RIAA Thinking Of Backing Righthaven
from the can-they-get-any-more-out-of-touch dept
Every time you think the RIAA can’t make things even worse for itself… it does. The latest is that it’s apparently considering helping Righthaven out. Righthaven! The company that has become the total laughingstock of the copyright world, that is on the losing end of a bunch of cases and is desperately trying to get out of paying all the attorneys’ fees awards that are being given to the companies, individuals and sites it has sued. Of course, as some have noted, the good thing about Righthaven is that it has tee’d up a bunch of rulings that will be useful precedents in other copyright cases.
And that’s what has the RIAA scared.
In particular, the RIAA is freaked out about a couple of rulings saying that even reposting full articles can be fair use. That has the RIAA shaking, because the big labels hate the concept of fair use. The major labels are still upset at the idea that the Campbell vs. Acuff-Rose ruling means that commercial use can still be fair use. And they love the the Bridgeport Music ruling that wasn’t about fair use, per se, but did take away de minimis use, saying “Get a license or do not sample.”
So, now the RIAA is realizing that Righthaven — and in particular the Hoehn ruling, which lays out in great detail why the full use of a copyrighted offering can still be fair use — is suddenly an important battlefront in its war on fair use. Just having the line from the case “wholesale copying does not preclude a finding of fair use” freaks the RIAA out.
So we’ve now seen that RIAA’s chief
apologist litigator is suggesting that perhaps the RIAA is going to get involved in the fight (from an interview behind a paywall, so we’ll just quote her words) concerning the fair use finding in Hoehn:
“From our perspective, that just can’t stand.”
That certainly suggests that the RIAA is thinking of inserting itself into the appeals process here. Probably with an amicus brief, but it makes you wonder if they won’t also consider figuring out ways to fund Righthaven to keep it afloat. There are already quite reasonable concerns that the company is effectively insolvent due to all the legal fees it owes to those it has sued. Either way, when you’re at the level where you’re joining forces with Righthaven, you’ve really hit the bottom of the barrel.