Whatever Copyrights Righthaven Might Actually Have Owned Now Transferred To Receiver For Auction

from the and-now-what? dept

This could get interesting. The latest news in the ongoing Righthaven saga is that the judge in the Hoehn case — who had ordered Righthaven to pay attorneys fees which it never paid — has now ordered that all of Righthaven’s “intellectual property,” including the many copyrights in dispute, be turned over to the receiver for auction. As you may recall, Righthaven’s domain has already been auctioned off, but now it appears the copyrights will be too.

Of course, this is a bit tricky, since it’s unclear what, if anything, Righthaven actually “owns” here. Even the company (when it bothered to show up in court, which was increasingly rare) started to claim that it really only held the bare right to sue — which is what sunk its cases, since that right cannot be separated from the other, enumerated rights under copyright law. But, as the court noted, even if there’s a dispute over what rights Righthaven technically has under the agreements it made with Stephens Media’s Las Vegas Review Journal, the company is registered as the copyright holder on hundreds of works. And those are all being auctioned off:

In connection with the Defendant’s judgment enforcement efforts, the Court appointed the Receiver to, among other things, seize the copyrights assigned to Righthaven by various entities (the “Copyrights”), as well as its trademarks and other intangible property, so that they could be sold at auction. (Doc. # 62, 66.) Despite the Receiver’s efforts, Righthaven has not transferred its intellectual property. (Docs. # 70, 81, 82.) The only property that the Receiver has been able to obtain and auction is Righthaven’s former domain name, <righthaven.com>, which was sold for more than $3,000 in a commercially reasonable auction (Docs. # 81, 82).

Based on the evidence submitted to the court by the Receiver (Docs. # 70, 82), Righthaven has failed to substantively participate in the orderly disposition and sale of its intangible assets as ordered on December 12, 2011. (Doc. # 66.) Moreover, Righthaven failed to appear at the originally scheduled January 5, 2012 debtor examination in this case, (Doc. # 71), and failed to appear at the March 5, 2012 hearing giving rise to this Order. (Doc. # 88.)

In light of Righthaven’s lack of participation in these proceedings, and Hoehn’s entitlement to relief (Docs. # 62, 66), this Court concludes it is appropriate to transfer such rights as Righthaven may still hold in Righthaven’s intellectual property to the Receiver, Lara Pearson. The Court deems Righthaven’s conduct in this case to constitute its consent to this Order.

This Court acknowledges that there is a dispute over what intellectual property rights Righthaven actually possesses. Nonetheless, the Court may use its powers under 17 U.S.C. § 201(d)(1) to transfer Righthaven’s copyright rights, whatever they are deemed to be, to the Receiver for auction pursuant to the Court’s December 12, 2011 order (Doc. # 66). While Righthaven has argued now that it does not have more than the bare right to sue, as this Court previously held, Righthaven does possess copyright registrations that can be assigned by operation of law. The copyright registrations to more than 275 works are in Righthaven’s name, can be transferred by this Court, and can then be auctioned by the Receiver.

The order then goes on to list out the 275 copyrights that are registered in Righthaven’s name. Even if the transfers were a sham, the registrations still exist. What can actually be done with them is an open question, because the sham transfer likely means that the rights are still really Stephens Media’s, and if there ever were a legal dispute that would be an issue. But, in the meantime, you may soon be able to “own” a piece of copyright troll history: one of the bogus Righthaven copyright registrations, with which you can legally do, well, absolutely nothing. Though, it could be fun to see if you could convince the Las Vegas Review Journal that it needs to pay up for continuing to host the article for which you hold the copyright registration…

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Companies: las vegas review-journal, righthaven, stephens media

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Comments on “Whatever Copyrights Righthaven Might Actually Have Owned Now Transferred To Receiver For Auction”

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G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh that’s a doozy! HA!

Here’s a question (probably will be in a IP Exam coming to a Law School soon)

A court legally transfers copyrights from an Entity ‘A’ to another party/receivers ‘B’ that are legally not owned by A and instead owned by ‘C’, though the court in good faith and through testimony by A believes they are in fact owned by A, and then entity D purchases them in good faith from B.

