Last week, some folks here pointed out that the new Righthaven.com -- bought during the asset auction of Righthaven's domain for $3,300
, as part of the effort to fulfill Righthaven's obligation to pay legal fees for one of its (many) bogus lawsuits -- had put up a page joining the anti-SOPA/PIPA protests
. That certainly seemed encouraging, and suggested that (not all that surprisingly, really), the domain had been bought by someone who took a dim view on copyright maximalism.
I was going to write up something on that, but got busy with other, more timely, coverage on SOPA/PIPA. However, I've now gone back to the new Righthaven, and it appears that they've announced plans to become a hosting provider "with a backbone,"
willing to withstand efforts to take down content on a questionable legal basis. In a bit of irony... they've hired Righthaven-slayer, Marc Randazza, to act as their lawyer.
Some reports have suggested that the new owner is a hosting company in Switzerland
, called OrtCloud, which focuses on providing "privacy-friendly" hosting. The new Righthaven.com basically has a manifesto, which is worth reading, first talking up the fact that anyone can publish online these days, and how important that is:
You are the most important part of the digital economy. Period.
You drive the discussion. You draw from the well of ideas, and refill it. You apply your particular character and unique vision to those ideas. You synthesize. But most importantly, you publish. That actually deserves its own line.
But somewhere, sometime not too long ago, a large part of the global economy simply forgot about you and the importance of the simple act of clicking the "submit" button.
In retrospect this seems strange. By and large the big, flashy heroes of the digital age (and we love them, we really do) claimed their laurels for producing tools like operating systems, software, communications networks, and hardware for you. To make it easier for you to hit "submit." To extend the range your content could travel after that mouse click.
And yet, to much of the economy today and certainly to most politicians, you have become little more than a means to an end.
That is a sad state of affairs.
As for what Righthaven will actually provide? They'll be a hosting company that doesn't fold like a cheap card-table, apparently:
Righthaven.com will provide shared and dedicated server hosting services to clients who expect just a little more backbone from their provider. Well, actually a lot more backbone.
We call it "spineful hosting" and not only do we think it is a "great idea"TM but as nearly fanatical advocates for the freedom of expression we are pretty sure it is also "the right thing to do."TM Then again, we are prone to agree with ourselves quite often.
And they're teaming up with upstream partners who have a similar outlook:
Recent events and the pavlovian salivating of certain legislators upon hearing the fundraising dinner bell ringing from the Beverly Hills Hotel have certainly reminded us that the internet naming system is a serious choke point for any online enterprise. In selecting our partners we wanted to make sure we teamed up with a domain registrar and DNS host who had a history of treating third party requests skeptically, but respectfully. We wanted a partner who wouldn't dissolve into incontinent fits and roll over on getting a call from United States Senator Joseph Lieberman's office intern, for instance. We found that partner in Toronto based easyDNS. easyDNS has been providing clueful and spineful DNS and registry services since 1998. Their four-continent anycast DNS cluster fits the bill. Plus, easyDNS' founder, Mark Jeftovic, is the essence of a spineful owner.
Seems like an excellent use of the Righthaven.com domain...