Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm Trying Not to Start Crying About This

TechDirt reports on the latest piece of nonsense from the Righthaven suits:
In the continuing saga of Righthaven (remember them?), the firm is trying to hold off on paying the legal fees ordered by the court in one of the many cases so far (more legal fee awards are likely on the way). The defendant, Michael Leon, and his lawyers (from the Randazza Group) have filed a motion (embedded below) that rips into Righthaven, claiming that the company is looking to avoid paying. They claim that they contacted Righthaven to arrange payment, but instead, Righthaven asked the court for a 30 day stay to avoid having to pay the $3,815 it owes.
This is amazing.  Does Righthaven not $3,815 to pay this?  If they actually get rid of assets to avoid paying this, it implies that they are going to file for bankruptcy--and to dispose of assets before going bankrupt to avoid paying your debts, as I understand it, is illegal.  And yet, like a moth to a flame, Righthaven continues filing these suits when federal judges are clearly not impressed.  Steven Green at Vegas Inc. reports that in spite of the fact that judge are not impressed with Righthaven's continuing revisions to the contract with Stephens Media:

Hours after a federal judge dismissed a Righthaven copyright lawsuit against Dean Mostofi on Wednesday, Righthaven sued Mostofi again — this time based on its updated lawsuit contract with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“The dismissal for lack of standing in Mostofi I was based exclusively on the contents of the SAA (the lawsuit contract between Righthaven and Review-Journal owner Stephens Media LLC),” Righthaven said in its new lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for Nevada. “The Mostofi I decision did not consider Righthaven’s standing based on the terms of the (SAA) clarification, the restated (SAA) amendment and the specific assignment for the work (R-J story).”
This smells like desperation--especially because so many of the other suits that Righthaven have not just been losers for them, but are now turning into little piles of debt that Righthaven owes to defendant lawyers.  I am really looking forward to Righthaven going bankrupt.  I can only hope that some federal judge will personally assess penalties against Righthaven's CEO Steve Gibson.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers!  Come back more regularly!  I don't post as often as Glenn, but I'm trying!


  1. Awesome outcome. This is a good sign for our 1st amendment rights as well as "fair use". Great blog, but when I tried to post a link to this article on facebook, it came up as kind of a generic portal to your website with general information about yourself, rather than the article. FYI my good man.

  2. I assume you saw how quickly the judge threw the book at Righthaven:

    Now that's what I like to see in a judge and an executive!

  3. Wow. Did you click on the article title, and then copy the URL?

  4. Yes. I'll post a screenshot later tonight and link to it. It showed a monochrome picture of yourself, along with the language from your subheader under your banner. Usually when I post blog links, say from moonbattery, it will show with the moonbattery bat, and the the title of the post, and some short information, usually the first few lines. Those are by far the best and most alluring posts, and get clicks and comments. Facebook is the largest market for solical networking, so encoding with regards to facebook would improve the quality of your linkbacks by a huge margin, and you would get more traffic. Just a matter of coding it in, and integrating that into your web production routine.

  5. Clayton's from the government, and he's here to help you.

  6. It wouldn't be too satisfying if it's merely the legal entity RightHaven that files for bankruptcy. Might be interesting to see if there's any ground - using the corporate entity to perpetrate fraud, for example - for corporate veil-piercing, which would allow plaintiffs the right to seek assets from the individuals behind RightHaven.

  7. RE: many of the other suits that Righthaven have not just been losers for them, but are now turning into little piles of debt that Righthaven owes to defendant lawyers...

    Can someone explain this to me? Does this mean Righthaven is being forced to pay defense costs for cases that it files and loses? If so, this is utterly magnificent, but I thought that the entire 'tort reform' movement was about bringing about just that end. Surely this policy regarding court costs cannot be universal, and if it is not, why is Righhaven filing suits where it IS the case?

    This does perfectly show why such tort reform should be standard. Righhaven is at least close to being put out of business for filing exactly the kind of frivolous nonsense that infuriates us all. I'm glad to see it, but surprised. Can anyone elaborate on this?

  8. I'll take a stab at it, even though I'm not a lawyer (so I may be drastically wrong).

    It is my understanding that, under certain conditions, you can ask for the reasonable legal fees of an action to be paid. I do not know what those conditions are though, and I don't even know why this isn't universally so.

    I certainly agree that this rule should be applied to civil cases; it should probably be considered for anyone who is acquitted of a crime, but someone convicted of a crime probably shouldn't have to pay for the prosecution--given certain circumstances, that could end up being cruel and unusual punishment, or at least, punishment disproportional to the offense being punished.