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The Courts Your Rights Online

Auction of Copyright Troll Righthaven's Website Underway 63

Tootech sends this quote from Vegas Inc: "The online auction of the righthaven.com website domain name got underway Monday, with bidders having until Jan. 6 to submit offers. A judge has authorized a receiver to auction the intellectual property of Las Vegas-based Righthaven LLC, the newspaper copyright infringement lawsuit filer. The auction is aimed at raising money to cover part of Righthaven's $63,720 debt to a man who defeated Righthaven in court. The man, Wayne Hoehn, and his attorneys defeated Righthaven when a judge threw out Righthaven's lawsuit against him over Hoehn's unauthorized post on a sports betting website message board of a Las Vegas Review-Journal column by columnist and former publisher Sherman Frederick. Hoehn was a defendant in one of Righthaven's 275 lawsuits filed since March 2010."
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Auction of Copyright Troll Righthaven's Website Underway

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  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:33AM (#38513286)

    Because they might have an idea that uses a domain called RightHaven? Perhaps a RPG game, perhaps a software application for big business. Who cares - as long as the company is getting gutted to pay for the money it has to cover.

    Having said that, I am personally much more interested in finding out whether once the IP within that shell of a shell company runs out and the money is still missing, whether Big Media will be covering the shortfall as they were clearly setting the operation up as a source of income. Surely they will be held liable for the shortfall? Can I get this as a late Christmas present from the US justice system?

  • by Sasayaki ( 1096761 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:53AM (#38513326)

    Set up an anti-patent advocacy group?

  • by hairyfish ( 1653411 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:58AM (#38513362)

    ... but why would you want to buy righthaven.com? Really, what possible value could it have?

    Er.. for the 99.999% of the world that have never heard of Righthaven, it is a cool sounding Fantasy/Sci Fi/Heavy Metal type name, and .com domains made up of real words are quite scarce these days. If I was a publisher I'd look at buying it for a future book/tv/movie/album release. I wouldn't pay much for it, but it'd have fetch a few hundred bucks at least.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:56AM (#38513816) Journal
    Conservative political blog would be perfect for that, hell that was what i thought it was the first time i heard it. my question is what is keeping them from just starting a new company and trolling all over again? After all if they have incorporated they can just walk away, let the shell burn and start another. we all know this was Stephens media's little proxy so what is gonna keep Stephens from just doing it again? keep some lawyers on retainer and you have the perfect SLAPP weapon, just keep trolling and if you make money fine, if you don't you'll still scare many people from using anything that has ever been on a Stephens website for fear of being dragged into court. After all if they win its not like they're gonna get squat and I bet the poor guy that won never even covers his court costs.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:30AM (#38514016)

    You are paying their creditors, which would include people who have legal judgements against them. When someone goes insolvent, their creditors get fucked. However they can usually recover some of what they lost when assets are auctioned off.

    As an example when MPC went under, the university I work at was a "creditor" of sorts. We had systems with outstanding warranties on them and those have value. So we got a letter from the bankruptcy court letting us know what all was going on. We didn't expect to get any money, and we didn't. Their assets weren't worth enough, all the money recovered went to higher priority creditors (there is a legal order to what gets paid off first).

    So we were stuck holding the bag. Wasn't a huge deal, but we did have system failures that would have been covered by the warranty that we had to pay for ourselves.

    In a more direct case take bond holders. If you hold uninsured bonds in a company and they go bankrupt, you are out the money unless their assets can raise enough to pay you back in whole or in part.

  • by Quick Reply ( 688867 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:49AM (#38514144) Journal

    You would be FAR better off donating to the victim directly, rather than letting the lawyers get any of it and do RH a favor

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:55AM (#38514184)

    I find it insightful to see a "company" like this who was going after MILLIONS in so-called damages, is suddenly struggling to pay a paltry $64k debt. And all I can say is... BWAHAHAHAHA! There *can* be justice in this world.

    You are wrong, this is actually a case of _injustice_, brought to you by the corporate system and the inherent liability asymmetry that it creates. Think about it, Mr. Hoenh is owed $64k, most of which would be for his legal costs - costs that he rightfully deserves to recover since his time was wasted by this frivolous lawsuit. Instead, Mr. Hoenh in all likelihood will have to suffer an injustice because righthaven inc./corp./whatever will be unable to satisfy this debt and the person pulling the strings behind Righthaven will not be personally liable unless Mr. Hoenh goes to court again to pierce the corporate veil, thus incurring even more legal costs. IMO, Hoenh's court award will turn out to be an empty judgement and much cold comfort to him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @11:49AM (#38515444)

    Righthaven had absolutely nothing to do with patents, they represented copyright holders. And their cases were thrown out because they didn't own the copyrights, so how on earth are they going to sell something they don't own?

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."