The new owner of Righthaven's domain hates "spineless" ISPs

Last week, a mystery bidder snatched the domain of copyright troll Righthaven at auction for just $3,300. Just now, the domain name system updated to reveal his identity: one Stefan Thalberg of Zug, Switzerland, just south of Zurich.

And at the domain itself, a mysterious "No Jellyfish" logo with the title "Take Back The Right(Haven)" and the text "Coming Soon."

In the page source, a tantalizing clue:

<!--Oh... you want a hint do you? Very well: "Does your current provider possess a spine?"-->

Thalberg's email address suggests an association with OrtCloud, a Swiss internet service provider that says it focuses on "bespoke" solutions for financial and scientific companies. Intriguingly, its homepage advertises the "privacy-friendly, regulatory-havens of Iceland and the Swiss cantons of Zürich and Zug" beneath a photograph of the Swiss National Bank.

A cursory search of associated IP addresses reveals firms in the business services and finance sector. I've asked for comment. (Update: I've received a short reply saying that there will be "updates soon")

Righthaven launched an ill-fated copyright enforcement business three years ago, but was repeatedly punished by courts unimpressed with its claim to have "licensed" the right to sue from copyright holders—and which were often unimpressed with the credibility of the underlying claims. After running out of money, Righthaven lost its domain name to creditors, which promptly auctioned it off.

One of Righthaven's most notorious shakedown strategies was to demand victims hand over their own domain names in order to head off or settle lawsuits. Its legal team is now facing an investigation by the Nevada State Bar, after one judge found evidence that the company made "intentional misrepresentations" in court.


    1. Just for the pedantic record, it actually isn’t a jellyfish, it’s a Portuguese man-of-war. Or a whole lot of them, depending on your perspective.

  1. Your use of quotation marks around “bespoke” was noticed and duly appreciated. It’s a shame to see archaic terminology twisted into modern day weasel words, especially for some litigious ass-lick and his fledgling extortion service.

    1. RJ, it might be time to consider that remedial reading course. The article describes the PREVIOUS owner of the Righthaven domain. So your comment about a “litigious ass-lick and his fledgling extortion service” has nothing to do with the new owners. It’s clear that the new owners bought the domain for ironic purposes. Let’s see what they do with it before you start name calling the wrong guys.

  2. Well, not surprising. I am from Zug, and I know how many tax-fleeing people, fraudulent firms and lawyers, third-world predators multinational companies of resource traders and similar stuff is resided here. So do not expect someting good from that new domain holder.

    1. You are forgetting to mention that the Swiss provide one of the last safe havens for obtaining copy-written material for personal use, under the full protection of the law. If there was one place on earth I would want my Domain, it would probably be there. It seems obvious to me, that someone aims to highlight that with the purchase of this domain.

Comments are closed.