Righthaven CEO Explains Losses: 'We've Blazed Some Trails; There Are Differences Of Opinion'

from the well-that's-one-way-of-looking-at-it dept

With Righthaven being told to pay attorneys fees yet again, we were curious if Righthaven CEO Steve Gibson would stand behind his earlier claims that judges mostly supported Righthaven, but were just providing "guidance" to less careful competitors. While he isn't going that far, in an interview with Joe Mullin at PaidContent, Gibson continues to pretend that Righthaven hasn't been beaten up nearly as badly as it has.

First, Gibson claims, as Righthaven has been arguing in court lately, that if a court rules (as they have been) that Righthaven didn't have the copyrights in question when it sued, then it's "just" a "jurisdiction issue" and, therefore, the court cannot then rule on the further merits of the case and should not award attorneys' fees. That's a rather interesting way to avoid acknowledging what appears to be a form of fraud. It seems pretty damn clear from multiple rulings that the courts do not consider this merely a "jurisdiction" issue, but rather an attempt to deceive the court system and use it to force people and organizations to pay up. Either way, Righthaven seems to be gearing up for an appeals court challenge on this issue.

Amusingly, because of this "it's just a jurisdiction issue" stance, Gibson pretends that he can completely ignore the fact that the judge ruled against Righthaven on the fair use issue here, calling that part of the ruling "academic."

Later, as Mullin further challenges Gibson, he tries to suggest that people don't like them because they've "blazed some trails":
There’s no question, we’ve blazed some trails here. We initially drafted the assignment documentation based on the Silvers case. We understand there are some differences of opinion as to whether that provides us with standing, and we’ve been responsive to the courts.
Actually, Righthaven's "responsiveness" to the courts is demonstrated in a history of filing responses past due and complaining about being too busy to actually get things in on time. The company has been a complete joke, and it seems that the judges saw that a long time ago.

Where Gibson gets really funny, however, is in the following exchange. The first part is Mullin's question, followed by Gibson's answer:
You’ve been calling some defendants copyright thieves, and suggesting they are members of an “infringement community.” But in this case, Wayne Hoehn’s lawyers filed a motion saying that Righthaven is a “bully” that attacked his free speech rights, and saying it should be ordered to pay his $34,000 in legal costs—and the court agreed.

I don’t think Judge Pro was engaged in that kind of unprofessional name calling. Look, the blogosphere and the infringement community obviously is very, very vocal. That doesn’t make them right. They’re a lot more heavily populated than the people who create content. We have continuously attempted to stay above name calling, to take the issues to the courts on an unemotional basis. We believe that ultimately our case will be successful.

Has it been challenging? Has it been difficult? There’s no question. As to the perception that we’re a bully… I guess you could engage in this kind of name-calling. The real question is, is it right for people to take other people’s content? People don’t know the bases on which we’ve settled a good number of our cases. They don’t know how lenient we’ve been. So, they run with name-calling.

This is a political discussion that could potentially merit Congressional treatment, in terms of making the copyright laws where we want them to be. But in terms of where the laws are [now], Righthaven is addressing a serious copyright issue that is plaguing the creative community.
First of all, I love the fact that he completely ignores the point of Mullin's question that his firm regularly, falsely, calls defendants "thieves," and then complains that anyone calling Righthaven a bully is engaged in "unprofessional name calling." Pot, kettle.

Then there's the lovely line about "the blogosphere and the infringement community." And how it's "a lot more heavily populated than the people who create content." Oh that makes me laugh. Let's see, the most vocal critics of Righthaven have been almost entirely content creators. The hundreds of people sued by Righthaven under questionable claims over copyrights the company didn't own? Almost all content creators. Righthaven? Has never created a single piece of content.

And then I love that bit about how "lenient" they've been. When the mob comes knocking and offers to let you keep your kneecaps in exchange for "just $5,000" is that lenient? Some of us don't think so.

Finally, while I always worry about Congress passing more ridiculously bad copyright legislation, I've seen no indication whatsoever that Congress has any interest whatsoever in making copyright laws the way Righthaven wants them to be. But, if Righthaven is planning to go on a lobbying blitz, well, that will be fun to watch.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:46am

    People don't know

    "People don’t know the bases on which we’ve settled a good number of our cases."

    Gee, could that be because you imposed ND agreements on them?

    "They’re a lot more heavily populated than the people who create content."

    That argument would hold a lot more water if it were the content creators who were actually suing, you know.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:48am

    Normally I agree

    "But, if Righthaven is planning to go on a lobbying blitz, well, that will be fun to watch."

    Sorry Mike, but there is absolutely nothing fun about any company publicly stating that it intends to bribe US Congress to make laws the way they want them. It is way too likely that Righthaven will enjoy some measure of success in bribing (lobbying) Congress for changes in copyright law.

    The US has the best government that money can buy.

     

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      Squirrel Brains (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:00am

      Re: Normally I agree

      Congress does not seem adverse to changing copyright law to make it worse. It is like a hobby to them... or maybe a drug. I wonder what sort of high they felt like after passing the DMCA?

       

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:43am

      Re: Normally I agree

      If Righthaven is as successful with Congress as they have been recently in court, I hope they take over all the copyright maximalist lobbying efforts.

       

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    identicon
    Matt N, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:59am

    "that if a court rules (as they have been) that Righthaven didn't have the copyrights in question when it sued"

    ..Isn't this a simple case of fraud then? They are claiming rights they don't have and trying to assert those rights on a third party, kind of like giving parking tickets to people parked in a lot you don't own.

    If they haven't been taked to task (and court) for Fraud, the need to be.

     

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    •  
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      Rikuo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      It would be hilarious if Righthaven did do what you said above, because private entities can't give out parking tickets, even on land they do own. If someone is parked on your land, yes, call the cops, have them ejected and maybe take them to court and sue for damages, but you can't give them tickets.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      It's only fraud if it's intentional. They seem to think they do own the rights, so it's not fraud.

       

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        crade (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:23am

        Re: Re:

        um, aren't they are still doing it even after the court has told them that don't have the rights? How can they still claim to "not know"? Can you really just pretend it isn't intentional to get away with fraud?

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re:

        Several judges have pointed out they DON'T have the rights, therefore no standing to sue.
        Righthaven is like the spoiled brat who puts his/her fingers in their ears and yells "La La La La La La" and then says "You didn't tell me that!"

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:03am

    Righthaven = herp derp :D

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Normally I would feel bad for watching the retarded kid get beat up, but in this case, I rather enjoy it.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Righthaven CEO, My Version

    Steve Gibson: "It's just a flesh wound!"

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Bi-winning!

    Righthaven & Steve Gibson... the Charlie Sheen of copyright litigation.

     

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    Lord Binky, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Blazin' Trails

    First I'd lay down your shit, get clean, and just quit blazin' anything. If you would note those trails you did travel, where bad. Just because you did something stupid, and then did it again and again and again, you think you can save face by still saying it was right, does not give your argument any credibility.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:19am

    "Righthaven? Has never created a single piece of content."
    I disagree, they have provide me with a great deal of entertainment... much like watching a car wreck or the jersy shore.

     

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    Jeff (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    So...

    This is a political discussion that could potentially merit Congressional treatment, in terms of making the copyright laws where we want them to be.


    What about where we want them to be? You know, the people?

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:37pm

    Blazing trails the Righthaven Way

    There’s no question, we’ve blazed some trails here

    Ah Gibson you are constantly redefining the English language since blazing a trail by setting ones arse on fire will be from now and forever more defined as the "Righthaven Way"

     

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    ken (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:55am

    "infringement community"? This from a member of the fraud and liars community.

     

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