Righthaven could now be called “Rights Haven’t” for real. Long-time Righthaven critic Steve Green gleefully reports that a Las Vegas federal judge has stripped Righthaven of 278 copyrights and its own trademark.
Apparently Righthaven couldn’t even be bothered to show up at the hearing, and the judge decided they had acquiesced to the transferal by default.
Marc Randazza, a Las Vegas attorney representing Hoehn, said after the hearing that [Judge Philip] Pro’s order wipes out Righthaven’s interest in all of its pending lawsuits and appeals. Since Righthaven now owns no copyrights, it has nothing to sue over or litigate over in appeals courts, he said.
“It moots them,” Randazza said of the appeals.
The transfer is for the sole purpose of satisfying the legal fee award of just one of the defendants Righthaven sued for copyright violation. There are a number of other victorious defendants lining up to have their legal fees compensated, and Green suggests that they might go after Righthaven’s backers and investors since the company no longer had any assets to satisfy those awards. It’s unclear to me how they can do this, given that Righthaven was an LLC, which should theoretically limit the liability to just the company itself, but perhaps there’s some legal loophole they can use.
Regardless, the whole thing couldn’t happen to a better company, and it sends the message that using copyrights, the Internet, and the already-overloaded legal system as your business model just won’t fly. Now if only someone could do the same to the patent trolls…