Righthaven LLC -- a bottom feeding legal outfit -- has teamed up with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Denver Post to sue mom and pop websites, advocacy and public interest groups and forum board operators for copyright infringement. The strategy of Righthaven is to sue thousands of these website owners, who are primarily unfunded and will be forced to settle out of court.
Righthaven lawsuitsTo date Righthaven has been ordered to pay $323,138 in legal fees and sanctions.Righthaven lawsuits

Monday, May 30, 2011

Flickr Royally 'Effs Up,' Removes Protected Satire Image by Brian Hill

A Las Vegas online travel website recently complained to Flickr that a satire image created by Brian Hill infringed upon their copyrights. The image depicts the interior of a casino as the setting of Wall Street. Hill told VEGAS INC Sunday, "I feel like Wall Street has become like a casino because people lose and win money there, so when people lose money they may lose their family home. That is why I chose a casino setting for the satire. I was never intending to make any casino look bad. If that casino got the wrong idea about my political satire, that was never my intent."

See: Related VEGAS INC article  |  See: Parody, satire and fair use

Related articles:
Lightening Bolts Fired in Brian Hill's Reply; Alleged Fabricated Press Release...
Righthaven Files Response to Brian Hill's Motion for Legal Fees, Reveals...
Brian Hill and other Righthaven Victims Featured in the New York Times...


    1. This is another example of how government is using corporations to do their censoring for them.

      This is government censorship since a DMCA take-down notice was involved and therefor it is the government that is doing the censoring and using Flickr as their agent.

      Copyrights are becoming the method of choice for censoring speech the government does not approve of.

    2. A couple of thoughts occurred to me about this:

      1.) This is so ridiculous that "company name" pulled this on Brian as an SEO stunt, a way to gain higher search engine rankings. You don't just go after Brian Hill, who has been featured in a story in the New York Times, for the heck of it. This is a guaranteed traffic generator. Think about how many persons will now write about this and mention the company's URL? This is why I did not state the URL.

      2.) Flickr is a zombie. Flickr is not alone. Many companies will immediately remove items upon request without blinking (or thinking). This is automatic and it is up to the alleged infringer, like Brian, to state his case. Only then will they reconsider. That's too bad, but I can understand "zombie" policies too. What this does, however, is place the power into the hands of corporations and persons like Brian be damned.

      I believe that copyrights are becoming the method of choice for censoring speech that corporations AND the government do not approve of. I think the recent G-8 shows exactly where this combo would like to steer the Internet in the future:

      "With regard to the protection of intellectual property, in particular copyright, trademarks, trade secrets and patents, we recognize the need to have national laws and frameworks for improved enforcement. We are thus renewing our commitment to ensuring effective action against violations of intellectual property rights in the digital arena, including action that addresses present and future infringements."


    3. The Internet has created an explosion of ideas and innovation which is precisely what copyright laws are supposed to foster but new ideas often supplants old ideas and the people who peddle old ideas are being left behind and instead of adapting and coming up with new ideas themselves they have decided it is better to keep the old ideas by destroying the new.

      The problem with constantly extending copyrights and patents is it perpetuates old ideas and hinders the creation of new ones.

      Some of the greatest ideas in history were derived and adapted from earlier ideas. The automobile, the light-bulb, the computer were all invented by applying existing things in a different way. Changes to copyright and patent laws are making it ever more difficult and expensive to create new things from existing things and since absolutely original ideas are extremely rare this makes no sense if your goal is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" as the Constitution suggests.


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