People, people, people…

RightHaven VictimsI just had to take a moment to comment on a recent article I read over at MediaPost about copyright trolls, RightHaven, and their heavy-handed tactics in copyright enforcement. The article written by Wendy Davis cites a lawsuit brought by RightHaven against an autistic blogger for $150,000 for posting an image originally posted by the Denver Post.

Following what I understand is their standard modus operandi , RightHaven does not first ask for compliance, they file a suit first and ask questions later. No warning, no letter or email requesting compliance – just a lawsuit that the offending party needs to respond to or end up being thrown under the ever-turning wheels of justice. Justice?  Sorry, this action does not appear to be about justice – it seems to be about RightHaven lawyers looking for more and more billable hours I think.

In the article, Reporters Without Borders, (a free speech advocacy group,) has asked the Denver Post parent organization to please reconsider their association and behavior in respect to employing RightHaven tactics. They, and I, have no problem with a media agency wanting to retain control over its creative output, but is hiring a lawyer to bring suit the right first step if you believe a copyright infringement has occurred?

What ever happened to the idea of just asking to have the content removed?  Polite manners aside, what’s the ROI in paying a lawyer $250 an hour vs. a staffer $20 an hour to send an email that says the same?  If the offending party does not comply, maybe the $250 an hour lawyer IS the right way to go, but I’d make a bet that the $20 would often get the same result – and save the Denver Post thousands of dollars in legal fees.

This kind of behavior deserves the full light of the blogosphere to be regularly and constantly turned on it (stay in touch on these guys at RightHavenVictims.com).  As to RightHaven and the Denver Posts’ behavior – I just want to say shame on you guys! If you want to protect your content and save money, think about email and letters before lawyers. But going after a 20 year old autistic bloggers?! WTF?!