Righthaven Fails To Pay Attorneys Fees Ordered By The Court, Court Asked To Declare Righthaven In Contempt

from the grubstaked dept

Ah, Righthaven. The company is now building up a history of not paying, even after a court orders it to pay. While there have been rumors swirling about filing for bankruptcy, in the meantime, the company just seems to be ignoring court orders. As you may recall, back in June, Righthaven lost one of its many cases (and many losses) to Wayne Hoehn, who Righthaven had sued despite not properly securing the copyrights in question. The court found this so egregious that it ordered Righthaven to pay $34,045.50 in legal fees to the Randazza Group, which had represented Hoehn, by September 14th.

Well, September 15th rolled around... and no money, as you can see from the filing below. Righthaven had asked the court for a stay to grant it more time, but the court had not ruled either way, meaning that the company should have paid up. Hoehn had even offered to give it more time if Righthaven would post bond to show that it could pay. Righthaven chose not to respond.

Because of all of this, on Friday, Hoehn asked the court to declare Righthaven in contempt of court, to appoint "a receiver to manage Righthaven's remaining business and assets, and to require the company to post $148,118 in cash or via a bond with the court. Why the higher number? That's the calculated value of the additional fees expended since the original ruling, plus the anticipated costs of the appeal that Righthaven has indicated its planning.

Late on Sunday, Hoehn/Randazza kicked it up a notch, filing for a Writ of Execution (embedded below), which would allow for the potential seizure of Righthaven bank accounts and property in order to attempt to get the amount ordered by the court.

It seems likely that Righthaven simply can't pay. I wonder how it feels to be on the receiving end of a judicial system ordering the company to pay up more than they have. It seems kind of ironic, since it tried to put hundreds of individuals and companies in that exact position via its business model.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 3:47am

    If only Mike Masnick got this angry when a pirate refused to pay an artist...

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Cynix, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 3:53am

    Re:

    Troll

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 3:55am

    Re:

    I'm sure he get angry if a pirate tried to extort money from an artist - but this is not like for like and you know it.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 4:08am

    Oh no, first post is a troll post :(
    Oh well, at least righthaven is going to die in agonizing pain :D

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    AG Wright, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 4:24am

    So Righthaven is on it's way out

    Maybe they can recover, somehow. My guess is that some other trolls, SCO comes to mind, they are on their way out.
    Starting law suits without dotting all the I's and crossing all the t's can lead to destruction.
    To quote T. S. Elliot "Not with a bang, But a whimper."

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 4:28am

    Re:

    You must be new in town, everyone knows it is the middleman that gets paid.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 4:36am

    Re:

    If only you would comprehend the arguments being made and not try to derail discussion when you can't find any facts to argue with...

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 4:36am

    Re:

    According to some studies, they do pay the artists. Quite a lot more than "regular customers" in fact.

    See, for example:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110727/16233815292/another-day-another-study-that-say s-pirates-are-best-customers-this-time-hadopi.shtml

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    Spaceboy (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 4:41am

    Re:

    You mean artists like Lyle Lovett and actors like David Prowse?

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Fredrik, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 4:55am

    Maybe Hoehn could get some of Righthavens copyrights (the ones the claimed they had rigths to) and make them public domain?

     

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

  11.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    How on earth?

    How on earth are they going to spin this one?

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 5:13am

    Re: How on earth?

    Righthaven is so far ahead of its competitors that the courts have to dismantle Righthaven entirely to give other actors even a small chance to compete.

     

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

  13.  
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    Beta (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 5:34am

    IANAE

    "Late on Sunday, Hoehn/Randazza kicked it up a notch, filing for a Writ of Execution (embedded below)..."

    YESSS!

    "...which would allow for the potential seizure of Righthaven bank accounts and property..."

    Awww...

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 5:46am

    Re:

    An artist or a record company (they're not the same thing)

     

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

  15.  
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    ComputerAddict (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re:

    I love this idea... to bad Righthaven lost over and over again because it didn't actually have the copyrights of anything.

    They typically were granted "right to sue" which the judges have found the right to sue is not transferable separately from the copyright. Meaning most of their "Assets" are bogus contracts that might be useful as a backup to toilet paper.

     

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

  16.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 6:29am

    Re: IANAE

    If only it affected Stephens Media...

     

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

  17.  
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    hmm (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:04am

    Don't worry

    It will.

