Beware the Copyright Troll!

“How you might get sued for re-posting on the web!”

Righthaven LLC CEO Steve Gibson //Illustration by Colin Grimm

My latest article for Fnewmagazine is on Copyright Trolls – specifically Righthaven LLC, which has been getting a lot of bad wrap for their more than questionable methods:

  • What, you may ask, is a copyright troll? The copyright troll is to intellectual property what the highly criticized patent troll is to patents. When one looks at the evolution of copyright law (from the Statute of Anne to the Sonny Bono “Mickey Mouse” Extension Act), it becomes clear that we’ve lost the initial goal of copyright: to provide incentive for creators to create and contribute to culture without fear of being exploited. A copyright troll is a company which abuses the law to do the exact opposite. Such companies do not produce creative works of their own; rather, they acquire rights from other companies and scour the web for “unauthorized” uses of those companies’ works for the purpose of making money through litigation — and they are making a profitable business out of it.

read the whole piece here:

One Response to “Beware the Copyright Troll!”

  1. And as Lewis Hyde has pointed out, the trouble with a monarchy isn’t necessarily that the monarch makes unfair laws, but that the monarch has the power to make unfair laws if they’d like to. It’s the possibility itself that’s oppressive. Similarly, even if these copyright cases find in favor of the defendants, the fact that there’s the perpetual possibility of being sued for this kind of thing creates an oppressive environment.

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