Top

blog

Stories

 

Reader: Company suing hobby blogger Brian Hill wanted to garnish disability checks

Brian Hill.
One of this month's most debated posts continues to be our item about Brian Hill, a diabetic, mildly autistic twenty-year-old hobby blogger being sued by Righthaven LLC for unauthorized use of a Denver Post photo on his website. The latest? A note from Hill's grandmother, who reveals how Righthaven wanted a cash-strapped Hill to pay a $6,000 fee that would make the suit go away.

Guest writes:

Brian is my grandson, and I am very proud of him. His site (www.uswgo.com) was so professional looking that Righthaven decided to sue him too. This is not your normal copyright law suit. Learn about Righthaven. They are trying to take away our freedom of speech on the Internet using legal extortion. People with real talent who have enough money will try to get a copyright on their work. We respect copyright and copyright laws. In this case, a newspaper is asking everyone to share their photos and print them. After this photo is everywhere on the Internet, then Righthaven gets a copyright on what should be of interest to all USA citizens and even citizens from other countries (especially people who fly on planes). They see this photo on your website or blog THEN they get a copyright on this photo or news article (not their work). They don't tell you or warn you, they simply sue you in court, file the court papers on you for $150,000, then they try to settle with you for $6,000 and your domain (your website). They are cold and evil people when you talk to them, they don't mind breaking laws dealing with SSI checks that disabled need every penny of that money to survive. Righthaven wanted to garnish Brian's SSI check at $50.00 per month until the $6,000 was paid to avoid going to court.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
18 comments
JJJJones
JJJJones

I would say his internet connection is a vital resource for his disability as he can't work and it helps his conditions. Nearly everything can be done online now, including help web sites for disability to paying bills. Righthaven's demands are extreme, and it has nothing to do with righting the wrong. It's only about abusing the law to make money. I can't believe they can start a lawsuit when they know nothing about the fact that's it's illegal to demand he pay out of court from his social security. Any country that cares about freedom and justice would do what they can to shut down copyright trolls.

atrebor
atrebor

The facts are that the Denver Post has a share button on the TSA article. It says to share this gallery, but then they sue you if you do. They gave away their copyright, when they told people to share the gallery and post it on social networks. http://photos.denverpost.com/m...

Anita
Anita

It's so obvious that Bob here is part of Righthaven. It's also obvious that this is not a copyright issue. This is an issue of free speech. Bob hopes the judge will take out of Brian's disability check - $75.00 a month for the next 5 years, so Brian will not be able to get on the Internet at all for the next 5 years. A way to silence freedom of speech. To be sure Brian does not get on the Internet at all, Bob wants for the judge to have Brian to sell his $350.00 laptop (That's what mine cost with cam in it) for $2,000 to insure that Brian has no way (no vehicle) to get on the Internet. Let's see, Bob wants for the judge to award him (Righthaven) $7,500 out of Brian's disabiltiy check for the next 5 years. We all know that the Internet is a way for all of us to share thngs, photos, articles, videos, just a social place to go when we're bored. I can listen to songs on the internet, read news articles, watch videos, say "Hi" to friends, chat with friends and family, learn new things, look at photos, read books, even watch movies and TV on the internet. Most people don't make money off from these things, so Righthaven has found a way to make big bucks, legal extortion by calling "old news" copyright. Righthaven doesn't stop there. They want for Brian to give up his domain name (his Internet idenity) to Righthaven. Yep, obvious, legal extortion, making money while taking away freedom of speech on the internet, calling it copy right laws.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith

