I have zero respect for patent trolls, and I am a firm supporter of copyright laws protecting content creators, but now there’s a new twist: a law firm named Righthaven is apparently engaging in “copyright trolling”. As described by Christopher Mims on the M.I.T. Technology Review blog, Righthaven is making a business of suing people and businesses for copyright infringement by waiting for an image to go viral and then buying the rights to it for the purpose of suing those who have posted it on the web.
As a photographer I value my copyrights, but I surely do not support this type of trolling abuse of an otherwise important method of protecting content creators. It’s actions such as these which may ultimately bring about changes in laws which weaken protection for artists, designers, writers, musicians, photographers and other makers of creative content. This kind of misuse of copyright law should not be rewarded and the actions should be penalized.
Mim’s post is here: Post a Copyrighted Picture, Face a $150,000 Lawsuit
If there is good to come from this, perhaps some exposure to this sort of thing will get people to think before posting others’ images without permission and attribution. Still, I’ll be happy to see this “business model” practiced by copyright trolls FAIL.
(To those following the RSS feeds from both of my blogs: sorry for the cross-post. The topic fits in both places, though are seen by different people.)