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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Judge Dismisses All Colorado Righthaven Lawsuits; Orders Righthaven to Pay Legal Fees

Judge: Righthaven Lacked Standing, Abused Copyright Act
Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas lacked standing to file copyright infringement lawsuits in Colorado under its lawsuit contract with the Denver Post and abused the Copyright Act in doing so, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
Senior U.S. District Judge John L. Kane in Denver granted summary judgment for Righthaven lawsuit defendant Leland Wolf and the It Makes Sense Blog against Righthaven.
See: VEGAS INC article in full
See: U.S. District Judge John Kane's ruling in full

The article notes that 23 Colorado cases had closed prior to Judge Kane's ruling. It is likely that Righthaven lacked standing to bring those lawsuits as well, several of which included settlements with big names, such as white supremacist David Duke and website operator Matt Drudge.

Part of Judge Kane's Order:

Righthaven’s only interest in the Work is “the right to proceeds in association with a Recovery.” The Copyright Assignment Agreement defines “Recovery” as “any and all sums . . . arising from an Infringement Action.” Thus, when read together, the Assignment and the Copyright Assignment Agreement reveal that MediaNews Group has assigned to Righthaven the bare right to sue for infringement – no more, no less. Although the assignment of the bare right to sue is permissible, it is ineffectual. Standing alone, “[t]he right to sue for an accrued claim for infringement is not an exclusive right under § 106.” Silvers, 402 F.3d at 884. Furthermore, neither the Assignment nor the Copyright Assignment Agreement provide Righthaven any beneficial interest in the dissemination of the Work. Accordingly, Righthaven is neither a “legal owner” or a “beneficial owner” for purposes of § 501(b), and it lacks standing to institute an action for copyright infringement.
It is apparent from the terms of the Assignment and the Copyright Assignment Agreement that Righthaven lacks standing to institute an action for copyright infringement. Because the jurisdictional issues raised in the Motion to Dismiss are intertwined with the merits of the case, I convert Mr. Wolf’s Rule 12(b)(1) motion to a Rule 56 motion and GRANT him SUMMARY JUDGMENT. Furthermore, in light of the need to discourage the abuse of the statutory remedies for copyright infringement, I exercise my discretion under Section 505 of the Copyright Act and ORDER that Righthaven shall reimburse Mr. Wolf’s full costs in defending this action, including reasonable attorney fees.

Defendant Leland Wolf is represented by Randazza Legal Group. (Huge kudos to both!)


  1. On rare occasion, the little guy wins and on even rare occasions, the little totally kicks ass!

  2. Congrats, Mr. Wolf.

    And Righthaven LLC, meet my little friend, Randazza Legal Group.


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