Righthaven Tells Judge Handling All Its Colorado Cases That He's Wrong

from the that'll-go-over-well dept

And here we go with the third in our series of posts on Righthaven’s potential self-destruction. Already today we’ve covered how a judge in Nevada slammed the company for its legal tactics and ordered an incredibly damaging filing unsealed, which shows what appears to be proof that Stephens Media didn’t really assign the copyrights to its content to Righthaven, potentially taking all of the lawsuits Righthaven has filed over Stephens Media content, and blowing them out of the water. Of course, Righthaven has one other client — MediaNews, the publisher of the Denver Post. Many of Righthaven’s recent cases have been filed over Denver Post content (with a single photograph being key to a bunch of them). While the previous two stories cover the relationship between Righthaven and Stephens Media, it’s not entirely clear what the relationship is between the Denver Post and Righthaven (though, you have to imagine someone’s now going to seek to find out…).

However, just last week, we noted that all of Righthaven’s cases concerning Denver Post content were being handled by a single judge, Judge John Kane, and he was not at all impressed with Righthaven’s business model. That ruling came in a particular case, involving a young man named Brian Hill, “a mentally and physically disabled,” 20-year old. As we noted, after the judge slammed Righthaven, the company filed an extremely petulant dismissal notice on the case. Apparently, the judge only accepted part of the dismissal notice, leading Righthaven to file an amended dismissal notice which continues with Righthaven’s standard petulant tone, but this time has some of it directed at the judge (thanks to Eric Goldman for highlighting this).

There’s a bit of passive-aggressive tone in Righthaven’s filing, in which it keeps telling the court that it was wrong, but says that it’s not trying to insult the court or anything:

Righthaven brings the following authority to the Court?s attention so as to make it aware of its apparent prior mistaken reliance on Rule 12(f) in summarily striking the remaining contents of the Notice of Dismissal (Doc. # 17). Righthaven resubmits in connection with this Amended Notice the largely the same statements previously stricken by the Court with some slight modifications in view of the nature of this filing. Righthaven certainly understands the Court will likely strike most of the statements contained in this Amended Notice, but in doing so it asks that the Court not take such action under Rule 12(f) in view of the foregoing case law. Righthaven additionally wishes to stress that the Amended Notice and its contents are in not being filed as an affront to this Court or its prior decision to strike certain contents of the Notice of Dismissal. Righthaven simply maintains, as any advocate would because of the need to clarify or otherwise modify that its prior submission was to be with prejudice, that the Court improperly struck the contents from its prior submission under Rule 12(f). Righthaven further maintains it is entitled to have the full content of this submission made publicly available absent a subsequent contrary determination by the Court that a basis to strike exists other than under Rule 12(f) upon which its has relied. Accordingly, the following statements, which are largely consistent with those previously contained in the Notice of Dismissal and stricken by the Court under a mistaken belief in Rule 12(f) authorizing it do so, are resubmitted in connection with this Amended Notice of Dismissal.

Somehow, I get the feeling that Judge Kane, who already was not feeling charitable towards Righthaven, may be even less inclined to give Righthaven much leeway in any of these lawsuits.

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Companies: righthaven

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Comments on “Righthaven Tells Judge Handling All Its Colorado Cases That He's Wrong”

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PW (profile) says:

Copyright ownership proof

I’m a bit surprised that it has taken this long for anyone to find out the contractual relationship and the nature of the copyright assignment between Righthaven and Stephens Media. I’m wondering why this has not come up in the MediaNews suit? Doesn’t there have to be proof of copyright ownership for a plaintiff to sue? Hopefully we will find a similar relationship w/MediaNews as there was w/Stephens Media so we can bring all this nonsense to a merciful end.

Adam Steinbaugh (profile) says:

That's nothin'

Righthaven may be correct about the limitations of Rule 12(f) and can’t really be faulted for pointing out that the judge is wrong. Lawyers have to tell judges that they disagree with them all the time so that they can preserve issues for appeal.

But THIS is just a jaw-dropping, unnecessary insult that, were it contained in a ‘pleading’ is just BEGGING for a motion to strike:

“[…] Righthaven was unaware of the Defendant’s alleged medical condition prior to filing suit. In fact, Defendant’s incessant use of the Internet as a means to post inflammatory statements about Righthaven and about these legal proceedings say more about his cognitive ability than one would otherwise surmise from the press statements made by his counsel.”

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