Righthaven Desperately Wants Out Of Lawsuit It Filed, As It Fears Having To Pay EFF's Legal Fees

from the let-us-out... dept

Both Paul Levy and Eric Goldman point us to the latest in the Righthaven saga. As you may recall, the EFF took on a couple Righthaven Defendants, including Democratic Underground, a site that was sued after someone posted just five sentences from an article. The EFF hit back with more than just some defenses, but with countersuits. Things were looking bad for Righthaven due to the specific details of the case and the likelihood of this being "fair use" compared to a similar case -- so Righthaven decided it wanted out. Only problem? Since EFF now has countersuits filed, Righthaven can't just drop the cases unilaterally, so now it's filed a motion begging the judge to let it drop the case that it filed in the first place.

The EFF, of course, is almost certainly pushing for legal fees to be paid by Righthaven, so a big part of the filing is about why the case should be dismissed as a total win for Democratic Underground in every way... except in that Righthaven doesn't want to pay legal fees. That, of course, would cut into its profits. Either way, for a company filing so many questionable lawsuits, it's pretty amusing to see some of its language choices, including the idea that it's doing this for the sake of "promoting judicial economy." Uh, yeah, right. You can see the entire filing after the jump, but it has all the appearances of a bunch of lawyers on the run, trying to get away from having to pay for a questionable lawsuit they filed.

Filed Under: legal fees
Companies: eff, righthaven

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  1. identicon
    Jason, 18 Nov 2010 @ 7:54am

    Desperate? Nah...lame, yeah...where I think they fail

    Is it desperate that they want to avoid paying fees? Nah, that's part of the process, and really they'd have an arguable case if it weren't for the counterclaim.

    They try to bury in the structure of their argument, but one of their claims is very telling: "legal prejudice does not arise from a defendant's 'missed opportunity for a ruling on the merits.'"

    That would be true, except for the counterclaim for a declaratory judgement. I would think the court might find that a counterclaimant would be prejudiced by missing such an opportunity, they would almost have to.

    The fact that Righthaven wants to tap-out on all similar future claims, well that's awfully generous given the precedent with the other defendant in this case and the basic idea that this is what the law intends anyway, but that promise alone, even with the "with prejudice" nature of the dismissal offered here, does not protect Democratic Underground's future interests the way a declaratory judgment would. If they hadn't filed a counterclaim on the matter, well then, maybe 'P/CD' has a point.

    However that doesn't make this any more or less lame than, "Ow,ow, ow, OKAY! I'll tap out if you promise..."

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