Skip to comments.Judge Reveals Secret Righthaven Copyright Contract [illegal through and through!!!]
Posted on 04/17/2011 7:50:00 AM PDT by Clint Williams
Hugh Pickens writes
"Judge Roger Hunt has unsealed the confidential agreement between Righthaven and the Las Vegas Review-Journal that has allowed Righthaven to sue over more than 250 charities, impoverished hobby bloggers, reporters, and the newspaper's own sources, for $150,000 each in damages and forfeiture of the sites' domain names, and the contents of the agreement could end up being ruinous for Righthaven's campaign of copyright lawsuits. The problem is that Stephens Media, the company that owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal, didn't actually assign any of the rights related to copyright to Righthaven except the right to sue and that has been found in Silvers vs. Sony Pictures to be illegal under case law. In other words, none of the important things that come with a copyright such as the right to make copies of a work, or distribute it, or make 'derivative works' were handed off to Righthaven. Only the right to sue was given, and that makes the copyright transfer bogus, argue lawyers for the Democratic Underground, which is being sued for one of its website users posting the first four paragraphs of a 34 paragraph story."
Awesome.I hope the shysters involved get personally reamed.
And Righthaven ought to get a rusted iron medal for the worst deal ever made. This isn't much different than paying a couple of thousand dollars to Dell or IBM for a new computer, and in return getting a nice shiny carton with nothing inside it.
Barratry? Wrecking a ship to steal the cargo?
In his Inferno, Canto XXI, Dante places barrators in the Eighth Circle, fifth bolgia of Hell.
Perhaps a reference to the lawsuits themselves?
Tribute to do business in the liberal NE.
It could be. Righthaven has sued enough folks they could probably get away with a private hanging ~ no one left to empanel a jury!
What's going on here is Stevens, et al, have created what is commonly known as a "shell corporation".
A "shell" may well have a legitimate purpose ~ e.g. to take temporary control of a building between owners so that contracts for management, maintenance, etc. can be continued without interruption, and on behalf of the tenants.
On the other hand a "shell" might have a less than legitimate purpose. For example, you might have a company set up a "shell" corporation to serve as a foil against adverse action. The injured parties might waste a lot of time going after the "shell" not being aware that a very real entity with vast resources is the responsible party.
Or, as seems to have been done here, a "shell" has been set up to sue other people for the purpose of "suing other people" and "collecting unearned remuneration from other people".
If Righthaven has NO ASSETS and is suing folks with a false claim that its assets were harmed (to wit, someone made copies) the owners of the "shell" can actually be prosecuted under any number of laws regulating fraud ~ uh, those are the criminal statutes!
Then, there's the whole law of conversion deal, and I'm sure there are lawyers who could figure out just all sorts of things to do ~ and Stevens' interests are definitely in trouble if conversion can be demonstrated ~ which I think it can.
I once had to handle a case where a book publisher had created a shell corporation that sold only books that qualified for the special nonprofit rates of postage. So I wrote a ruling that used everything but the word "shell" in it. I don't recall, but I don't think I used the term "corporation" either.
It was enough to shut the operation down, but the lawyer for the publisher APPEALED and he used the word "shell" ~ which I hadn't ~ demonstrating that my language regarding the fraudulent deal used to improperly qualify for lower postage rates was sufficient to win in federal court!
He was one mad little wet kitten!
I hear lawyers licking their lips over this one.
Thanks for the added explanation.
I always suspected there was reason to watch Perry Mason.
“Stephens Media, the company that owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal, didn’t actually assign any of the rights related to copyright to Righthaven except the right to sue...”
Now they can be counter sued to reclaim damages, Fraudulent representation, Material Defect of Facts.....
Can’t wait to see this one unfold.
Surprised no one challenged in discovery but it can all be undone now, with prejudice and no quarter.
What I find most amusing about this is that for once, I’ve found something to cheer DU for...;)
This is certainly one case where I wish the Democratic Underground well in court!