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

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Defense: Estoppel, Acquiescence, Copyright Misuse, Unclean Hands, Barratry, Champerty

Defendant Accuses Righthaven of Misusing Legal System
As reported by Steve Green of the Las Vegas Sun on Sunday, a corporation being sued by Righthaven "came out swinging." The case involves California-based Internet Brands Inc. with just over 37 million cash on hand and the ownership of about 100 website brands. In answering to the suit, Internet Brands said Righthaven's claims are "barred based on the doctrine of fair use and that an 'implied license' was provided by the Review-Journal for the use of its material." Internet Brands also said Righthaven's claims are barred based on the following legal arguments:

[Please read the Las Vegas Sun article in full to better understand the below legal arguments, which I've pulled from legal definition websites.]
  • Estoppel: (dictionarylaw.com) "A bar or impediment (obstruction) which precludes a person from asserting a fact or a right or prevents one from denying a fact. Such a hindrance is due to a person's actions, conduct, statements, admissions, failure to act or judgment against the person in..."
  • Acquiescence: (wikipedia) "A legal term used to describe an act of a person in knowingly standing by without raising any objection to infringement of his rights, when someone else is unknowingly and honestly putting in his resources under the impression that the said rights actually belong to him..."
  • Copyright Misuse: (encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com) "An equitable defense against copyright infringement in the United States based on the unreasonable conduct of the copyright owner. The doctrine forbids the copyright owner from attempting to secure an exclusive right or limited..."
  • Unclean Hands: (dictionary.law.com) "A legal doctrine which is a defense to a complaint, which states that a party who is asking for a judgment cannot have the help of the court if he/she has done anything unethical in relation to the subject of the lawsuit. Thus, if a defendant can show the plaintiff..."
  • Barratry: (dictionary.law.com) "Creating legal business by stirring up disputes and quarrels, generally for the benefit of the lawyer who sees fees in the matter. Barratry is illegal in all states and subject to criminal punishment and/or discipline by the state bar, but there must be a showing that..."
  • Champerty: (dictionary.law.com) "An agreement between the party suing in a lawsuit (plaintiff) and another person, usually an attorney, who agrees to finance and carry the lawsuit in return for a percentage of the recovery (money won and paid). In common law this was illegal on the theory..."

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