Saturday, February 12, 2011
The High Road controversy is over
I've written several times about the controversy surrounding The High Road firearms forum. (Those six links are in chronological order.) Briefly, the domain name was illegitimately appropriated by someone who had no right to it. A legal tussle ensued as the owner, Oleg Volk, a well-known photographer and Second Amendment activist, attempted to retrieve his property.
The matter dragged on through the court process for a couple of years. Discovery proceedings, depositions, the gathering of evidence, and so on, all take time to do thoroughly and properly. The case was due to come to trial in the not too distant future; but that will no longer be necessary. It's been settled before trial.
I'm not party to the details of the settlement, as these are confidential. However, based on the number and size of Oleg's legal bills (partially offset by contributions), I would guess that a significant sum of money is involved, to his benefit. On the principle of 'follow the money', that should conclusively settle the matter of whose claim to ownership of The High Road was legitimate from the start! Personally, I would have preferred the matter to be adjudicated in court, and the guilty punished; but in the nature of things, sometimes one has to settle for less than the optimum, because the cost of getting exactly what one wants can be prohibitive in terms of time, money and other factors. This appears to have been the least costly and most practical solution available for all concerned.
The new owner(s) of The High Road, having purchased (legally - at last!) the rights to it, will now take it in a new direction. For reasons of conscience (as outlined in my first and second articles about the matter), I shall no longer be associated with that organization.
Shortly after this controversy arose, Oleg established a rival forum to The High Road, using a similar name but a different URL. As part of the settlement, he will no longer use that name. His forum has now been renamed to Gun Rights Media. Oleg plans to develop it into a repository for information, video and audio clips, and other material relevant to Second Amendment and other firearms-related issues, as well as a discussion forum. I look forward to providing help and support to him and his fellow moderators from time to time.
Oleg's very busy at the moment, working with the Heller Foundation on fighting an important Second Amendment court case. This is taking up a lot of his time and attention. When he's able to spare more time for it, look for Gun Rights Media to become a very interesting Web destination for all shooting enthusiasts. Meanwhile, he invites you to visit the site and join in the discussions.
(By the way - if you've followed Oleg's work via his LiveJournal page, he's now set up a blog on his photographic Web site as a better alternative. Visit his new blog and bookmark it to keep up with his latest photographs and many other interests - not to mention Gremlin!)