Righthaven hasn't been having too much luck lately. We've already covered how its having a bad day
for a few different reasons, and here's another one. As you may know, in nearly every lawsuit Righthaven files, it also demands that the defendant hand over his or her website, in addition to the $75,000 to $150,000 it usually asks for. This has left a bunch of folks scratching their heads, as there's simply no precedent for saying that if you infringe on someone's copyright, they get your domain. And, now, we have a court making that point clear. Eric Goldman
points us to a ruling in Las Vegas by judge Roger Hunt (the same judge who unsealed the filing that may kill off most of Righthaven's lawsuits...), in which he points out that asking for the domain name has no basis in law:
Righthaven's complaint requests the Court to direct Heritage Web Design, LLC, the
current registrar of DiBiase's website domain name (www.nobodycases.com), to lock that domain
and transfer control of it to Righthaven. However, "[t]he remedies for infringement 'are only those prescribed by Congress,'" Sony Corp. Of Am. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417,
431 (1984) (quoting Thompson v. Hubbard, 131 U.S. 123, 151 (1889)), and Congress has never
expressly granted plaintiffs in copyright infringement cases the right to seize control over the
defendant's website domain. Therefore, the Court finds that Righthaven's request for such relief
fails as a matter of law and is dismissed.
One by one, the various pieces of Righthaven's legal campaign are falling apart.