Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poor Little Righthaven

Joe Mullin in the May 5, 2011 PaidContent.org reports that Righthaven has hired a $1000 per hour law firm out of New York City to defend them on the countersuits:
The hiring of Cendali suggests that Stephens Media may be afraid of getting hit with a ruling for attorneys’ fees and actually losing money out of the Righthaven litigation expedition. In any case, it’s hard to imagine how hiring such a high-priced lawyer could be a moneymaker for Righthaven. Eric Goldman, a law professor and blogger who has been critical of Righthaven, told the Las Vegas Sun: “I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Ms. Cendali’s fees in this case end up being many multiples of the maximum damages that Righthaven could possibly hope to get from Pahrump Life. That’s hardly a path to riches for Righthaven,” Goldman said.
Ordinarily, my sympathies are 100% with someone who finds out they are having to paid absurd hourly rates to lawyers to defend themselves from a suit--but Righthaven brought this on themselves.  They relied on the fact that many of the people that they sued could not afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars to defend themselves against lawsuits that, had they gone to trial, would likely have resulted in damages of $200 (the unintentional copyright infringement penalty) or $750 (the bottom end of the copyright infringement penalty for relatively worthless stuff such as old news.  Now Righthaven is having to defend itself from exactly the sort of garbage that they relied upon to force quick settlements. 

I would dearly love to see Steve Gibson, Righthaven's ambulance chaser in chief, forced into personal bankruptcy--but I am sure that he has everything set up properly to protect himself from anything that unpleasant happening.  At least, we can hope that the fantasy that he was starting a "technology company" will be squashed so flat that he has to find some new job somewhere else.  I understand from talking to Las Vegas attorneys that he has managed to burn all his bridges there.

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