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A Victory for Bloggers – and for Free Speech

The Righthaven company, typically referred to as a copyright troll, has over the last year or so come at many bloggers with copyright violation lawsuits.

Now a judge has ruled that Righthaven never had legal standing to sue, and will probably be sanctioned for dishonesty.


UPDATE: The Electronic Frontier Foundation comments:

“This kind of copyright trolling from Righthaven and Stephens Media has undermined free and open discussion on the Internet, scaring people out of sharing information and discussing the news of the day,” said [an EFF attorney]. “We hope this is the beginning of the end of this shameful litigation campaign.”

“To Righthaven and Stephens Media, the Court has issued a stinging rebuke,” added [another]. “For those desiring to resist the bullying of claims brought by pseudo-claimants of copyright interests, the ruling today represents a dramatic and far reaching victory.”


Steve Green, the Las Vegas reporter who has owned the Righthaven story, concludes:

[F]ederal judges don’t appreciate their courtrooms being used as ATM machines by Righthaven.


UPDATE: Eric Johnson, a specialist in copyright law, draws some moral conclusions:

Righthaven lawyers constructed a sham transaction, and then made multiple misrepresentations to courts and third parties in order to hide the sham nature of the transaction. This was done in a bid to get a number of unsophisticated, unrepresented defendants to fork over substantial settlement payments, largely out of fear or because of their financial inability to mount a defense.

The potential to pervert our civil justice system in this way is one of the most important reasons attorneys are required to demonstrate a high moral character as a prerequisite to receiving a license to practice law. Righthaven’s behavior, in my opinion, is incompatible with that standard.

He anticipates the disbarment of Righthaven attorneys.


If you want to read some of the best prose UD has ever seen, read this. When the history of Righthaven is written, paragraphs and paragraphs from this letter will be front and center.

Margaret Soltan, June 14, 2011 6:29PM
Posted in: blog

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3 Responses to “A Victory for Bloggers – and for Free Speech”

  1. dmf Says:


  2. Back on the Intellectual Property Beat | Professor Mondo Says:

    […] be interesting to see how this continues to play out. Thanks to University Diaries for keeping us in the […]

  3. University Diaries » On the free speech front… Says:

    […] about the ongoing implosion of Righthaven, generally referred to as a copyright troll. (Background here.) As Steve Green reports in Vegas Inc., two groups in South Carolina have […]

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