August 25, 2010 | By Eva Galperin

EFF Seeks to Help Righthaven Defendants

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is seeking to assist defendants in the Righthaven copyright troll lawsuits. Righthaven, founded in March of 2010, files hundreds of copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of newspaper publishers against bloggers who make use of news content without permission. To that end, Righthaven searches the internet for stories and parts of stories from the newspapers that they represent. Once they find content that has been re-published, Righthaven purchases the copyright to the article and sues the owner of the blog.

Just like the US Copyright Group shakedowns, and the RIAA shakedowns of the recent past, Righthaven relies on the threat of enormous statutory damages associated with the Copyright Act to scare defendants, often individual bloggers operating non-commercial websites, into a quick settlement, reportedly ranging from two to five thousand dollars. The Righthaven lawsuits are of particular concern because they sometimes target the operators of political websites who re-publish newspaper stories, chilling political speech. Righthaven has also targeted the newspaper's source for the very articles allegedly infringed.

If you are the target for a Righthaven lawsuit in need of representation, please contact Rebecca Reagan at rsreagan@eff.org. Please understand that we have a relatively small number of very hard-working attorneys, so we do not have the resources to defend everyone who asks, no matter how deserving. However, if we cannot represent you directly, we will make every effort to put you in touch with attorneys who can.


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