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Righthaven Loses In Colorado; Abused the Copyright Act 43

First time accepted submitter djl4570 writes "Federal Judge John Kane ruled that Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas lacked standing to file copyright infringement lawsuits in Colorado under its lawsuit contract with the Denver Post and abused the Copyright Act in doing so. Righthaven was ordered to reimburse the defendant his costs including reasonable attorneys fees."
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Righthaven Loses In Colorado; Abused the Copyright Act

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  • But I just want to say "up yours righthaven! up yours and all other copyright industry jackholes!"

    Thanks. I feel better now.

    • Paying the defendents costs is nothing really. It's a very small step towards making the defendents whole. What really needs to happen is disbarment for any lawyers in this firm. Bullying people with the legal system is not legal.

      • Bullying people with the legal system is not legal.

        But it is. It shouldn't be, but right now it is. I wonder if it is related to the fact that everyone who makes the law is a lawyer...

        • It's legal but actionable. You can sue for "malicious prosecution." personally, I think they have a case... but I wouldn't' know.
        • No, like most perceived Slashdot Conspiracies this one is actually once again the least of two evils.

          Think about this for one moment, if you go up against a corporation who is more likely to win? Regardless of your case or righteousness, who has the resources to defend/attack you in a trial?

          So if you could be tried very easily for malicious prosecution (or the loser of every case had to pay unreasonable legal fees) then no small player would ever risk filing a lawsuit even when they were wronged.

          Sure you ca

        • Bullying people with the legal system is not legal.

          But it is. It shouldn't be, but right now it is. I wonder if it is related to the fact that everyone who makes the law is a lawyer...

          When does it become criminal extortion? Everything Righthaven did fits the definition on Wikipedia -- but taking legal advice from Wikipedia is a very bad idea. Righthaven used threats to coerce people into giving them money. If they were not the copyright owners, the threats amounted to something along the lines of "we wi

      • by Myopic ( 18616 )

        ...except that it is legal.

        • by i.r.id10t ( 595143 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @12:20PM (#37555140)

          Plain 'ol bullying is barratry.

                  * Barratry, in criminal and civil law, is the act or practice of bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass. This action is a crime in some jurisdictions.

          • by arth1 ( 260657 )

            The problem is that it isn't "solely to harass". It's to get the defendants to cough up money to avoid an even more costly lawsuit.
            It's also not "repeated"; they pick new defendants.

            Of course it should be illegal, and possibly is under other laws against abusing the legal system.

      • What really needs to happen is they need to have to pay extra penalty, to be set aside to fight just the sort of thing they tried to do. Also, disbar or dismember the guilty attorneys.
      • I think you misspelled castration.

    • I move that the official nickname be "Trollhaven"

      • East Texas Federal Court District already holds that nickname near and dear to it's heart.
        • East Texas Federal Court District already holds that nickname near and dear to it's heart.

          Troll Bayou or Troll Hollow, perhaps, but I'm pretty sure "Trollhaven" is up for grabs.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @12:10PM (#37554994) Homepage

    as "reasonable legal fees."

    $300.00 an hour is the bottom feeder discount price. a "good" lawyer runs well over $1200.00 an hour.

    • by Xacid ( 560407 )

      It's amazing what innocence is going for these days.

    • by bugs2squash ( 1132591 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @12:20PM (#37555126)
      I thought you were going to say that there's no such thing as a reasonable attorney.
    • The "Shop Rate" for my 1st amendment lawyer ( was $10K/hour.
      She did the work pro-bono, but had I the resources (or had she not thought my cause was just) I'm sure I would have been paying.

    • "reasonable fees" in legalese means exactly that. When presented with the bill, the opposition can challenge the amount of hours, billing rate, and any additional fees as "unreasonable". When figuring out billing rate, the judge will limit it to what an average lawyer from that area and practicing that specialty would get. So no charging 1200/ hour unless the lawyer can demonstrate why he/she should get it. Also the judge can cut the number of hours as lawyers have to detail what they did for each hour.
    • by reebmmm ( 939463 )

      $1200/hr is quite steep no matter who you are. In the US, few lawyers bill more than $1000/hr. That said, it's common to see senior partners in things like IP litigation haul in 600-700/hr at the high end.

      A junior partner, senior associate at a decent sized law firm might charge between $400 and 500/hr.

      These rates are then blended with lower cost paralegals and associates for a lower overall cost. No one wants the senior partner review documents or sitting second chair at a deposition.

      As a result, most pl

  • Until the fat lady... Uh ...until the appeals are done. It is a very good sign, but it can still be overturned by an idiot judge higher up. Until the supreme court rules, it is still a potentially expensive battle.
    • You can appeal if the judge says you have no standing? I thought you could only appeal verdicts bit a judges decision that you had no ground so he refused to hear the case.
      • yes, you can appeal, but the appellate court can refuse on the same grounds (as I expect they would).

        • Yes the appeal court can accept the case to hear the case or it can refuse to hear and give their reasons. Unless Righthaven can demonstrate some legal error that the judge committed, they are not as likely to be heard. Even if the appeal court accepted the case, chances are that the appeal court will smackdown Righthaven just as hard.
          • If the appellate court were as pedantic as most of /. they would agree to hear the case just so they could smack WrongHaven even harder :-)

            • Actually I would like the appeal court to hear at least one of the cases because their decisions set precedent if there wasn't a precedent already. Something along the lines of "A party abusing the Copyright Act by suing without standing must pay opposing counsel attorney fees."
    • by Thruen ( 753567 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @12:19PM (#37555114)
      The fat lady was going to sing, but the RIAA accused her of copyright infringement and the out of court agreement bars her from singing without paying them.
    • by djl4570 ( 801529 )
      There's a discussion of this in TFA. Colorado is in the Tenth Circuit where precedent in copyright law is weak. Judge Kane did his own analysis and wrote his own opinion rather than relying on an existing Ninth Circuit Court opinion. A legal scholar quoted in TFA said that such an analysis is more likely to withstand appeal.
  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @12:51PM (#37555620)

    We see abuses all around, especially in the form of EULAs and DMCA, but judges rarely call it for what it is, and in fact usually let the abuse stand. I can only hope this is the beginning of a positive trend.

    Next, I can't wait for a court to rule a copyright law by Congress is an abuse of the Copyright Clause. Unfortunately, SCOTUS tucks its tail between its legs when it comes to this.

  • I mean, not that I'd wish it to change, but have they ever actually won any case they tried their hands at? How long 'til the average reaction is kinda like this:

    "Oh no, we got sued for copyright infringement!"
    "By whom?"
    "Do you have to scare me like that? I already thought it was someone serious."

    • They don't have to win cases. They just need enough people to be afraid that they pay up without a fight and never take it to court.

      • That strategy kinda fizzles when every time someone actually has the guts to go to court with them, they lose their case. It's like getting sued by your batshit crazy neighbor. The first two or three times you might be worrying, after that, you just hand it to whatever lawyer you can get your hands on and wave him to court with full power 'cause you simply don't take that loonie serious anymore.

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson