by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 18th 2011 2:42pm
Things keep looking worse and worse for Righthaven. After documents were unsealed that show that the transfer of copyrights from the Las Vegas Journal-Review (and its parent company, Stephens Media) to Righthaven were almost certainly a sham transfer, designed solely to pass along "the right to sue" (which is not a separately transferable right under copyright law), it seemed like Righthaven might finally have to suck it up and realize that its business model might be a disaster. Instead, it's chosen to fight on, even as other courts have publicly raised concerns about the legitimacy of Righthaven's efforts. And while the company has hired a "star" attorney with lots of case experience supporting extreme maximalist copyright positions, Righthaven is facing even more challenges. Buzzfeed.com, one of the sites sued by Righthaven, has now filed a class action counterclaim against Righthaven based on these documents. The idea is to bring together various Righthaven defendants, as a class, and have them all sue Righthaven for its faulty lawsuits. The class action effort claims not only did Buzzfeed not infringe, but that the whole legal effort by Righthaven is an "abuse of process," especially in light of the newly-exposed legal documents. I'm not sure if this kind of class action has much of a chance, really, but it's interesting to watch Righthaven getting beat up repeatedly lately. That's what happens when you try to use a legal loophole as the basis for an entire business model.
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