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US Marshals Ordered To Seize Righthaven Property

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  • by swschrad (312009) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @11:42AM (#37921078) Homepage Journal

    and sell them at sheriff's auction.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:02PM (#37921370) Homepage Journal

      and sell them at sheriff's auction.

      Ooo. Lemme know when the auction is. Then I can share the secrets with /. =)

      It's a victory, small, but a victory no less.

    • by afidel (530433)
      Why would a law firm own their IT infrastructure, that stuff is all outsourced I can pretty much guarantee.
      • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@gmail . c om> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:13PM (#37923352) Homepage Journal
        Why would a law firm own their IT infrastructure

        Massive need for confidentiality perhaps?
      • by GodInHell (258915) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @04:26PM (#37925072) Homepage
        Uhm. No.

        First, you need some significant in-house resources just to connect a few hundred computers to the internet. Those aren't free. Notably, that would include routers, as the Grandfather suggested. Second, we cannot allow client data to be outside our control -- that would endanger confidentiality. In Illinois (and in every other state, I guarantee) attorneys are responsible for retaining and protecting client information -- including things like draft memos and attorneys' notes -- from access by any third party without client permission. That's why, for example, I couldn't use google-docs when I was running a solo practice. Even though I could lock access to the documents so only I could view the document, google's privacy policy (at the time I have not verified) gave them the right to view documents in their system. It is -my- responsibility to protect my client's information from search and seizure by the Gov't or a police agency. By entrusting my data to a datacluster, I could lose control of client data and not even know until I get hit for breaching the rules of professional conduct.

        That's just two of the reasons its good to have in-house hardware. I haven't even dipped my toe into how useful leases are for defraying or reducing tax liability, and the myriad other more financial driven reasons why I might want to have an internal IT team.

        Warning: the above is not legal advice. You are not my client. If you have a question, seek an attorney licensed in your state, not the ramblings of a lawyer on /.

        -GiH
        • by afidel (530433)
          Righthaven doesn't have any clients and has a few lawyers, not hundreds....
        • by Vegeta99 (219501)

          In Illinois (and in every other state, I guarantee) attorneys are responsible for retaining and protecting client information -- including things like draft memos and attorneys' notes -- from access by any third party without client permission.

          How far does that duty go? If some thief knocks down my reasonably secure door and steals my reasonably secured filing cabinet, am I on the hook? Where's that go with computerized files? If a reasonably secured filing cabinet is just the cheapie you can buy at Staples

          • by mpoulton (689851)
            If your office door is locked, that's good enough security for paper documents or locally-stored electronic documents. However, when you store electronic documents on systems that are not under your physical control, the burden is on you to implement technological security sufficient to reasonably avoid compromising confidentiality. An attorney's actions will be subject to much greater scrutiny when he knowingly and intentionally gives confidential information to a third party, relying on some security me
            • by Vegeta99 (219501)

              Cool. Thanks for the info.

              Seems like a place someone who knows what they're talking about could make a few bucks.

            • by Drgnkght (449916)

              Interesting. So what happens if a law office gets raided by the U.S. Marshals and they take the servers that have your clients' confidential files on them? (Assuming that the clients had nothing to do with the raid.) What happens to those files? Could the receiver of the hardware simply wipe the hardware with impunity? I'm guessing that actually viewing the contents of said files would be a majorly bad idea.

          • by GodInHell (258915)
            The short answer is because courts have stated that locking your door or locking your computer inside your office is enough, but have not addressed the specific degree of online security required. It's a risky thing to give up control of information you are ethically bound to protect. Usually not worth the risk -- esp. when the cost of setting up your own IT system is relatively low. Much cheaper than defending a malpractice suit or hiring representation for an ethics investigation -- for example.

            Still
    • by Myopic (18616)

      Holy shit, is this Righthaven storyline the most satisfying nerd storyline of the last half-century or what? This is even better than SCO! I just can't believe that justice has rained down so hard in this case.

      • by Anrego (830717) * on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:01PM (#37923162)

        Much as I love the image of the police carting out Righthavens office furnature while some guys in suits quietly weep in the corner.. I imagine all the real assets are long gone, and the actual guys behind it all safely out of the way. Righthaven will go under.. and then re-emerge as a different LLC and keep right on trucking.

