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.

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Companies: righthaven

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Comments on “Righthaven Fails To Pay Attorneys Fees Ordered By The Court, Court Asked To Declare Righthaven In Contempt”

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ComputerAddict (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Scote (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Spointman (profile) says:

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.)

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

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.

hmm (profile) says:


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…..

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