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, February 24, 2011

The Media Bloggers Association Intervenes on Behalf of Righthaven Defendant

National Bloggers’ Group Intervenes in Copyright Lawsuit Campaign
A national bloggers’ group intervened in the Righthaven LLC newspaper copyright infringement lawsuit campaign Wednesday, urging a federal judge not to reward Righthaven for what the bloggers call its “get-rich-quick scheme.”
The Media Bloggers Association filed a friend of the court brief in one of the Righthaven lawsuits, urging a Nevada federal judge to award only minimal damages — if any — and no attorney’s fees to Righthaven against a defaulting defendant.
See: Article in full | Read: Amicus Brief in full

Excerpts from the Amicus Brief
The vast majority of the victims of this scheme are under the impression that by giving proper attribution to a source, they are within their rights to use such excerpts. Almost none of them could ever afford legal representation; flummoxed by the threat of a $150,000 potential statutory damage award – an amount that it can safely be said none of them could dream of satisfying...
Phony “assignments” are not the only venal and manipulative aspects of the Righthaven scheme. By design, Righthaven sues mostly retirees who, terrified of losing their retirement savings, generally settle their cases quickly and without discovery...
Without revealing exactly what exclusive rights Righthaven has acquired in the works, if acquiring any at all, Righthaven essentially buys the bare right to sue for copyright infringement – which purchase is banned by copyright law – and uses it to sue small website operators by the hundreds...
In every Righthaven case, Righthaven discovered a small website or blogger’s use of an article – which very well may have been fair use – and then claimed to acquire the story’s rights, followed by a copyright registration and federal lawsuit. This case follows the same formula...
Righthaven’s agreements with Stephens Media include a mysterious “right of reversion” that allows whatever rights Righthaven does acquire to revert back to Stephens Media under circumstances unspecified in the parties’ written agreement. This raises serious questions as to whether Righthaven truly owns the copyright at all...
Righthaven’s business model is simple, cynical, and ethically questionable. Righthaven finds instances of infringement relating to newspaper articles and pictures of essentially trivial economic value on blogs and other small websites without significant readership, advertising or other resources...
This model, if sustained by law and emboldened by this Court granting Righthaven the damages it seeks, poses a singular and unique threat to Amicus’ membership. The interests of bloggers acting under Amicus’ umbrella will be adversely affected by any award of damages granted to an entity that collects illusory copyright rights for the sole purpose of litigation...
These excerpts do not reflect the thoughtful and informative depths of this 22-page document, but do provide insight into Righthaven's shocking predatory lawsuits.

1 comment:

  1. This is the first time we have been given a glimpse into Righthaven’s secret arrangements with their media partners. MBA may have uncovered an elaborate scheme by Righthaven and their partners to set up a system that transferres only a part of the copyright and as the MBA has shown it is illegal to separate the part of a copyright that allows the owner to sue from all the other rights and that there must be an exclusive right by the copyright holder to give them standing in a court of law. This may not be the case with Righthaven.

    If this is true then Righthaven, along with their media partners Stephen’s Media, News Media Group, and Wecho Media may allegedly have entered into an illegal arrangement to set up a sham transfer of copyright while retaining all the rights but allowing Righthaven to merely claim “ownership”. Allowing Righthaven to falsely register itself as the copyright owner with the US Copyright Office, which would be a federal offense, for the express purpose of Righthaven filing lawsuits that they may not have legal standing to file. If so not only should every case filed be dismissed but every victim that has settled and every victim that has undergone the extreme stress that Righthaven has put them through will have the legal standing to sue Righthaven along with their media co-conspirators including pursuing criminal charges. It is time for the FBI and/or Justice Dept to investigate Righthaven.


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