Copyright troll's biggest fan commits terminal irony

Sherman Frederick is a great fan of Righthaven, the copyright troll spun out of the Las Vegas Review Journal where Frederick was CEO. Righthaven isn't faring well in the courts these days, and Frederick is lashing out at critics of his cherished conceit of making a fortune suing bloggers for quoting small snippets of text.

Here's where it gets good. His extended ad hominem in the Review Journal makes extensive use of poorly cited quotations from GametimeIP, a blog that -- in Frederick's view -- supports his position. These sorts of quotations are precisely the sort of quoting that Righthaven is suing over, with one important difference.

Righthaven doesn't actually have the right to sue over quotations from the Review Journal, because, as judges have ruled, the agreement that assigns "just enough copyright" to sue people is ridiculous and has no basis in law or reality.

On the otherhand, GametimeIP's author Patrick Anderson does, in fact, hold those rights, and he's putting them up for sale. Presumably, anyone who buys them could then sue Frederick on the same grounds that Righthaven used. And if Frederick won the case, it would establish that the sort of quoting Righthaven decries is fair use. If Frederick loses, well, he loses -- DMCA damages run to $150K per act of infringement.

Frederick also believes that linking without permission is illegal. In the event that he wants to link to this post, he should be aware of our linking policy.

Righthaven Cheerleader Wanted by Irony Police

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  1. I love this. The first ruling against Righthaven was nice, and establishing that you can’t create a copyright troll like Righthaven was important. But it didn’t really get to the core issue, did it?

    Righthaven was suing over what was basically quotation. Turning that around on its founder, and denying him rights that he would deny others, would be an appropriate way to drive home the point.

    Still, I hope no one takes the copyright and sues. I mean, what if they won?

  2. “if Frederick won the case, it would establish that the sort of quoting Righthaven decries is fair use. If Frederick loses, well, he loses — DMCA damages run to $150K per act of infringement.”

    Now *that* is delightful.

  3. “if Frederick won the case, it would establish that the sort of quoting Righthaven decries is fair use. If Frederick loses, well, he loses — DMCA damages run to $150K per act of infringement.”

    Lol, I swear I want to print that out and frame it. :)

    I’m thinking that Sherman Frederick and the nice folks at Righthaven might be having a Maalox Moment right about now.

  4. But sureley if he wins and has to pay himself $150K does that effectively buy himself the option of continuing?

  5. The important issue here is whether quoting is banned. If someone
    sues Righthaven for quoting and wins, perhaps because the court
    despises Righthaven for other reasons, we will all be the losers.
    Seeing Sherman Frederick pay $150k, or even $150m, would be no
    compensation for our loss of freedom.

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