Today, The Armed Citizen received informal notice in the form of a media inquiry about a lawsuit against this website and its owners, David Burnett and Clayton Cramer. The lawsuit, reportedly filed in US District Court on July 20th, alleges that The Armed Citizen and its owners "willfully copied" original source content from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
According to news reports, Righthaven LLC has reportedly filed lawsuits against 75 other political websites and/or blogs without prior contact or attempt at resolution. The sites include FreeRepublic.com, the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
The "offending" entries consist of six stories, some of which were short enough to qualify under the Fair Use Rule, out of nearly 4,700 entries. The six stories are still publicly available on the Las Vegas Review-Journal's website, to which we linked.
The Armed Citizen has been excerpting articles from newspaper, TV station, and radio station websites for a number of years. If any copyright holders decided that The Armed Citizen had exceeded fair use, they only needed to send us an email. Instead, in a bid to target and intimidate small websites, they have chosen to pursue legal action.
At this time, the future of The Armed Citizen is uncertain, and possibly in jeopardy, thanks to Righthaven LLC and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Their contact information is listed below.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
1111 W. Bonanza Road
P.O. Box 70
Las Vegas, NV 89125
Main phone number:
Newspaper office number:
Copy of Lawsuit (As forwarded by a reporter...The Armed Citizen has received no official notice of pending litigation.)
To e-mail David and Clayton, write to Tips@thearmedcitizen.com
Las Vegas newspaper sues websites over use of content
Conservative website among 3 sued over R-J copyrights
LV Review-Journal may be violating law with selective copyright suits
REVIEW-JOURNAL SUES ITS OWN SOURCE
UPDATE: It turns out that the minimum amount of a controversy filed in federal court involving citizens of multiple states is $75,000 (which is something that I already knew). The lawyers are relying on us to "settle" because they know darn well that their actual damages aren't even close to $75,000. They might have trouble proving $75 worth of actual damages. This is perilously close to extortion. Interesting discussion of this over here.
UPDATE 2: These lawyers have filed dozens of such suits, always demanding $75,000 (the federal controversy minimum)--and it looks like some people are starting to fight back. I wonder how many people like me showing up and demanding proof of $75,000 in damages before some federal judge tells these crooks to go chase ambulances, like other shysters.
UPDATE 3: I have taken down the entire Armed Citizen blog. It's just too dangerous. And this blog may go away tomorrow as well. It's just too dangerous. There are criminal enterprises out there prepared to use the law in ways that it was not intended.