    Stephens Media's time as a functioning entity may be coming to close in a more sudden way than they had expected, given all the illegal activity by the shell company they basically set up.

    I doubt Righthaven's lawyers and legal firms are going to sit there and let them get away scot free as they get barred from practicing law!

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    grindel, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    If the right to sue for copyright is not transferrable

    If the right to sue for copyright is not transferrable how does the RIAA exist? The RIAA is not a subsidiary of the music companies...does the RIAA actually own (co-own?) the copyright?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Scote, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    The *bare* right to sue is not transferable

    The bare right to sue is not transferable. You can't keep all of your rights to use a work and transfer just the right to sue. The right to sue is inseparable from the various rights to exploit a work.

    The RIAA suits have the record labels as co plaintiffs--they are a party to the suit. If Stephens Media had just done that and hired Gibson to sue as a *law firm* then there would be no issue of standing--but they didn't. Stephens Wanted to distance itself from the lawsuits, both from the bad publicity one gets from suing masses of people including customers for de minimus use of news paper stories, and from the legal liability of loosing suits and having to pay attorney fees and costs of opposing council. So, Stephens Media conspired with Righthaven to create the sham transfer of copyrights so the Righthaven would sue under its own name even though it didn't actually own the rights to the works.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Scote, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:20am

    "It seems likely that Righthaven simply can't pay."

    It also seems the case that Righthaven have the same kind of excuses that socipathic con artists use, excuse after excuse.

     

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

  21.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    Re:

    Yes. I had thought of this as well.

    If Righthaven has acquired ownership of Stephens Media copyrights, with a lease back arrangement, then it would be poetic justice if the court would seize those copyrights as property and title to those copyrights went to one of their intended victims.

     

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

  22.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Re:

    If Righthaven has actually acquired ownership of Stephens Media copyrights, then the court could seize those and give the copyrights to the intended victim.

    Poetic justice.

     

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

  23.  
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    Spointman (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Pierce the corporate shield

    Any of our visiting lawyerly folks care to comment on the possibility of the court ruling that the actions of Righthaven's management are so egregious that it's grounds for breaching the corporate liability shield and going after Righthaven's owners personally (or, for that matter, after Stephens Media itself)?

    (And yes, that was an insanely-bad run-on sentence-question hybrid-monstrosity. Yes, I just wrote another abomination. Yes, I need more (or less?) caffeine.)

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Rex Rollman, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    Danny,

    That would be awesome!

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:57am

    Re: Pierce the corporate shield

    Unlikely, the corporate veil doesn't get pierced very often these days with most judges being bought and paid for.

     

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

  26.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Pierce the corporate shield

    The same bought and paid for Judges that proceeded to kick Rightshaven in the teeth over and over? *boggle*

    And considering that Rightshaven was a shill for the paper, and in a couple cases were found to no longer be a party and the paper was inserted in their stead it is possible you might see them going after Stephens. Especially when they figure out that the money was quickly transferred out of Rightshaven's control.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Value Proposition?

    Do you really think that Stephens Media copyrights IP is all that valuable? What about the effort to secure them?

    Somehow this does not seem to be a good value proposition.

     

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

  28.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Pierce the corporate shield

    Ah, but Righthaven were incompetent and gave the bought-and-paid-for judges the tools they needed to NOT CARE.

     

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

  29.  
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    Jordan (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    I still say corporations aren't people until I see one in jail. Could this be the day?

     

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

  30.  
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    ethorad (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re:

    Except if they had acquired ownership of the copyrights then they wouldn't be in all this trouble?

     

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

  31.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Pierce the corporate shield

    Chocolate. You obviously need chocolate.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Re:

    It sounds good, but the copyrighted pieces are in reality, worthless. Like bad patents, their only value is in extorting money from others.

     

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

  33.  
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    hmm (profile), Sep 25th, 2011 @ 6:39am

    value

    The value of all of stephens media (and i mean everything they own) being given away to their intended victims as compensation (even if the value of SM is many times more than the cash that would be typically offered for this type of issue) is that a lot of other would-be copyright troll corporations will literally shit their pants and decide that ISN'T a viable business model after all.

    I say pierce the corporate liability shield, make every single person with an asset-interest in stephens media directly liable, completely destroy their careers, confiscate their assets and make very very good examples of all of them.....

     

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


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