Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Is There a Chicago Connection Between Righthaven Copyright Lawyer Steven A. Gibson and Barack & Michelle Obama to Chill Free Speech on the Internet?

Righthaven LLC is the company that is filing lawsuits against websites that allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of newspapers. Righthaven buys the copyrights from the newspaper or the rights holders and then brings lawsuits against alleged infringers without warning. This approach is similar to what the recording industry tried against people who were downloading MP3s. While many lawyers made money on these cases, the artists did not really see any monies, because after spending $64 million dollars, the RIAA only recovered $1.4 million. Nice return on that investment, huh!?

Typically, one would assume that Righthaven is comprised of nothing more than some slick Las Vegas attorneys trying to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting people. However, Righthaven appears to be a corporate subsidiary. The sole officer of the Righthaven LLC is Net Sortie Systems, LLC. The sole officer of Net Sortie Systems, LLC is Steven A. Gibson. The only past officer listed is John Peters. I cannot confirm if this is the same John Peters who operates teamjohnpeters.com as a realty website, but Mr. Gibson is certainly involved with Righthaven.

Gibson’s vision is to monetize news content on the backend, by scouring the internet for infringing copies of his client’s articles, then suing and relying on the harsh penalties in the Copyright Act — up to $150,000 for a single infringement — to compel quick settlements.

However, a more detailed analysis of Righthaven reveals some interesting coincidences. Namely, does Attorney Steven A. Gibson know either President Barack Obama or First Lady Michelle Obama?

As SHR at GodLikeProductions forums reveals below, the answer to the aforementioned question is very likely. Thank you SHR for pointing out this connection!

This RightHaven founder Steven Gibson is definitely a "Chicago Guy"...so I did a little digging in the public domain.....

Steven A. Gibson
Born: Chicago, Illinois, December 11, 1963
School: Chicago-Kent College of Law
Degree: J.D.
City: Chicago
State: IL
Year: 1990
Honors: IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law. Cum Laude 1990.

Prior to establishing his own firm, Mr. Gibson was an associate at Sidley Austin LLP a Chicago Law firm...

Just click on "Work History"

[link to www.nolo.com]

well well well...another Chicago guy who was there at the time finishing up Law School along with....Barack Obama...maybe they crossed paths?

In late 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School. He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, and president of the journal in his second year. During his summers, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as a summer associate at the law firms of Sidley Austin in 1989...

[link to en.wikipedia.org]

...Guess where Mr and Mrs Obama met....

Following law school, she was an associate at the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin, where she first met her future husband.

>>>> And Guess what Michelle and Steven Gibson both did???


At the firm, she worked on marketing and intellectual property.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]

Of course, there is nothing wrong with knowing the Obamas, but with all the Chicago coincidences that SHR at GodLikeProductions forums shows above, is there something more devious occurring? Is Attorney Gibson acting under his own accord simply for profit? Or is Attorney Gibson filing these lawsuits using copyright and intellectual property laws in an attempt to chill speech?

The top news stories this week and last have been about the Wikileaks documents and the Sherry Sherrod story. Before the facts are even fully known in these news stories, there were talking heads on the mainstream media claiming that bloggers and the Internet were at fault and may need to be regulated.

Even President Obama (who conveniently used the Internet to win his presidential campaign in 2008) chimed in stating that there was no way to control a reckless governmental reaction to something that someone says on YouTube (see the below video). I guess the President has not heard about conducting due diligence and confirming the truth & accuracy of a story before jumping the gun.

It would make sense for the powers-that-be to want to control the Internet, because the Internet allows people to get different perspectives from the government propaganda. In fact, more people get their news from the Internet than from the traditional sources. This blog is a testimonial to that fact.

While this lawsuit may indeed be a shakedown for profit, considering the potential connections in play here, a further investigation needs to be conducted on Righthaven and Steven A. Gibson to see if there are other reasons for these lawsuits aside from mere profit?

Source: Nolo; Wired; GodLikeProductions

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