Colorado Judge Puts All Righthaven Cases On Hold

from the oops dept

We had already pointed out that the judge in Colorado, who was handling all of Righthaven’s lawsuits in that state, was not impressed by Righthaven’s business model and was not interested in allowing the company to use the courts as a wedge in its business model. Righthaven’s response was to somewhat petulantly go after the judge, so it’s little surprise that the judge, John Kane, has now put all of Righthaven’s lawsuits in that state on hold, saying that he wants to make sure Righthaven actually has standing to bring the suit.

I would imagine this comes after learning about the sham copyright assignments that were revealed in Nevada with Stephens Media. The lawsuits in Colorado aren’t over Stephens Media content, but Media News content, and it’s not clear if Media News also had a similar bogus copyright assignment trick going on, but it appears Judge Kane would like to find out. Righthaven has filed 57 cases in Colorado, with 22 of them being dismissed by Righthaven, meaning likely settlements in most of those (I believe at least one was dismissed because of the judge being skeptical). So, 35 cases are now on hold, but I imagine that the 20 or so people or companies who have settled may suddenly be regretting that rash decision.

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Companies: medianews, righthaven, stephens media

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Comments on “Colorado Judge Puts All Righthaven Cases On Hold”

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Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Question

But would that part of the settlement agreement hold up if the threat that got you to settle was fraudulent?

So I guess the question is, can you extort money from someone, and make it legal if they sign something saying they’ll never complain to the police? Nope, it doesn’t work like that. If some guy with a gun walks up to me on the street and says that he’ll shoot me if I don’t sign some contract, can that contract be enforced? Of course not. Why would the settlement agreement hold up if it was made in bad faith?

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Question

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the settlement agreements never went to court.

Righthhaven find copyrighted content owned by Stephens Media or Media News or whoever. Righthaven threatens to sue RandomPersonWithAWebsite by sending them a pre-lawsuit settlement letter, saying if they don’t settle Righthaven will sue for lots of money and their domain name. RPWAW agrees to settle by sending a smaller bit of cash.

No courts involved. At most, Righthaven may need to file for subpoenas for discovery as to who owns a website, but those interactions with the court are ex parte and once Righthaven knows who owns it, they can dismiss the suit.

These are not settlements where a judge is involved. Heck, a lawyer may not even be involved on one side – that’ the whole point of the settlement letter, telling them “lawyers are expensive, so just give us a tiny bit of cash and we go away.”

FUDbuster (profile) says:

Re: Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

I’m up at my summer home, trying to “bust” as many bass out of the lake as I can. Thanks for asking. đŸ˜‰

I’m glad the standing issue will soon be resolved. We have both the Colorado court and the Nevada court addressing the issue. It will be interesting to see if both courts reach the same conclusion.

I read Righthaven’s arguments in the Democratic Underground case on the standing issue, and I think they did a decent job of explaining things. However, I thought the analysis was a little thin, and I think that they should have backed up more of their arguments with citations and authority.

As I’ve stated before, I think both sides have good arguments, and I think it’s a gray area–this could go either way.

Payback Time says:

Re: Re: Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

if you say so. But I think that is wishful thinking on your part because if the arguments were so close I doubt any court would, sua sponte, stay all cases pending resolution of the standing issue. But you can continue spinning it as a close call. Lol

Payback Time says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Wonder Where FudBuster Is In All This...

You claim Righthaven has done a decent job of explaining things! Righthaven has boldly admitted that the assignments were done for the sole purpose of facilitating its illegal litigation campaign. Apparently Righthaven is not aware that Silvers expressly prohibits such a scheme because it was never the intent of the Copyright Act to give rise to an aftermarket for accrued causes of action. Every observer can see the problem with Righthaven’s position except you.

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