Righthaven v. Wayne HoehnIn the ongoing case of Righthaven defendant Wayne Hoehn, who is represented by Randazza Legal Group, U.S. District Judge Philip Pro has ordered the case dismissed due to lack of standing and has granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment. Hoehn was sued by Righthaven in January 2011 after posting an editorial in full (Public employee pensions - we can't afford them) to madjacksports.com, originally published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
See: Order to Dismiss: Righthaven v. Wayne Hoehn
Pro ruled that at the time of the posting, "Righthaven was not the owner of the Work, rather the Work was owned by Stephens Media." Pro then cites damning portions of the Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA). Further on, he states: "The Court finds the SAA in its original form qualifies the Assignment with restrictions of rights of reversion, such that in the end, Righthaven is not left with ownership of any exclusive rights," and effectively, "does not have standing to bring a suit for infringement."
Judge Pro's ruling also denies that Righthaven's May 9 "clarification" to the SAA contract (pdf) was meaningful or significant, stating that, "It does not provide Righthaven with any exclusive rights necessary to bring suit." Pro adds, "The May 9, 2011, clarification provides Righthaven with only an illusory right to exploit or profit from the work, requiring 30 days advance notice to Stephens Media before being able to exploit the work for any purpose other than bringing an infringement action."
Lastly, the ruling states that the defendant is entitled to summary judgment -- a procedural device used during civil litigation to dispose of a case without a trial -- on the grounds of fair use. Pro states that Righthaven failed to present "an affidavit showing the specified reasons it needs to conduct discovery to oppose summary judgment, or, the types of facts it hopes to elicit, that these facts exist, and that these fact are necessary to oppose summary judgment." Pro denied additional discovery.
See: Related VEGAS INC article
Congratulations Wayne! Gold star lawyering Randazza Legal Group!