Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Righthaven Pleading For Mercy

I'm so heartbroken.  From the ever useful Steven Green at Vegas Inc.:
Despite its backing by billionaire Arkansas investment banker Warren Stephens, copyright lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas said Sunday it has been unable to secure a $34,045 bond to guarantee payment of a defendant’s attorney’s fees.
In an "urgent motion" filed Sunday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Righthaven asked the court to strike a Nevada judge’s order that it post the bond to ensure attorneys for copyright lawsuit defendant Wayne Hoehn get paid, should Righthaven lose its appeal in the Hoehn case.
The article goes on to quote from Righthaven's filing, indicating that no bonding institution will issue the required bond, except for the full cash amount--which pretty well tells us that Righthaven is regarded as a poor credit risk by the bonding institutions.  When someone will only issue a $34,045 bond if you give them $34,045 in cash, that indicates that the bonders believe that you are going out of business, and soon.

Fortunately, if Righthaven goes bust, this does not let Stephens Media off the hook.  Stephens Media is being sued as well by victims of Righthaven's suits, and as I understand it, the incompetents who wrote the Righthaven/Stephens Media contract not only failed to actually grant Righthaven the actual copyright it needed to file the suits--but it also left Stephens Media at least half responsible for the consequences of Righthaven's action.  My, a worst of both worlds contract: not enough ownership rights to win the copyright infringement suits, but enough liability that Stephens Media may get stuck with the bills for the damages that Righthaven caused.

I look forward to the day that Righthaven's CEO, Steve Gibson, is held personally liable for the actions of Righthaven, loses his fancy car, his home, and all of his other assets.  After all: that's what he was trying to do to others who innocently stumbled into the Righthaven scheme.  I can't think of a more deserving lawyer.


  1. And my faith in what I call "equitable outcomes" is upheld. :-)

  2. And a beautiful day it is.

  3. I’m a lawyer who loves seeing Righthaven get what’s coming to them. Confucius warned that before embarking on a journey of revenge one should first dig two graves. That could be modified slightly to cover anyone embarking on a business model based on continuous litigation.

    In my experience I cannot imagine a Federal Court of Appeals granting a motion to overrule a trial judge’s order to post an appeal bond except in extraordinary circumstances, and that would normally be in the case of a non-profit organization with a very strong case on the merits or an indigent individual litigant also with a strong merits case and appearing in forma pauperis. In those cases it’s likely that it would never get to the court of appeals because the trial judge would be sympathetic to the motion. If you can’t convince the trial judge you deserve to appeal without posting a bond you probably can’t convince the court of appeals. It’s a desperate attempt by Righthaven.

  4. "I can't think of a more deserving lawyer." i can. he's the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

  5. Perhaps instead of reflexively blaming the nearest lawyer, you should take a look at what caused these financial hardships, which we all know is the Bush Administration. Bush and the Republicans harmed women, children, blue collar union workers, minorities, and gays as much as possible in the name of Big Oil, Halliburton, Wall Street, and Wal-Mart. Rightraven probably had financial problems which made them desperate and unthinking. We need to see the real problem in this country, Bush and the Republicans, instead of blaming the lawyers and the black President for everything.

  6. Brian G:

    Very briefly, I thought that you were serious!

  7. Ouch! But Clayton, how can you be so sure that's Brian isn't serious? This is hardly a far-out position these days.

    On the other hand, I've seen this kind of stunt pulled off by Greg Gutman

  8. I don't believe I've ever seen a more perfect instantiation of Shakespeare's "hoist by his own petard" than this. Very nearly perfect.

  9. This headline just makes me feel warm all over.