Righthaven To Have Assets Seized, Owes $ in Attorneys Fees for Copyright Lawsuits

iMediaEthics publishes international media ethics news stories and investigations into journalism ethics lapses.


Home » Copyrights»

(Credit: Righthaven)

Righthaven, the company that was hired by the Las Vegas Review-Journal in spring 2010 and the Denver Post in fall 2010 to file copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of the newspaper’s content, is getting in even hotter water.  Just two months ago, the Denver Post announced it would no longer use Righthaven to file copyright lawsuits and Righthaven revealed that it may have to file for bankruptcy, as iMediaEthics has written.

Media Post reported that on Oct. 31  “a federal court authorized marshals to seize Righthaven’s property in order to satisfy a judgment against it for around $60,000.”

Separately, Righthaven must pay $119,488 after U.S. district judge Roger Hunt ruled the copyright enforcement company didn’t have “standing to sue” on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Las Vegas Sun reportedThe Sun explained that the bill is “by far the largest” Righthaven has been ordered to pay.

According to the Sun, Righthaven had sued a former federal prosecutor named Thomas DiBiase for re-publishing a Review-Journal story on his website reporting on “no-body murder cases, or cases where a murder is suspected but the victim’s remains have not be located.”

The copyright case was dismissed earlier this year, and the fees are to cover DiBiase’s “attorney’s fees and costs.”

The Las Vegas Sun reported that the Electronic Frontier Foundation defended DiBiase, arguing fair use and that his website is a “public service.”

On Nov. 1, a judge “called off” a Righthaven trial, Vegas Inc reportedAccording to Vegas Inc, the judge wanted to determine if “Righthaven had standing to file the suit.”The judge, U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson, “canceled” the case because he previously had ruled in similar Righthaven cases that it doesn’t have “standing to sue.”  As such, the judge wanted to know why this case shouldn’t be dismissed as well.

South Carolina

Righthaven also had to defend its lawsuit against South Carolina blogger Dana Eiser for content on the blog for Lowcountry 912, a group Eiser leads, Vegas Inc reported.  Eiser rejected Righthaven’s 2010 charges in a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement and claims that Righthaven didn’t have the right to sue for the Denver Post’s content.

Tech Dirt reported Oct. 20 that “having already had judges in Nevada and Colorado dismiss Righthaven cases for lack of standing, the one remaining state where Righthaven had tried its questionable legal tactics was South Carolina.”

Hat Tip: Editor & Publisher

Submit a tip / Report a problem

Righthaven To Have Assets Seized, Owes $ in Attorneys Fees for Copyright Lawsuits

Share this article: