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Righthaven Ordered To Forfeit Its Intellectual Property 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the chickens-coming-home-to-roost dept.
New submitter BenJCarter writes with an update on Righthaven, the company that tried to make a business model out of copyright trolling. According to Wired, "[Righthaven] was dealt a death blow on Tuesday by a federal judge who ordered the Las Vegas company to forfeit 'all of' its intellectual property and other 'intangible property' to settle its debts. ... U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro of Nevada ordered Righthaven to surrender for auction the 278 copyrighted news articles that were the subject of its lawsuits. ... Righthaven's first client, Stephens Media of Las Vegas and operator of the Review-Journal, invested $500,000 into the Righthaven operation at its outset. With Judge Pro's ruling (PDF), the media company is losing financial control of hundreds of articles and photos. 'The irony of this? Perhaps those who buy the copyrights could issue DMCA notices to the Review-Journal stopping them from redistributing them?' [opposing lawyer Marc Randazza] said via an e-mail, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act."
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Righthaven Ordered To Forfeit Its Intellectual Property

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  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phrostie (121428) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:32AM (#39351103)

    a little karma in the world.

    very nice.

  • Re:There we go.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rufty_tufty (888596) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:41AM (#39351165) Homepage

    Except time money and the stress and grief put up on others by this sham of a company.

  • temporary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:43AM (#39351185) Homepage Journal

    If this is "outbreak of sanity" (and I don't know without more detail) then it will probably only be a TEMPORARY outbreak of sanity.

    Protecting IP like rabid dogs is considered "common sense" these days, and we all know how often common sense is actually wrong.

  • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:52AM (#39351243)
    I like to think of them like a puppy. Just because they peed in the right spot once, doesn't mean they are potty trained.
  • by canajin56 (660655) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @10:56AM (#39352599)

    Different judge, different case. This judge ruled against Righthaven based only on fair use, that a USER posting to your forum a 4 paragraph excerpt from a 34 paragraph article, linked to the full article, at 0 financial gain to the user or the website, was not copyright violation.

    So in this case, the judge never ruled on who owns it, and he said that while he acknowledges that the ownership is now in dispute because of the wording of the transfer agreement, as far as he can tell, Righthaven is the registered owner of all 275 articles, so he has every right to transfer them to the holder of the receivership. The fact that they actually are registered to Righthaven takes some weight from their losses before the first judge. Only that judge also made a declaratory judgement, calling it fair use regardless of who actually owns the rights, awarding lawyers fees and actually even bringing somebody from Stephens Media in to scold them, because the contract gave them the right to have final say in who to sue in the event it ends up being a charity (which it was!) or a hobbyist, and they did not exercise it. Basically he chewed their ear off for suing a charity over fair use, when as publishers of a law journal, they should damn well know better. In any event, other posters have said that after this initial loss, Righthaven was given full control so they wouldn't lose again. And then they lost again over fair use. So in THAT case, it would have 0 effect on the previous case, since they didn't have them yet. But they do KNOW, so they are fair game for forfeiture to pay the judgement in the first case.

  • Re:Actual Summary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rich0 (548339) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @11:03AM (#39352691) Homepage

    If anything the business model is validated to an extent. They still wreaked havoc on the defendant, and the defendant can't recover their costs since there is nothing to recover.

    That is the problem with IP trolls - they require little capital to operate, and the companies they go after have quite a bit of capital (in most cases). So, they have little downside and considerable upside. In theory a single lawyer could work for a half-dozen of them, so that if one hits the jackpot it can pay out to its shareholders and divest itself of assets to prepare for the next suit, and if one loses it just folds.

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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