Three Cheers For The DUmmies

Ah, Democratic Underground. The greatest collection of lunatics, conspiracy nuts, frothing loons, blithering idiots, and hyperpartisan morons one can find outside of an insane asylum. They’d be dangerous if it was possible to take them seriously. I couldn’t imagine any time when I’d sincerely root for them in any situation.

But it’s happened, because the DUmmies are involved in a legal fight with some of the few scumbags in the world who I think are worse than they are — because they’re capable of (and are) causing far more harm than the DUmmies ever could.

The vultures and bottom-feeders and scumbags of Righthaven have a business model that I can only describe as reprehensible. They buy up copyright rights from publishers, then sue those who use that material — even those who do so in full compliance with the provisions of copyright law. Their standard gambit is to file suit immediately, skipping the initial “hey, take that stuff down” stage, and sue for $150,000 and the rights to the defendant’s website domain. They usually settle for less money and the domain.

Well, they went after the DUmmies after one of their inmates posted four paragraphs of a Righthaven-owned 34-paragraph story, and the DUmmies fought back. They fought back so well, that Righthaven dropped the suit.

At least, they tried to. The DUmmies’ lawyers — who, apparently, are not dummies themselves — fought the dismissal. They didn’t just want the suit to go away, they wanted Righthaven to admit that the suit never had any merit, and to pay the DUmmies’ legal bills — which were substantial.

Part of Righthaven’s defense is that DU didn’t minimize their legal expenses, but ran them up in a very strenuous defense — including not just letting the matter drop when Righthaven offered to drop the charges.

In most cases like this, I’d be asking if there was a way for both parties to lose, as both of them are despicable, loathsome, vile scumbags. But in this case, principle trumps my desire to see both parties get smacked around. The DUmmies are seriously fighting the good fight here (albeit only because they had to, in self-defense), and we need to cheer them on as they might take down the far more dangerous vermin at Righthaven.

I dunno if I’d go so far as to recommend contributing to their legal fund, but it certainly would behoove all of us to keep an eye on things, and — just this once — think kind thoughts about the DUmmies.

Thoughts on Japan From a Katrina Survivor
Part 1, The destruction.
"a despicable, immoral, and inhuman act"