Questions: Who actually owns the copyrights, remembering that a court has transferred them? Who has liability in any dispute? Is their immunity from conversion for B and/or the court? Does D have, if they are not the rightful owners, an ability to recover any and all loss/damages?


Violated (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It all depends on what the copyright registration on these 275 works actually says. I highly doubt there is any license to use them for commercial gain and even if there wax the limits would be extremely minor.

Things may yet get more complex when if ‘C’ was supposed to turn over rights to ‘A’ but did not correctly do so then the Court may yet force ‘C’ to turn over rights to ‘A’ which then get transferred to ‘B’

Best read these 275 registration but in all odds they are worthless just like their claims were.

DandonTRJ (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Try reading the court’s order. It’s even excerpted in the post for you.

While Righthaven has argued now that it does not have more than the bare right to sue, as this Court previously held, Righthaven does possess copyright registrations that can be assigned by operation of law.

Whatever they have, however (in)substantial, it’s being auctioned.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Pretty simple, you cannot have it both ways… Either they have the rights and their court battle was good, or they didn’t have the rights, and so there is nothing to seize.

Another Techdirt head shaker.

Pretty simple, you cannot have it both ways… Either you read the article and realize we discuss this point and we explained the situation, or you don’t even bother to read the article and your comment makes you look foolish.

Another TAM head shaker.

Anonymous Coward says:

Let's see the real value of the copyrighted works

Assuming they did actually retain any copyrights, I’ll be interested to see what these copyrighted works end up being worth at auction… a couple $ each maybe?

I wonder if the Las Vegas Review Journal will swoop in and buy them all back to save face.

big al says:


no one has mentioned the”software package developed for righthaven” that was so highly touted as a surefire way to tell what “persons” ect. used there copyrighted material….
that should have some value and no one has heard a thing about it…..
i’d like to bid on one of the physical copyright just to hang it on the wall and say to myself”sometimes what goes around comes around”

my 2 cents worth!!

Scote (profile) says:

Now Stephens Media will have to argue Righthaven *didn't* have copyright

Now Stephens Media will have buy all the copyrights at auction or to argue Righthaven *didn’t* have copyright, ever–which I would think would leave Stephens media open to charges of fraud since they’ve been arguing the opposite all this time.

If it is just the copyright registrations that are auctioned it will be interesting to see if the restrictions of the formerly secret strategic agreement, which said the registrations really still remained with Stephens media, will apply.

Anonymous Coward says:

It seems like clearly the next thing to do would be to buy some of these copyrights and then start sending the Las Vegas Review Journal DMCA take-down requests on those articles.

If the original contract transferred the copyrights to Righthaven who then exclusively licensed all rights but the right to sue back to Stephens Media, that contract will presumably be void once Righthaven no longer exists, with all rights reverting to the new owners of the copyright.

Of course, one could argue that if it was enough of a sham to have the lawsuits thrown out (the whole “unauthorized practice of law” thing), it should be enough of a sham for there to have been no valid transfer of the copyrights, but on the other hand, if there was no transfer at all, then Stephens Media should have to pay Righthaven’s legal fees (as if Righthaven had been a law firm representing them), which would be a much worse outcome for them.

ECA (profile) says:

Problems, always problems

I love printed media, as well as the internet.
The main problem comes with Mis-interpretation and corrections.
Finding them on another page/date is extraneous. And when the original article is taken as Proof, we forget the corrections.
This is like a medical journal, with a small mistake thats printed AFTER the fact. Even on the NET, making a correction to a publication AFTER, does not HELP those that read the information BEFORE the correction.
At least with playing GAMES we understand that Changes happen, and IF’ you are a beta tester, that changes happen MORE.

Darryl Cunningham says:


Dear Sir or Madam my name is Darryl Cunningham I’m trying to sell my four copyright’s entitled the ultraviolet light newsletter. The value of them, well their priceless. My government protected copyright sentences and phrases are written in such a way in my copyrights they go onto explain how to kill all Airborne diseases inside man-made enclosed structures and it’s further explains how to internally, externally cure all known body diseases such as viruses. My hypothesis has been proven to work by thousands of scientists in over 100 countries. You can check thy authenticity of my claim by merely Googling ultraviolet light curing procedures.

