Joe's WORKING for his election and DONATING all their hard-earned monies, to elect an OPEN PRO-WHITE political voice ( Duke has NEVER held a REAL job his entire lifetime ) and when Duke got to sit his ass down amongst all the other Professional Political Whores, what did he SAY or DO? Why - NOTHING! He fit right in as just ANOTHER CON-servative Professional Political Whore... WHAT do we learn from that experience? Apparently NOTHING, as here we go again, with "David Duke for President" no less! LMAO!

Anonymous said...

I's take Bowles any day over Duke.

Anonymous said...

Duke violated the law and was imprisoned. I never heard Bowles convicted of theft or election law violation which means he ran everything cleaner than Duke.

People can accuse Bowles of anything but until I see a conviction its all bullshit written about him.

Anonymous said...

Zog would never falsely convict someone.

Anonymous said...

DUKE PLED GUILTY TO THE CHARGES, SO HE WAS OBVIOUSLY GUILTY AS CHARGED. Its so simple if your not into x-file conspiracies 24/7....

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine DAVID DUKE as "PRESIDENT"? LMAO! It would be RONNY RAYGUN all over again, with a twist of ORAL-OFFICE CLINTON to boot! lol

Anonymous said...

Duke is no fool, con man that he is. He understands completely that 'campaigning for president' will bring in the bucks from a lot of desperate white people, who are as yet too cowardly to get up off their ass's and take the more radical route, the only one that has a chance of getting anywhere. Lets face it, DUKE LIVES OFF OF THE MONEY OF WELL-MEANING WHITE PEOPLE. And he lives pretty well too. Once again, this only shows what a creep Duke is, HE knows what the "score" is, but to keep his lifelong NO-JOB lifestyle, he would take candy from a baby...

Anonymous said...

If Duke was such a great politician, how is it that he couldn't get re-elected? Kind of like Obama, people hoped for 'great change' and the ol'Dukster just sat on his ass collecting his zog paycheck. You would have thought that Duke would have used his seat as a pulpit to arouse the White masses, no he just sat there contemplating his next river boat gambling excursion.