Copyright troll Righthaven in its death throes, domain going up for auction

Copyright troll Righthaven was conceived of as a way of extorting money from websites on behalf of newspaper owners when quotations from those newspapers were posted to the web. The idea was that the newspapers would assign "the right to sue" to Righthaven, which would pursue lawsuits on their behalf, and share the take. Righthaven's primary tactic was to shotgun legal threats to everyone they could find, regardless of whether their claims had merit, and then withdraw the threat when someone stood up to them -- classic copyright trolling.

Over the years that followed public interest groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation worked with Righthaven's victims and won a string of victories, in which Righthaven's ass was repeatedly handed to them (the death blow was probably when judges began to affirm that there is no licensable "right to sue" separate from other parts of copyright).

Now Righthaven is pretty much dead. They've lost control over their domain (assigned to one of their victims, who has become a creditor of theirs, since the court awarded him costs), gone broke, and are just waiting for someone to dump them in a pauper's grave. It's possible that one of their early investors will come back and rescue them, but that would be a miracle as implausible as the climax of the Smurf's Family Christmas.

Records at Network Solutions, which tracks domain names, showed control of Righthaven’s website domain name was transferred Wednesday to Randazza Legal Group, which represents Righthaven creditor Wayne Hoehn.

However, attorney Marc Randazza said that information was incorrect and that a court-appointed receiver, attorney Lara Pearson of the Rimon Law Group in the Reno area, had control of it.

“She will arrange an auction of it in order to satisfy some of Righthaven’s debts,” Randazza said.

Pearson added Thursday, “If all goes well, I intend to put the domain name up for auction before the holiday break begins tomorrow, though I have not yet made a firm decision as to where the domain will be auctioned.”

Dismantling of Righthaven appears under way with loss of website

(Thanks, jacobcoakley!)



  1. The domain is actually appropriate for the best possible kick in the face: turn it into an anti-SOPA site.

    It can represent a safe haven for the rights of Internet users to free speech and fourth-amendment protection of their domains.

  2. I hope employeers keep a list of these guys names so that they can reference incoming candidates against it– you wouldn’t want to hire the kind of jerk that targets the weak & STILL can’t even win their case.  “We support injustice, & big industries going after defenseless people!  We uh, we suck at it though, we are the worst.”

  3. Came here to say this. The lawyers working at Righthaven should be shamed. Their names should be publicized if they’re not already.

  4. It is helpful to remember while Marc Randazza is this huge free speech advocate, he is also a copyright troll.  He threatens to out people or tell their neighbors they watch gay porn to try and get money from people who might have not actually done the alleged infringement.  He put forward the idea that if you pay for the bill your responsible for everything that happens on the connection even if someone hacks in.  He has told targets in letters to not even bother to try and challenge his filings in court because he will make sure their victory is short lived.  I thought making sure things were done legally was a cornerstone of the legal system.

    So I think the best use of this would be to make a central clearing house for the thousands of people still being pursued by these copyright trolls…  I mean it just came out that one of the trolls was abusing the law and getting information on people never named in the lawsuits.

  5. The sole remedy left is that the Nevada bar assoc if they had any guts would proceed with disbarrment. The principals should not be permitted to practice law. Period.

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