 This is a clear comprehensive definition of a new discovered cure that destroys all diseases. By merely incorporating ultraviolet light inside of x ray machines. THE ULTAVIOLET LIGHT NEWSLETTER is a working hypothesis and/or concept that will Pura files the D.N.A. and is indeed a cure for the ZIKA virus disease, AIDS, CANCERS, EBOLA, HIV/AIDS..

The concept is additional help and improvement on the x-ray machine. By simply removing the traditional high intensity radiation bulb and replaced it with a high-intensity Ultaviolet light bulb in its place. This procedure would allow the curing properties in the ultraviolet light ray’s to then pass through the anatomy of any diseased written patient curing them of all infectious viruses an / or diseases instantly.

Cautionary this procedure should only be performed and supervised by a medical doctor and radiologist under control conditions an then used in moderadiation on the patients. Every infectious viruses an diseases this hypothesis WILL RENDER THEM ALL INERT. This is Irrefutable proof of a CURE FOR THE ZIKA VIRUS DISEASE COMING FROM THE UNITED STATES.

It’s public knowledge in 2003 in Canada an China used this copyright written hypothesis to cure the airborne disease SARS. Please check the authenticity of my claims, then you’ll have the Irrefutable scientific facts written in the form of a copyright. Sir or madam in order to see proof of my copyright ownership.


copyright license Registration numbers  TXu001109530
TXu001240636 TXu001606023

A copy written Copyright cure for purchase. If you will, in corresponding please use the conventional mailing systems.

ADDRESS: In the United States Of America
Gmail: darrylcunningham3077@gmail.com

Darryl Cunningham (user link) says:

I have irrefutable proof and documentation proving that I Darryl Cunningham own these copyright

I have irrefutable proof and documentation proving that I Darryl Cunningham own these copyrights.

http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?Search_Arg=light+newsletter&Search_Code =FT*&PID=GyQ4WH6p619fBuUyqTEIoBf0e9JT&SEQ=20151115165941&CNT=25&HIST=

copyright license Registration numbers TXu001109530
TXu001240636 TXu001606023

A copy written Copyright cure for purchase. If you will, in corresponding please use the conventional mailing systems.

ADDRESS: In the United States Of America
Gmail: darrylcunningham3077@gmail.com

Darryl Cunningham says:

EMP protection

This is a matter of National Security,
( EMP ) weaponry defense for Americans.

To whom it may concern in government that protects our nation. I am a concerned American citizen. Sir it has come to my attention that my government is looking for a deterrent for the EMP Electronic magnetic pulse.
I’ve just come up with a way to stop or deter that technology and protect the Electronics in our nation. Sir by using the lead made glass used in x-ray machine rooms. Lead shielding and or lead paint on our backup electronic hi tech technical electrical Systems as well as coding our electronic generators with this lead metal material, it will prevent any foreign or domestic military strikes that uses this technology known as EMP Electronic magnetic pulse weaponry. This will prevent that kind of weaponry useless on our great country’s electronic systems. Sir every scientist is fully aware did the molecules made up and Lead it’s so condensed that there’s absolutely no electronic signal that can penetrate leaded materials, Nor light, radio waves of any kind or EMP Electronic magnetic pulse Etc. I implore you too please and expeditiously forward this Vital informative information to your superiors in our military think tanks.
Thank you for your undivided attention.

Darryl Cunningham
phone number: 1-586-214-6448
In the USA
Gmail: darrylcunningham3077@gmail.com

Sincerely mr. Darryl Cunningham

Darryl Cunningham says:


I’m mr.Darryl Cunningham senior 68 years old. I agree if you can find someone that’s willing to bid for my copyrights I will legally give you half of it provided I agree to the amount how does that sound to you. Phone: 1- 586-214-6448 I’m sorry to report that my phone has frozen up on me with all the Vital Information in it. My conventional mailing address is 28751 Santa Barbara Drive Lathrup Village Michigan 48076


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