I just happened to see this page when I was checking on some things about Righthaven as a good friend of mine is also being sued. I sure hope Mr. Hill counter sues Righthaven for frivolous lawsuit and harassment and stress. I can see at least 2 people on this page who apparently work for Righthaven or the media who is suing beside of Righthaven. Most people do not go along with this as copyright because everyone on the internet is sharing everything back and forth with each other and newspapers and various websites are begging everyone to share & print their photos and stories. Google and Yahoo have any image you want to use to make a point about a subject of interest, be it a nature photo or a TSA photo for those concerned about traveling by plane. I'm sure google and yahoo gets a lot more exposure than a small blogger would for the same photo. This photo has nothing which tells anyone where it comes from. This is not a copyright law in any way. I'm sure if a judge sees this, he would fine Righthaven for wasting the court's valuable time and not even cover a case like this. A copyright is supposed to protect valuable work by the artist who performed the work. No one is making any money from this photo. This case is really making a mockery out of copyright laws. You would have to prove that Mr. Hill has actually made money. Sounds like his website is a hobby, not one which is receiving money. It's a small blogging site. I don't know what Mr. Hill is supposed to learn, maybe that he doesn't have the right of free speech. I think that's what most people are learning from this.

Anita
Anita

Bob, I agree. Let's make someone who is disabled send that money to the Denver Post. Everyone should be made to pay $75.00 a month to the Denver Post and then send them an extra $2,000. Let's make that a law. There will be no more free speech in the USA. Everyone, it is now time to send all of your money to the Denver Post. They need the money more than you do, according to Bob here. By-the-way, I think you're being too kind, Bob. Make Brian take all of the money which goes for insulin and pay that money to the Denver Post too. Who needs insulin? While you're at it, Brian. You don't need food, utilities or anything. Just send that money to the Denver Post. While you're at it, send all of your SSI check to the Denver Post. You might want to just keep 25 cents and send that each month to Bob here. He probably needs that quarter more than you do. This Bob here is such a wonderful person.

JJJJones
JJJJones

You're ignoring the fact that Righthaven are abusing the law of your country which is supposed to be about truth and justice, as a means to make money. Nobody can deny that Righthaven is a copyright troll. You only have to Google their name. Isn't it immoral that the article would have a Share button but then harass disabled people for money they don't have? What kind of company are they to demand a person pay out of their disability money, when it's illegal for them to do that? I wouldn't expect to hear this kind of thing from a despot dictatorship.

JJJJones
JJJJones

I thought the USA was supposed to stand up for freedom and yet you allow copyright trolls to use and abuse the law and people.

JJJJones
JJJJones

I commented on an article about Brian before as I'm a law student in the UK and I'm shocked that the USA allows Copyright trolls such as Righthaven to abuse the law to make money. They aren't even interested in truth and justice which is what law is supposed to be about. Why would they be allowed to sue for Copyright when Brian put the image on his page on the 1st of Dec and then Righthaven didn't take out the copyright until the 8th and the article with the image had a share button? It seems like a trap so that people share the image on their page.

Ts
Ts

this reads like every other pro-brian comment and regurgitates the same, tired arguments.

I'm starting to think they are all authored by the same ignorant person who has no clue about how copyright law works.

Bob1971USM
Bob1971USM

As an experiment, I just shared that photo gallery on my Facebook page. It added the line "Photos of Pat-Downs and Body Scans at Denver Airport (DIA) | Denver Post Media Center" with a link to the original photo on the Denver Post's website.

Did Brian include either of those things -- credit to the company that paid to create the photo or a link to its website? Yes or no?

Bob1971USM
Bob1971USM

You are "all" welcome to your opinion (they amuse me), but my opinion remains that taking things that other people paid their hard-earned money to produce and using it for your business for free, and without even credit to the original source, is not legal, fair or what this country was founded on. It's just stealing.

If you did that to my business, I would sue you, too, and I wouldn't care a wit if you can't watch videos on the Internet until your legal bills are settled. People who break the law lose their "freedoms" every day in America's courtrooms.

Good luck, Brian.

Bob1971USM
Bob1971USM

Again, you're playing games with the facts and ignoring the important ones that completely sink your case, which I'm sure is good news to Righthaven, because you'll lose quickly these arguments in court. I would think the Post has no problem with people e-mailing a link to their stories or photos via the "share" button. The share button probably does what Brian should have done, which is a headline, a link and credit to the original source of the work. The Post probably has a very large problem with what Brian did, which is to take a photo the Post paid to have researched, created, edited and posted -- all expensive undertakings -- and using that for free for his personal enterprise, which Brian himself describes "alternative news website." The Post, I'm sure, is tired of subsidizing a million little competitors like Brian. Why should they hold Drudge accountable, but not Brian? We have only one set of laws in this country, and they are supposed to apply to everyone equally, JJJones. Applying laws capriciously is what a despot does.

I have great sympathy for Brian's health and financial issues. If I was the judge, I'd say this, "Mr. Hill how much do you spend a month on your Internet subscription and webhosting? $75 a month? For the next five years, send that check to the Denver Post. How much is your computer, webcam and all the other computer toys worth? $2,000? Sell it all, send the money to the Post. Perhaps after five years, Mr. Hill, you will have learned an important lesson about legal responsibility and personal responsibility for your actions."

Fair enough?

Bob1971USM
Bob1971USM

There may be no point in again noting a simple yet essential fact here, as it seems Brian, his grandmother and JJJJones can't accept the fact that the Denver Post's copyright has existed for decades, long before it transferred rights to a copyright enforcement law firm in early December. This link is an article on Lawweekonline.com that was posted nearly two weeks before Brian posted that photo. Furthermore, the Post apparently stopped another website from taking content illegally six months before Brian took a shot at it. You seriously need to consider a different defense, because facts won't support that one, Brian.

http://www.lawweekonline.com/2...

Guest
Guest

YOU are the one with no clue about how copyright laws work. I've been working in that field for 30 years and your lack of knowledge (and unwillingness to back it up with facts) is breathtaking.

Brian D. Hill
Brian D. Hill

Well they put a negative comment against me (Bob) and now a positive one (Not Bob). You refuse to look at the facts surrounding the matter which makes me believe you may work for Righthaven.

TS you or Bob can't just say I violated the copyright law because that's sentencing me as guilty before I even have a trial. Who are you TS?

What law did I violate because The Denver Post told me that they are suppose to copyright the images before they are released in their news articles and yet the TSA patdown image was copyrighted a month later. This isn't just unprofessional but that they didn't care about their images copyright. Also they have the share button. Wake up man!

Ken
Ken

The problem is Brian did not get the photos or have any idea the photo was from the Denver Post. He got it from a site far removed from the Denver Post and he did link to the page that he got it from. This is the problem that there is no way often times to know where an image originates and unless you know you cannot even ask permission.

Ray Kent
Ray Kent

No Bob1971USM, it's not fair enough. It's hard to watch you Righthaven trolls spew your stupid comments without saying something. Why should Brian Hill have to pay the Denver Post for anything? They are not suing him, which should tell you something. It's the Righthaven Troll LLC that is suing him, and I don't know that they even have the authority to do it. They buy up the rights to the copyright without owning the copyright. In other words, they are buying the rights solely for the purpose of lawsuits. It may not be illegal, but it sure is unethical. They have been flooded with calls from Brian Hill supporters, and I hope it continues. You are probably just mad because you're one of the Righthaven flunkies that have to answer the telephone calls. The Denver Post page still says "share this gallery" and lists several hundred places to share. Are they doing that so they can sue? They wouldn't do that, that would be entrapment! If they didn't want it shared, the share button wouldn't be there. Brian and many others did not get that photo from the Denver Post. Do a Google search for TSA Photos and see what you find. Anyone that wants it can copy it and share it. The Denver Post even says to print it and share it. Righthaven says Mr. Hill posted the photo on his website on Dec 1, and they got the copyright for it on Dec 8, and as soon as he found out about it being copyrighted, he removed it. You are so full of hot air, you're probably flying far above the mile high city. Is that fair enough Mr. Bob1971USM?

Brian D. Hill
Brian D. Hill

They put both sides perspective pro Brian and anti Brian. So leave it alone TS unless you work for Righthaven that is.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...