Righthaven LLC -- a bottom feeding legal outfit -- has teamed up with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Denver Post to sue mom and pop websites, advocacy and public interest groups and forum board operators for copyright infringement. The strategy of Righthaven is to sue thousands of these website owners, who are primarily unfunded and will be forced to settle out of court.
Righthaven lawsuitsTo date Righthaven has been ordered to pay $323,138 in legal fees and sanctions.Righthaven lawsuits

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Righthaven Finally Bites the Dust; 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Confirms No Standing to Sue

In the copyright infringement lawsuits involving defendants Wayne Hoehn and Thomas DiBiase, the two cases were combined on appeal, the Court ruled on May 9, 2013 (read full opinion):
OPINION (CLIFTON, Circuit Judge)
Abraham Lincoln told a story about a lawyer who tried to establish that a calf had five legs by calling its tail a leg. But the calf had only four legs, Lincoln observed, because calling a tail a leg does not make it so. Before us is a case about a lawyer who tried to establish that a company owned a copyright by drafting a contract calling the company the copyright owner, even though the company lacked the rights associated with copyright ownership. Heeding Lincoln’s wisdom, and the requirements of the Copyright Act, we conclude that merely calling someone a copyright owner does not make it so.
The Court also vacated the order granting the motion for summary judgment on fair use grounds.
We understand why the district court reached the fair use issue. By providing an alternative basis for decision, the court sought to deal with this case in a more efficient manner. If we disagreed with the district court and concluded that Righthaven had standing to bring this copyright infringement action, we could have proceeded directly to the next issue, fair use, without requiring a remand and a further appeal.
Nonetheless, because we agree that Righthaven did not have standing, it is not appropriate for us to go further or for the district court’s alternative ruling to stand. We therefore vacate the portion of the district court’s order that analyzed the merits of the fair use defense and granted the motion for summary judgment.
See: Ars Technica article in full
See:  Ninth Circuit Vacates Fair Use Finding in Righthaven Case

1 comment:

  1. Good and bad news. Many courts have shown a willingness to interpret fair use broadly when given a chance. Sadly they get very few chances because most are forced to settle because of our draconian copyright laws. Laws Righthaven and other trolls take advantage of to extort money out of people.


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