Monday, July 26, 2010

Scandalous System

I've talked to several different attorneys today: the attorney for my homeowner's insurance (no, they won't cover this); several attorneys active in the gun rights movement--and all agree that this is a case that we could probably win, especially because it is so blatantly obvious what is going on with RightHaven LLC.  But there are problems:

1. You have to have an attorney to fight something like this.  Even if we were fight this pro se (meaning, in legal mumbo-jumbo, representing ourselves), which is a risky and foolish thing, we would still have to appear in person in Las Vegas to fight it.  The cost of flying to Vegas to fight it would be a big chunk of the cost of hiring a Vegas IP attorney.

2. There is a small possibility that if we won a complete victory in court, we might be able to get the court to award us our attorney fees for malicious prosecution--but by no means certain.

3. This is going to be an expensive case, unless a court rules in our favor concerning jurisdiction--even if we win.  If we could find a copyright lawyer in Las Vegas admitted to the federal bar who was on our side willing to work either pro bono or at some discounted rate, then it makes sense to fight.  As it is, we may have to pick one out of the book--not exactly the strategy I would prefer.

4. RightHaven relies upon this.  They don't have to be legally right.  The system is set up to force us to decide whether to give them money, or give some lawyers money to fight them.  There are no other choices.  This is something that desperately needs fixing, with either "loser pays" or at least some obligation to at least contact the defendant before you file.

We have received a couple hundred dollars in contributions since this started.  I suspect that unless we can find some organization that cares about gun rights enough to put a lawyer on this, we have no choice but to give RightHaven their pound of flesh.


  1. To the extent this outfit becomes a plague upon the earth (many more than the current ~ 100 lawsuits), there's one possible partial solution I see: set up a countervailing organization based in Las Vegas; that partly addresses RightHaven's home field advantage which is one of their biggest. To the extent these are cookie-cutter lawsuits, defending against them should have some economies of scale.

    The problem for you is that you're an early victim; being even a small part of getting this sort of counter-force established is not particularly in the cards for you. More likely it will happen as better bankrolled organizations get hit (which of course assumes RightHaven doesn't pick its targets carefully enough).

    It is indeed a Scandalous System and will remain so as long as lawyers remain so powerful, something that will probably last until we see a Pareto style circulation of elites, something that will after all be necessary for the survival of the Republic, or at least the USA.

  2. Clayton, it may be a stupid question, but have you contacted Electronic Frontier Foundation yet?

    They say if EFF can't help they can't help they'll make every effort to put you in touch with someone who can. Maybe they know someone in Nevada.

    It also seems that if Righthaven went after 75 other sites, pressing an action against Righthaven could be a joint affair.