Copyright troll stripped of copyrights, which are to be sold to pay off its victims

Righthaven, the copyright troll that flamed out after a botched attempt to get rich by suing bloggers for quoting newspaper articles, has reached bottom. After having its domain seized and sold off to pay its legal bills, it is now faced with having to sell the copyrights to the aforesaid newspaper articles as well to offset more of its victims' expenses. David Kravets writes on Ars Technica:

U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro of Nevada ordered Righthaven to surrender for auction the 278 copyrighted news articles that were the subject of its lawsuits.

"The copyright registrations to more than 275 works are in Righthaven’s name, can be transferred by this court, and can then be auctioned," the judge ruled. (.pdf)

The domain was auctioned for $3,000 last year to help satisfy the legal bill the firm must pay to one of its defendants that prevailed in a copyright suit brought by Righthaven itself. The tab is more than $60,000 in the case before Judge Pro, and in total Righthaven owes about $200,000 to various defendants.

Judge orders failed copyright troll to forfeit "all" copyrights


  1. I really love it when the ‘black hats’ go down ….
    but to have them ‘tossed down the stairs by a judge’ – almost as good as pi.

  2. I’m confused – I thought they didn’t own the copyrights in question, which was kind of a big deal. If they didn’t own them, how can they surrender them?

    1. Yes, that seems to be the unmentioned aspect of this story that I haven’t seen described anywhere: it’s the Las Vegas Review Journal that appears to be losing copyrights to their own articles. No news on the Denver Post (Righthaven’s other client), but I don’t recall Righthaven initiating any suits on their behalf.

  3. This judge hadn’t found Righthaven didn’t own the copyrights. He’d found that the uses complained about were allowable under fair use, so Righthaven didn’t have a complaint. The judgement being paid’s the judgement for costs and fees allowed to a prevailing defendant in a copyright case. The judge is just taking Righthaven at it’s word that it owns the copyrights in question (which it’d need to in order to file an infringement suit in the first place). I supposed the newspapers could contest the order on the grounds that they didn’t sell the copyrights to Righthaven, but that’d come back to bite them in other cases.

  4. Hopefully they can pierce the veil and hold both the principles of Righthaven personally and the newspapers they represented responsible for the damage.

  5. I’m all for malicious glee…but doesn’t this set a precedent to let copyrights be stripped from legitimate copyright holders, in the invent of like, bankruptcy or something?

  6. The best way to end this garbage is to counter sue FOR the copyright.

    Ultimately, most of the trolls are “Pigs that devour usury” those that live off the works of others and produce nothing themselves.  Were it not for the law we’d kill them on sight…

    In front of a jury you can bring out crayons and stationary from say 20 years ago from your kindergarten stuff and say “Look!  I thought of this idea 20 years ago!  You are the jury, you decide!” as you doodle out the lyrics to a song, sketches for an animation, etc. if they sue you for an AMV on YouTube…  Then let the copyright troll “Lose” the copyright for a major media company he DID NOT directly represent.  (serious, most of these swine do NOT directly work for the guys.  Both “Plausable deniablity” and they themselves are con artists who don’t give a penny to the artists/companies, all profits being eaten in self-justified “Legal Fees”)  But a jury can decide copyright, literally decide the “Truth” and if they hate the parasite enough and realize this they CAN do this…  They’ll make sure he never practices law ever again…  And, wanting the property back, you could then go “I’ll sell it back for legal fees and 25 cents, but please let me use this stuff on YouTube, I’m advertising colostomy prog rock and a no longer showing cartoon…I’m giving you free advertising”…

  7. Let’s hope that all these nice tasty copyrights go to owners who will feed them and bring them in at night, and not corporations who will likely persue them rigorously in order to recoup some of their expenditure in buying them.  ::sigh::

    Surely the problem is that copyrights can be bought and sold in the first place?

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