Las Vegas Sun

January 18, 2018

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International press freedom group protests Righthaven suits

What’s the biggest public relations headache for Las Vegas copyright enforcer Righthaven LLC and the Denver Post?

Is it South Carolina blogger Dana Eiser, who’s been releasing correspondence between her attorneys and Righthaven’s attorneys?

Or is it North Carolina blogger Brian D. Hill, whose case over a Denver Post TSA pat-down photo has already yielded a favorable ruling for him by a Denver federal judge?

With at least one Denver media outlet focusing on Hill, he’s probably the biggest problem currently facing Righthaven and the Post. Hill’s case has attracted attention because he says he has disabilities and can’t pay Righthaven’s $6,000 settlement demand.

Those problems over Hill were compounded Thursday when Denver Westword reported the international press freedom group Reporters Without Borders had sent a letter to the Post protesting the suit against Hill.

The letter also protests Righthaven’s $150,000 lawsuit demand against Bill Hyatt over a Las Vegas Review-Journal story.

“We were surprised to witness such behavior here, in the United States, while this is generally a phenomenon Reporters Without Borders witnesses in authoritarian regimes to silence citizens and intimidate journalists, bloggers and others. Therefore, we ask you to drop the lawsuit against him (Hill) and find a reasonable compromise regarding his case,” the letter said.

No doubt Hill is on the mind of Post executives.

In the long run, though, look for Eiser to give Righthaven and the Post more legal troubles as she’s represented by four South Carolina attorneys who are politically connected and know their way around the courthouses there.

They also seem determined to force Righthaven to pay up for what they call an unfair lawsuit against Eiser over the posting of a Denver Post column. Their latest demand from Righthaven: $500,000 to be paid to Eiser.

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