        Not saying this isn't awesome, but lets not delude outselves to the nature of these trolls.

        • by md65536 (670240)

          Righthaven will go under.. and then re-emerge as a different LLC and keep right on trucking.

          It will re-emerge as something named Goodharbor or Righteousdefenders or Correctangels or some other bullshit.

        • Hiding assets as you suggest would elevate this from a civil matter and bankruptcy into a criminal matter and prison. Courts don't like being taken for fools like that, and there are so many people eager to pound Righthaven that they won't escape that easily.

      • by tacktick (1866274)

        Oh God yes.
        I wish I could see them get raided.

        • Awww.. geez.. I drive right by them everyday to/from work.. Perhaps I'll stop by on the way home today, and do a Simpsons Nelson "HA HA" on their sorry asses... And an aside to their webguy: What a crappy website...

          For others in Las Vegas, its:
          Righthaven LLC
          Conquistador Business Park
          9960 West Cheyenne Ave, Suite 210
          Las Vegas, NV 89129
          (702) 527-5900

    • by canajin56 (660655)
      Whose hardware? The Las Vegas Review-Journal? Corporate indemnity. Just because they own another corporation (Righthaven) and told that corporation what to do (sue) doesn't mean they are in any way responsible for the fact that that corporation followed their commands and sued. Or did you mean Righthaven's servers? They don't have any, they are a shell corporation. Whenever they had a single cent they gave it to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. No office, no employees. Their only property was their rig
  • A pity... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @11:43AM (#37921098) Journal
    I'm assuming that any real money(if Righthaven wasn't itself the assetless shell company being used by the real money) will already have been snuck of the premises by various means, with nothing but a bunch of leased office furniture and a few cheap suits on site; but some days watching those who would crush others with the force of law having their stuff dumped into the street and sold off is just satisfying...

    The cyclically-evicted members of the poor are all too familiar with the treatment; but we don't give it to the arrogant nearly as often as would be socially useful...
    • Sadly, they may have viewed this as a calculated risk, taken many times, and lost only once... I wonder if the actors behind Righthaven are really hurt by this loss at all?

      • Re:A pity... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:16PM (#37921518)
        Nope, that's the beauty of the limited liability guaranteed to proprietors of Corps., S-Corps., LLCs., etc.. They'll just let the old corp burn, file some paper, incorporate as Righthaven 2.0 and are back in business once again. No one is held responsible for stupid business practices unless they happen to exist within the set of illegal business practices and then if and only if they neglected to strategically apply lubrication.
        • Um, no, it's not that easy. Any court would rule that the "new" business is just the old business and allow whatever lawsuits to proceed.

          • Hmm. That's interesting for one can witness countless businesses playing that game. It rather seemed to me that that was a principle reason for creating a so called "shell" corp. Parent creates a shell, does dirty work through it, collects profits. Shell eventually collapses (bankruptcy, etc.), parent creates new shell, rinse repeat.
        • Well depends on how much you need credit. The average small business LLC don't enjoy full indemnity since banks will be hesitant to lend money to your next venture. However if you are a large company making strawmen LLCs to do your bidding then it's great.
      • This. (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I used to know a guy that had become a millionaire using the "calculated risk" model.

        He created bunch of B2B "information" and "benefits" products that were really just marketing copy in large volumes. He'd pay online contract workers $pennies to create both the marketing and the essentially nonexistent/useless product that amounted to a website with a login and a search box (that didn't show results for much of anything) and a lot of graphics of people playing golf and enjoying themselves and sitting and d

        • by G00F (241765)
          I worked for a company (prosper) for a very short while who made several millionaires doing just this, they have about 200-400 websites up at any one time, they sign deals with "talking heads" (like john cummuta) and rake in millions.

          It's disgusting how doing nothing but scamming people can net them more money in a few years than I'll see in a life time. They don't know how to do anything but talk and chase money.

