Definition A: In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion
Definition B: Patent troll is a term used for a person or company who enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered aggressive or opportunistic with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.
Definition C: Copyright troll is a pejorative term for a party that enforces copyrights it owns for purposes of making money through litigation, in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic, generally without producing or licensing the works it owns for paid distribution. Critics object to the activity because they believe it does not encourage the production of creative works, instead it makes money from the inequities and unintended consequences of high statutory damages provisions in copyright laws intended to encourage creation of such works.
(Text of definitions courtesy of Wikipedia. ‘cept the last one. I wrote that myself.)
- Ars Technica: A New Study Shows Patent Trolls Cost Economy 29 Billion Yearly↵
- See EFF’s excellent discussion on Copyright Trolls↵