We live in a country where anyone can be destroyed at any time by a spurious lawsuit. The costs of litigation are such that it is absurd to speak of “winning” a defensive lawsuit. Is it “just” to force people who are entirely innocent of any wrongdoing to hand over thousands of dollars to lawyers? That is the outcome whether they “win” or not. We live in a land without justice, exploited by a dysfunctional legal system of our own making.
As noted by Insty, the latest victims of our system of “justice” are the authors of a little blog, The Armed Citizen, who are being sued for “copyright infringement” for quoting a few lines from a newspaper. In their words,
On July 21st, The Armed Citizen received an indirect and informal notice of a lawsuit against this website and its owners, David Burnett and Clayton Cramer.
The suit, reportedly filed in US District Court on July 20th, alleges that The Armed Citizen and its owners “willfully copied” and infringed on original source content from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
According to news reports, Righthaven LLC has filed lawsuits against no less than 80 other political websites and individual blogs for “infringement.”
Righthaven has offered no prior contact, cease-and-desist warnings or any attempt at good-faith resolution whatsoever.
To the best of our knowledge, statutory damages can only be awarded if the plaintiff owns copyright on the articles in question. Righthaven sought and received a copyright on at least one of the articles in question on July 6…several months after the alleged offense. Clearly, this group is interested in money, not resolution.
In other words, the lawyers have now come up with a mesothelioma scam just for bloggers. It’s surprising to me that the citizens of this country have so supinely accepted a dysfunctional system that enables massive exploitation by legal parasites. Apparently most of us somehow assume it will always happen to the other guy, and not to us – until it does happen to us. If ever a system deserved to be smashed, our legal system is it. If ever a profession deserved to be nationalized, our legal profession is it.