          And worse yet, if they do make a mistake, they are untouchable, their company is several layer
      • Nope, I'm sure they will just register a new LLC with a different name and keep on trucking as before. They just busted a couple guys here in Madison for fraud; him and a friend were locksmiths and it turned out they had registered something like thirty different corporations over the last 10-15 years. They would rip people off and when it finally seemed like they would actually have to pay for their actions, that corporation would fold and disappear and a new one would spring up in it's place not long af

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        'S a good point. The company is finished. Let's stop concentrating on that, and go after individuals for the rest of the funds. I know, incorporating is supposed to protect them from that, but there ought to be some way in egregious instances like this.

        • Yes. You start holding the board of directors and Executive Officers criminally liable for the actions of the corporation. The purpose of these positions is to keep watch over the corporation and make sure the corporations is doing everything nice an legal. When the entirety of the Corporation is corrupt, you must go after the people running it.

          I understand "limited liability", but criminal negligence is not a liability it is a lifestyle.

    • by sribe (304414)

      ...but some days watching those who would crush others with the force of law having their stuff dumped into the street...

      You're confusing seizures and evictions. In a seizure ("attachment" in legalese) they load it onto a U-Haul and take it to a nice storage facility to await auction ;-)

    • Retribution (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @11:58AM (#37921310) Homepage Journal

      but some days watching those who would crush others with the force of law having their stuff dumped into the street and sold off is just satisfying

      Retribution does satisfy the primal urges, but it doesn't help me all that much (as a member of this society).

      I want to be able to search a database of scumbags - their name, dob, and known mailing addresses, so I can avoid ever getting into a business transaction with them. The US Marshalls stealing their copy machine doesn't actually help society in any meaningful way.

      Retributive justice is deeply ingrained in human society, but we have the tools to progress beyond that now.

      • Re:Retribution (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:25PM (#37921642) Journal

        It is almost certain that any such database would end up in the hands of someone who should be in the database.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The US Marshalls stealing their copy machine doesn't actually help society in any meaningful way.

        It IS useful if you can get the hard drive from that photocopier. Its true that there might not be a single important thing on it. But any legal document that got photocopied...

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          The hard drives in copiers don't work that way. Copies/normal print jobs aren't stored on the hard drive, but in memory. When you send a job with retention, or send it to the document server, it is stored on the hard drive. Document server stuff would typically be form letters and the like, but the retention jobs might be interested. Unfortunately, all modern copiers encrypt the hard drive, so you aren't likely to get anything off of it.

      • by lgarner (694957)

        I want to be able to search a database of scumbags - their name, dob, and known mailing addresses

        You should be able to find what you want in their corporate filings.

        The US Marshalls stealing their copy machine doesn't actually help society in any meaningful way.

        Seized assets are used to satisfy the judgement, which is a benefit in my opinion.

      • Re:Retribution (Score:4, Interesting)

        by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:23PM (#37923474)

        "Retributive justice is deeply ingrained in human society, but we have the tools to progress beyond that now."

        The assumed conclusion is that something else will produce better results against determined opponents!

        Retributive justice is the only deterrent to logical people that also deals effectively with those it does NOT deter. It compels, rather than "asks for", some degree of obedience. It can be used to destroy those who harden their neck and will not obey.

        Qaddafi feared no law. He was killed. That's "retributive justice". He won't act again because he has been deleted. He had no qualities making his preservation desirable, but the example of his death is a nice reminder to others that they shouldn't shit on their people beyond tolerance.

        "I want to be able to search a database of scumbags - their name, dob, and known mailing addresses, so I can avoid ever getting into a business transaction with them."

        Boycott IS retribution, of the mildest most weakling sort.

        White collar criminals should be thrown in with vicious convicts who will abuse them, with the goal of frightening others into compliance with the law. Such "financial predators" are as bad as armed robbers, so put them together.

    • Re:A pity... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:11PM (#37921458) Journal

      Righthaven didn't even own the copyrights to the files they were suing about. I doubt they have much else. What really needs to happen is disbarment of their legal staff.

