I'm sure you've heard of Righthaven, a copyright-troll Frankenstein's monster created in a boardroom rather than a laboratory. Righthaven's creators had dreams of making money by assigning newspapers' right to sue for alleged copyright infringement to a litigation entity. Righthaven came out swinging, suing bloggers left and right, in many cases for what was clearly fair-use quotations of articles.
Its efforts met in abject failure. In some instances it lost based on fair use defense; in other cases it lost when courts found that a newspaper couldn't confer standing to sue upon a litigation entity by transferring only the bare right to sue. The end result: Righthaven has lost repeatedly and is facing both sanctions and orders compelling it to pay the attorney fees and costs of its defendants. Frankenstein's monster is lumbering dumbly away.
But Frankenstein's monster was a pathetic and somewhat sympathetic figure, the occasional child-strangulation aside. Righthaven is not. Righthaven, now claiming to be close to bankruptcy, reaches for pathos but achieves only schadenfreude. In a recent Ninth Circuit "Urgent Motion" Righthaven begs the Circuit to stay the district court's order requiring it to pay the attorney fees and costs of a successful fair use defendant, complaining that it cannot secure even a $34,000 bond and that the defendant will soon seize its assets:
To date, Righthaven has been unable to secure a bond. The terms required by the bonding companies that Righthaven’s counsel has investigated and/or contacted are an impediment to meeting the district court’s stay requirement. The bonding companies are requiring what amounts to a full cash bond. In sum, the bonding companies ask for full cash payment, certain forms of collateral held by the company or irrevocable letters of credit be posted to obtain a bond in the amount requested. To date, Righthaven has been unable to satisfactorily meet these requirements in a manner acceptable to a bonding company. Due to the pending appeals and the stay of certain active litigation matters, Righthaven’s operating capital is being utilized to service its monthly operating expenses. As such, it is presently unable to allocate more than $34,000 toward the bond required by the district court to stay the Judgment pending appeal.
Absent posting the required bond or obtaining a stay of the Judgment pending appeal from this Court, Righthaven unquestionably face an imminent threat of irreparable harm through Hohen’s judgment enforcement efforts. As set forth in the motion for writ of execution, Hoehn is clearly seeking to seize and liquidate Righthaven’s intangible intellectual property assets. These assets include not only the copyrighted work at issue in this appeal, but the copyrighted works at issue in other appeals pending before this Court and those at issue in pending district court actions.
The technical, legal term for this request is JNOD, meaning "judgment notwithstanding obvious douchebaggery."
Righthaven's opponent in this is our friend Marc Randazza. One never knows which Randazza is going to show up to the party. Is it the entire legal brief about dicks Randazza? The ram has touched the wall Randazza? No, in this case, it's the literate Randazza, who picks up a mid-nineteenth-century American literature reference and beats the living shit out of Righthaven with it, having (as usual) more fun that one is supposed to as a lawyer. Read it and enjoy.
Things can't get much worse for Righthaven and its lawyers. Or . . . can they?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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