Colorado Judge Puts All Righthaven Cases On Hold

from the oops dept

We had already pointed out that the judge in Colorado, who was handling all of Righthaven's lawsuits in that state, was not impressed by Righthaven's business model and was not interested in allowing the company to use the courts as a wedge in its business model. Righthaven's response was to somewhat petulantly go after the judge, so it's little surprise that the judge, John Kane, has now put all of Righthaven's lawsuits in that state on hold, saying that he wants to make sure Righthaven actually has standing to bring the suit.

I would imagine this comes after learning about the sham copyright assignments that were revealed in Nevada with Stephens Media. The lawsuits in Colorado aren't over Stephens Media content, but Media News content, and it's not clear if Media News also had a similar bogus copyright assignment trick going on, but it appears Judge Kane would like to find out. Righthaven has filed 57 cases in Colorado, with 22 of them being dismissed by Righthaven, meaning likely settlements in most of those (I believe at least one was dismissed because of the judge being skeptical). So, 35 cases are now on hold, but I imagine that the 20 or so people or companies who have settled may suddenly be regretting that rash decision.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    DSchneider (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Question

    If you settle with a company before a lawsuit and it later comes out that the lawsuit was unfounded, can you sue the company to get your settlement back?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Tee off the judge...smart move there.

    Psst, your cereal bowl is over there...wanna go for two out of two?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    umccullough (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Question

    I suspect part of the settlement agreement is that you cannot ever countersue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Question

    But would that part of the settlement agreement hold up if the threat that got you to settle was fraudulent?

    So I guess the question is, can you extort money from someone, and make it legal if they sign something saying they'll never complain to the police? Nope, it doesn't work like that. If some guy with a gun walks up to me on the street and says that he'll shoot me if I don't sign some contract, can that contract be enforced? Of course not. Why would the settlement agreement hold up if it was made in bad faith?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Question

    You're referring to duress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Question

    Such case would be sligthly more complicated than the winklevi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    umccullough (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Question

    Something tells me it's quite a bit different when you enter an agreement like this and submit it to a court for approval and dismissal of a lawsuit...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 20th, 2011 @ 10:34pm

    Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

    (crickets)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Re: Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

    I'm up at my summer home, trying to "bust" as many bass out of the lake as I can. Thanks for asking. ;)

    I'm glad the standing issue will soon be resolved. We have both the Colorado court and the Nevada court addressing the issue. It will be interesting to see if both courts reach the same conclusion.

    I read Righthaven's arguments in the Democratic Underground case on the standing issue, and I think they did a decent job of explaining things. However, I thought the analysis was a little thin, and I think that they should have backed up more of their arguments with citations and authority.

    As I've stated before, I think both sides have good arguments, and I think it's a gray area--this could go either way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

    Black is a shade of gray.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Question

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the settlement agreements never went to court.

    Righthhaven find copyrighted content owned by Stephens Media or Media News or whoever. Righthaven threatens to sue RandomPersonWithAWebsite by sending them a pre-lawsuit settlement letter, saying if they don't settle Righthaven will sue for lots of money and their domain name. RPWAW agrees to settle by sending a smaller bit of cash.

    No courts involved. At most, Righthaven may need to file for subpoenas for discovery as to who owns a website, but those interactions with the court are ex parte and once Righthaven knows who owns it, they can dismiss the suit.

    These are not settlements where a judge is involved. Heck, a lawyer may not even be involved on one side - that' the whole point of the settlement letter, telling them "lawyers are expensive, so just give us a tiny bit of cash and we go away."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), May 22nd, 2011 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: Question

    You won't need to countersue. All you need is an aluminum baseball bat. Then you locate the attorney who extorted the funds, and put his right cerebrum into deep left center. Problem solved.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Payback Time, May 28th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

    if you say so. But I think that is wishful thinking on your part because if the arguments were so close I doubt any court would, sua sponte, stay all cases pending resolution of the standing issue. But you can continue spinning it as a close call. Lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 29th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

    I think the stay was a good idea. I'm not spinning anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Payback Time, May 29th, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

    You claim Righthaven has done a decent job of explaining things! Righthaven has boldly admitted that the assignments were done for the sole purpose of facilitating its illegal litigation campaign. Apparently Righthaven is not aware that Silvers expressly prohibits such a scheme because it was never the intent of the Copyright Act to give rise to an aftermarket for accrued causes of action. Every observer can see the problem with Righthaven's position except you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Payback Time, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

    Game is over. Today the Chief Judge in NV ruled Righthaven does not have standing. He also ordered Righthaven to show cause why it should not be sanctioned for lying to the court.

    Yea, that was a real close call. Lol...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Question

    Wouldn't the consideration in a settlement agreement essentially be the right and/or standing for suit being waived by the plaintiff. If there is no right or standing for suit, what becomes of the agreement?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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