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!)