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The Courts Your Rights Online

Righthaven Ordered To Turn Over Hard Drives To Creditors 51

Hugh Pickens writes "Remember Righthaven? Steve Green writes that the copyright troll who partnered with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post to file 275 no-warning copyright infringement lawsuits in 2010 and 2011 against parties that used content from those papers without authorization has just been ordered to turn over to a creditor hard drives from its computers so the creditor could determine if Righthaven has any assets that can be liquidated for the benefit of Righthaven's creditors. Federal judges in three states rejected Righthaven's lawsuits because the company lacked standing as the newspapers — not Righthaven — maintained control of the material Righthaven was suing over. Some defendants were also cleared by the fair use doctrine in copyright law. In the aftermath of Righthaven's legal debacle, the company shut down and claimed to be broke. Creditors in another case seized its website and trademark and auctioned them. They also seized the copyrights it sued over, but they didn't sell. Meanwhile Kurt Opsahl, an attorney for the EFF, has for months been urging Judge Peggy Leen to hit Righthaven CEO Steven Gibson with 'coercive sanctions' for Righthaven's failure to turn over information that will help the EFF find Righthaven assets. 'Steven Gibson is now going to have to show some responsibility,' said Opsahl after the judge issued a court order that could cost its CEO a fine of $500 per day for non-compliance. 'The CEO of Righthaven remains responsible for taking care of the business of the company.'"
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Righthaven Ordered To Turn Over Hard Drives To Creditors

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  • That's weird (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @10:18AM (#41721421) Journal

    If a judge wants to take something of mine, he'll send a cop to come and take it. Why isn't that happening here? Do the banks wait for a house to be 'turned over' when they forecloses on it?

  • Re:Rights management (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @11:46AM (#41721939)

    ...the company lacked standing as the newspapers — not Righthaven — maintained control of the material Righthaven was suing over.

    [Creditors] also seized the copyrights it sued over...

    Wait, what? Am I missing something here?

    Sure; There is almost no limit to how badly your lawyers can screw up if they try to be too clever. The company was attempting to do something illegal. Get to act as the copyright holder without having the responsibilities of the copyright holder. Unfortunately, they screwed up completely, and ended up achieving the reverse of what they wanted. They failed to transfer the right to sue, but they managed to transfer the actual copyrights (though presumably still with a license back to the newspapers the articles came from).

    Future lawsuits about this material may well be very very "interesting".

"Truth never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her birth." -- Milton