Guess Who Just Lost Another Lawsuit? If You Said Righthaven...

from the down-they-go dept

Short and sweet this time. Eric Goldman points us to the news that Righthaven has had yet another case dismissed in Nevada over the lack of standing. This ruling came from Judge Roger Hunt, the same judge who ruled on the first case (Democratic Underground) that determined that Righthaven never held the copyright to the material, and thus had no standing to sue. However, he also cites the other such ruling by Judge Philip Pro. Get used to this, because there will likely be a flurry of such rulings on pretty much all of the remaining Nevada cases. The same may be true in Colorado, but we still have to wait and see there.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 7:30am

    I think Righthaven needs to just shut its doors and disappear while they still have doors left to shut -- by the time the judges and lawyers for the parties that settled and such are done with them, they won't even have a building left.

     

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      Jay (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      Now they know how the defenders in their mass lawsuit feel

       

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        Crinkle Cut, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 2:04pm

        Re: Re: SUE SUE SUE

        It is time to start suing Stephens Media. They started this whole fiasco, and they need to be sued into the ground. They are a bunch of sleazy scammers, and the only good thing that can come of all this is for them to suffer massive financial losses.

        Sell your stock if you have it. They are going down soon.

         

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        DannyB (profile), Jun 25th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re:

        No, sadly, they don't.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 7:31am

    I've been sitting here at work waiting for something interesting to read and this is what you give me?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Was the SAA and the assignment even in evidence here? If not, then should Judge Hunt just assume the same agreements are in effect without proof? Seems to me that he should have made sure the same agreements are controlling before simply assuming they are. They probably are, don't get me wrong, but I think it's incorrect for him to make that assumption.

     

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      Jason, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:02am

      Re:

      Yeah, EXACTLY! Because that would be too much like what you're doing now.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:06am

        Re: Re:

        I read the opinion embedded above, and Judge Hunt does not explicitly say that the agreement and SAA that were controlling in the Democratic Underground case are in fact controlling here. He appears to be assuming that they are. The assumption may be factually correct, but I think it's error to just make that assumption, if that's what he's doing. Do you agree that the judge shouldn't just assume facts not in evidence? I should hope so.

         

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      AJ, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:05am

      Re:

      Every ruling posted here seems to be explained away as either flat our wrong, or incompetent judges......... we sooo need to get new Judges.......... or new Cowards....

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:07am

        Re: Re:

        I'm simply asking a relevant question. Maybe the SAA and the agreement were in evidence. I don't know. But if they weren't, I think it's error to assume they are controlling in this case.

         

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          Jason, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm just pointing out the irony of how your strawman argument argues against itself.

          I suppose, if I had to think about it for more than an internet second, I would realize that without the SAA, then Righthaven would be lacking an SAA to prove up its right to the copyright claim, and if something else were the case, I can't help but think that THEIR LAWYER might have put it in the OPPOSITION filed May 18, which the judge noted that he HAD considered, but maybe not.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm just pointing out the irony of how your strawman argument argues against itself.

            I suppose, if I had to think about it for more than an internet second, I would realize that without the SAA, then Righthaven would be lacking an SAA to prove up its right to the copyright claim, and if something else were the case, I can't help but think that THEIR LAWYER might have put it in the OPPOSITION filed May 18, which the judge noted that he HAD considered, but maybe not.


            It's not a strawman. Perhaps there was another assignment/SAA between Righthaven and Stephens. I don't know. And if neither were in evidence, Judge Hunt doesn't know either.

            All I'm asking is a basic, simple question--a question that is very relevant--were the SAA/assignment documents in evidence?

            If you don't know, you don't know. I certainly don't know. Do you?

             

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              Jason, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 9:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Okay sanity check: if "neither were in evidence" then what in the heck is Righthaven doing suing on someone else's copyright. See, as the plaintiff, they gotta prove up their basis for suit. If "neither were in evidence" then they don't even have a suit.

              "Perhaps there was another assignment/SAA between Righthaven and Stephens. I don't know. And if neither were in evidence, Judge Hunt doesn't know either."

              You're right. It's not a strawman. It's the Wizard of Oz. Do you have any other fairy tale arguments we should seriously consider?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 9:31am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                They filed suit, and they had the copyright registration. That registration gives them a presumption of ownership of the copyright. The only time they produced the actual assignment and SAA from Stephens was when ordered to by the court.

                Your notion that they must have produced the assignment and the SAA in every case is just plain wrong. It's not a "fairy tale argument." It's reality.

                This is important because I don't think they can just start dismissing Righthaven suits left and right on the standing issue if the documents that purportedly prove there's no standing aren't in evidence in each particular case. That's my understanding of it.

                 

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                  Jason, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:59pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Yeah, but what if there's bears?

