Michael Nystrom of DailyPaul.comIn a recent blog post, "Attn: Bloggers! Why You Need a DMCA Disclaimer & Copyright Registration," Michael Nystrom, the founder of DailyPaul.com and former Righthaven victim, explains the steps that bloggers and forum board operators should take in order to avoid a lawsuit from Righthaven and future copyright trolls. As Nystrom points out, though Righthaven is currently on the ropes, "someone else will come along and tighten up and improve on Righthaven's arguments and procedures."
Attn: Bloggers! Why You Need a DMCA Disclaimer & Copyright Registration
By Michael NystromSee: Blog post in full | See: Blog post after Nystrom's case was dismissed
So, you've set up your blog or forum and it is totally awesome! You've created a platform for yourself, and/or a community where like-minded individuals can interact. You've spent uncounted hours researching the best software platform for your project, how to get your domain name, where to host your site, how to get traffic -- and keep it! Not to mention everything that goes into maintaining a community, and if you're lucky, how to monetize your efforts. Congratulations! Lots of people dream about hosting a website of their own - you've actually gone and done it. You've made a great contribution to this vast expanse of information known as the Internet, as well as to everyone who is touched by your website or community.
So don't let it all be threatened by neglecting a minor detail. Register it with the U.S. Copyright Office and put a DMCA disclaimer on your site. This is something I wish I knew before I got sued.
On Getting Sued
You do not ever want to get sued. Trust me. And even if your risk is small, it is something that you need to be aware of so that you can manage that risk properly. The purpose of this short article is to introduce you to some information that I wish someone had told me.
We encourage forum board operators to a post a link to Nystrom's How-to Guide within the rules section of your forum so that readers and moderators can learn how to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit. An additional step might be to educate new users -- in the New User Registration Agreement -- about how to correctly link to a news article. The Democratic Underground, also a former Righthaven defendant with exceptional legal help, uses the following language in their agreement:
Copyrights: Do not copy-and-paste entire articles onto this discussion forum. When referencing copyrighted work, post a short excerpt (not exceeding 4 paragraphs) with a link back to the original.A special thanks to Michael Nystrom and DailyPaul.com for sharing this critical prevention guide and the Daily Paul's DMCA site disclaimer (two super fantastic freebies!).