By Eric Blair
Shady Las Vegas copyright infringement company, Righthaven LLC, seems to be a small-time legal firm using a canned lawsuit to slap down bloggers for copyright infringement for meager settlements. But now they are going after alternative news kingpin and globalist critic Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report.
Righthaven claims that Drudge knowingly misused a Denver Post copyrighted photo of a TSA agent groping the crotch of a male traveler, along with a link to a story about airport security on the Las Vegas Review-Journal website.
Righthaven is seeking copyright infringement damages of $150,000 and forfeiture of his domain name. [Here’s the image in color]:
Drudge Report was instrumental in inciting the recent TSA revolt by repeatedly posting stories that exposed rights abuses by Big Brother, or “Big Sis” when referring to DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano. It seems, this time, Drudge went too far by posting the obvious headline to the groping photo; TSA XXX: Airport Wants ‘Opt Out.’
According to the Las Vegas Sun, a newspaper competitor of Las Vegas Review-Journal, these lawsuits are a new type of legal enterprise:
The Review-Journal’s copyright enforcement partner, Las Vegas company Righthaven LLC, has sued 98 North American websites and blogsites in federal court in Las Vegas since March — typically demanding $75,000 in damages and forfeiture of the defendants’ website domain names.
Attorneys say the Righthaven lawsuits are unprecedented in recent memory because, in the past, newspapers dealt with online copyright infringement by simply asking infringing websites to remove the infringing material and to replace it with a link to the source newspaper. Most Righthaven defendants say they were sued without warning and without anyone from the Review-Journal informing them there was a concern with their use of Review-Journal material.
None of Righthaven’s lawsuits have had a judge rule on their validity although several cases are pending. Instead, their practice appears to be a business scheme to make the defendants settle out of court:
Twenty-two of the suits have been settled and closed under generally undisclosed terms, though court filings revealed two defendants paid $2,185 and $5,000, respectively, to close their cases. The settling defendants haven’t had to forfeit their website domain names (Las Vegas Sun).
These settlements hardly appear to be worth the trouble, especially considering it cost them around $1,500 for each lawsuit and they’ve gone after blogs with as little as 20 hits a day leading one defendant to call it extortion:
‘It’s legal extortion,’ said Mostofi, who fears he may be forced to pay a cash settlement to avoid the expense of a court fight. ‘They’re going after small bloggers who can’t afford representation.’
Media watchdogs are monitoring the lawsuits closely to see if a judge will ultimately rule in one of these cases, thus setting a precedent that will surely send shock waves to independent news blogs. This golden precedent may be the actual goal of Righthaven’s enterprise. A closer look at the company reveals some very close ties to the most nefarious globalists.
According to RighthavenLawsuits.com (which is not affiliated with Righthaven LLC):
Righthaven LLC is owned 50/50 by two limited liability companies. The first is Net Sortie Systems, LLC, which is owned by Las Vegas attorney Steven Gibson – the Nevada attorney who is behind all of the lawsuits filed by Righthaven. The second is SI Content Monitor LLC, which is owned by family members of investment banking billionaire Warren Stephens whose investments include Stephens Media LLC which owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The billionaire Warren Stephens made his money as an off-Wall Street banker whose clients include some very powerful elitist organizations:
The firm, a closely held family enterprise which doesn’t have to make its investments public, touts itself as the largest brokerage off Wall Street. Now run by Warren Stephens, the firm’s list of clients includes the Waltons, Tyson Foods, Monsanto and whatever interests David Rockefeller (Council for the Americas, Council on Foreign Relations, etc.) might have. Stephens Inc. is proud to be off-Wall Street, but they do deals with Goldman Sachs and Lazard Freres on a regular basis.
Matt Drudge has always proven to be a thorn in the Left side of politics, but as of late he has also taken on the globalists. Intriguingly, the most notable and quotable of said globalists are all listed as Mr. Stephens’ primary clients. Because of his success and readership power, Drudge also has been the target of proposed website taxes, appropriately dubbed the “Drudge tax.”
At first glance it would seem that Drudge would crush this puny ambulance-chasing law business, yet when these globalists are lurking in the nearby shadows, you can bet these copyright infringement cases have an ulterior motive of silencing their critics. This is nothing more than a blatant tactic to squelch free speech in the Internet’s swelling “infowar.”
Given the damage that “Anonymous” hacktivists have done to major corporate websites over freedom of speech violations, the list of newspapers who are Righthaven’s current clients here, here, and here may need to boost their Internet security.
(Keep tabs on journalist Steve Green of the Las Vegas Sun who has been covering Righthaven from the beginning.)