Being Sued

Did I mention that the forums are being sued? It’s been going on for a while now.

You see there’s a ‘company’ called Righthaven. They apparently buy the copyright to news articles on the web. Then they sue people that have quoted those articles on their websites. (It’s a bit more complicated than this – but that’s the idea).

It all started around September last year – when a user on the forums posted a news article about some hotel in Vegas that is shaped in a way that the reflected sun burns people. Or something. 

Eventually, around November/December, I got served papers saying that they were suing us for copyright infringement. No “please take this article down”, no nothing – just straight up court papers.

So we got an attorney and decided to fight it – mainly on principle. Which I’m personally starting to regret. We’re around $30,000 down on the deal. I’ve heard on the grapevine we could have settled for less than $5,000. Having principles cost a lot of money.

The problem is this. If you sue someone in the UK and lose you almost always automatically have to pay their legal costs. In the US that’s not the case. So most of the time it’s a simple business decision – settle and it costs $1 or fight and it costs $20. And that’s how their business plan works.

Righthaven seems to be folding up now. They’ve lost a lot of cases recently and are apparently starting no new ones. So annoyingly it seems like if we’d have just dodged them it’d have all gone away eventually and cost us nothing.

The judge threw the case out. And they appealed against that (thanks legal system, bye $10,000). So now we’re waiting for the judge to read their appeal and our replies and tell us whether we’re going to court or not. Even if we win it won’t feel like a victory, it’ll just be a relief.

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