      • What do we have here? A comedian?
        • I heard of a lawyer getting disbarred once, back in the 80's.
          He was already in prison for murder and other issues.
          Sometime after the Seattle P.I. ran a series of stories people began wondering about his status and the (I imagine) embarrassment it was causing seemed to be what led to his disbarment.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The lawyers probably won't be disbarred, but they very easily could face Rule 11(c) sanctions. [cornell.edu] Last week I saw a federal judge make an unprepared young attorney read Rule 11 into the record (despite the fact that all of the Federal Rules are considered "in the record"). He was definitely crying while he did so.

      • Re:A pity... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @01:35PM (#37922766) Homepage
        Sadly, the, uh bar for disbarment is set very high. You have to be absolutely whackadoodle moonbat crazy like Jack Thompson [wikipedia.org] to be in with shout.
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      So, let's throw the cheap suits in jail and... wait, you meant clothes, didn't you?

    • You're probably right - but a precedent has been set. Next step, is to find some legal means to get into the pockets of the primary shareholders, and/or the parent corporation. I certainly HOPE that some bright, imaginative young lawyer can find a way to do so. THAT precedent would be the best thing to happen in a long time!

  • by Cylix (55374) * on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @11:44AM (#37921118) Homepage Journal

    Take their domain, computers and women!

  • I could pay them a visit. What would you /. ers do? Egg 'em?

    • A few good whacks with Mjolnir would suffice.

    • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @11:56AM (#37921270)

      go down to the local drug store, pick up a piece of posterboard, and put it on a stick (protest-style).
      print out/draw/whatever a giant-sized version of nelson muntz from the simpsons pointing a finger at the onlooker with a giant "ha-ha" balloon next to him. stand outside their offices for an hour or two as their shit is getting thrown in the street.

      for extra epic ironic insult win, get a friend to get another giant posterboard placard, and stand next to you. His placard should have an arrow pointing at yours and simply read "Copyrighted images used on these placards are protected by fair use laws of the United States."

    • It is my understanding that copyright trolls are supposed to have their faces either branded or tattooed with a scarlet trollface [wikipedia.org] to prevent them from blending in with real humans, and ensure that all mankind can avoid and revile them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @11:53AM (#37921222)

    This victory is relatively insignificant compared to the massive corporate extortion schemes from the likes of MPAA/RIAA, tech companies, and other industry giants, that go unabated.

    • by Aryden (1872756)
      Yes, but it does continue to set precedence which is what we direly need lots of. Once enough precedence is set, the courts will have more of a foundation to stand on when throwing these bum's cases out the window.
      • by canajin56 (660655)
        No it doesn't. In this case they didn't have rights to the copyrighted material they claiming as their own. That doesn't need to be precedent, that's kind of the basics of law...it doesn't apply to the RIAA because while the RIAA doesn't hold the rights, they also have never sued anybody. (Music labels do the suing, and for some reason Slashdot editors delete all mention of music labels and replace it with RIAA).
      • Yes, but it does continue to set precedence which is what we direly need lots of. Once enough precedence is set, the courts will have more of a foundation to stand on when throwing these bum's cases out the window.

        The term is precedent, the plural is precedents. Precedence is a completely different thing. Sound almost the same, but the meanings are totally different.

  • The people behind Righthaven must have known this would have a high probability of happening, and prepared to cast off the company when they had gotten what mileage they could out of it. So we have the pleasure of seeing the name disappear and some rented furniture thrown out into the street, but they'll just try again elsewhere. This is but a small battle in a large war. On the other hand, we *did* win this one, and some celebration is probably in order.

  • I want to see the lawyer lose his ticket.

  • We've crushed our enemies, now we need to see them driven before us and hear the lamentations of their women

  • Let me preface this with I am not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV. It is possible to go after the corp partners. The LLC does not protect you in case of fraud. Since Righthaven did not own the copyrights and filed suit anyway. This caused the defendant to have to defend himself to fraudulent accusations. If it can be shown that Righthaven knew or should have known that they had no standing to bring suit then the hurdle to pierce the corp veil is low. I think that that since the judge has ruled aga
  • by Tom (822)

    There's only one fitting comment:

    Bwuahahahahaha!!!

I have ways of making money that you know nothing of. -- John D. Rockefeller

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