                   

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                  Jason, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 1:46pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "They filed suit, and they had the copyright registration. That registration gives them a presumption of ownership of the copyright."
                  You're right.

                  "Your notion that they must have produced the assignment and the SAA in every case is just plain wrong."
                  I'm wrong.

                  "This is important because I don't think they can just start dismissing Righthaven suits left and right on the standing issue if the documents that purportedly prove there's no standing aren't in evidence in each particular case."
                  I'm going to disagree with you and the judge here. If the judge finds good cause in the Democratic Underground case to review its impact on other cases before the same court for potential abuses, I think that's sufficient for the court to decide on its own to consider that evidence.

                  HOWEVER, I'm thinking a much better step would've been issuing an order to show cause why it shouldn't be dismissed so that once entered the evidence and any responsives could be heard in the present case. Fair enough?

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 10:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You start with this:

                "Perhaps there was ..."

                and end with a conclusion based on YOUR possible maybe assumption:

                "Judge Hunt doesn't know either."

                Waste of time, waste of air, you have raised NO valid point here. Try this crap in front of said judge and watch how fast you get smacked down.

                 

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            Jason, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Hmm, somehow this got attached to your reply for someone else. I really meant it to be part of our little threadlet. Sorry for the confusion.

             

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          sam, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          they are part of public record any attorney who knows of them can request them. so yeah they are

           

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            Jason, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            To be inordinately fair, that's not the question he's addressing. The question he's sort of raising "is the SAA even part of THIS case?". It's kind of a juvenile strawman because obviously, if it's not then either some other basis would had to have been proved up in order for Righthaven to continue, SOMETHING would've then been cited in the motion that resulted in this order, and if that didn't match up, then Righthaven, would've probably included that in their opposition. Either way, the court has noted that both sides' moving papers were considered.

             

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          The eejit (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          is the SAA a private copyright? I would argue not, seeing as it was filed in a public court.

           

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          AJ, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Perhaps I misunderstood your question, and if so, my apologies. You did go into several levels of hypothetical.. assuming that the judge is assuming and if so, then he's wrong... that kind of comment can be difficult to follow...

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sorry about that. I'm just wondering if the same assignment and SAA that the judges used in the other two cases were actually in evidence here. They probably were. I just think it's strange that Judge Hunt didn't say they were, since his entire ruling is based on those two documents. I know there are several cases where only the assignment was in evidence, and in some cases neither the assignment nor the SAA were in evidence. I'm just wondering if they were in evidence here. That's all. If nobody knows, then nobody knows. I could look it up, but I'm just being lazy.

             

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      Karl (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      Was the SAA and the assignment even in evidence here?

      The SAA governs all copyright assignments between Stephens and Righthaven.

      Should the judge have required Righthaven to provide another copy of the SAA, even though it was in fact entered into evidence in the other cases?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Should the judge have required Righthaven to provide another copy of the SAA, even though it was in fact entered into evidence in the other cases?

        I'm no expert on evidence, but I think the answer is yes. Shouldn't the document that the judge bases his ruling on actually be in evidence? I certainly think so, or at the very least, Righthaven should/could have stipulated that the same documents were used. Otherwise it seems like a reversible error to me.

         

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          Karl (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Otherwise it seems like a reversible error to me.

          On appeal, it would most likely get remanded. Once remanded, the Judge Hunt would require Righthaven to produce the SAA - and then the court would dismiss the case again.

          That's assuming the appeals court doesn't uphold Judge Hunt's ruling in the first place.

          Also, do you know for certain that the SAA is not in evidence? The judge did say "the standing issues in this case are the same."

          The rules of evidence in these cases follow state rules, not the Federal Rules of Evidence, and I have no idea what Nevada's laws are. It's entirely possible that Judge Hunt can use that evidence in this case, without it being introduced by the defendant.

           

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      Trails (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 10:55am

      Re:

      so you're saying that possibly, somehow, for this case as opposed to the other in the same state, Righthaven might have different rights assigned by their agreement with Stephens?!?

      ... Are you high?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:03pm

        Re: Re:

        High? Nope. I might have a beer after dinner though. We rented "Black Swan." I might need a couple beers to get through it. :)

         

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    deadzone (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Nothing if not consistent

    They deserve everything they are being subjected to right now.

    Let's hope they are smart enough to cut their losses and move onto something else - preferably something they are good at...

     

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    PW (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 10:22am

    Defendants who settled

    Seems like any defendants that previously settled with Rightshaven might have a case (if there's enough of them, perhaps even a class action) to bring up against Rightshaven for fraud or something of the sort. After all, if Rightshaven tried to sue them (or extort them ;) without having the rights necessary to do so, then doesn't that constitute a violation of some fraud statute? Just wondering outloud.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 10:44am

    How long before Righthaven starts bringing these suits in East Texas?

     

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