Righthaven Fails To Pay Sanctions; Complains A Day Late

from the wow dept

It really is quite stunning just how cavalier Righthaven appears to be concerning the absolute smackdown it has been getting repeatedly from various judges. The company was accused of trying to avoid paying legal fees owed in one case. In the first big case where it got smacked down, the one involving the Democratic Underground, which revealed Righthaven's questionable deal with Stephens Media, the court last month ordered Righthaven to pay $5,000 for misleading the court and to send the transcript of Judge Roger Hunt's explanation for the sanctions to everyone else that Righthaven is currently suing. That happened on July 14th and the company was given two weeks to comply.

Once again, it did not. Instead, a day after the deadline to pay up, Righthaven filed for an extension on paying, and said that it had come across some new "grounds to appeal the monetary sanction imposed by the court." It also complained that this research "has taken a significant period of time," which is why it was late and wanted more time. Separately, Righthaven admits that it has not lived up to the requirement to send the transcript of the hearing to all of the other cases its involved with. Here its reasoning is somewhat ridiculous. It claims that it didn't have access to the transcript until two days before it had to be given to the other cases, and at that time it was busy with some of the many other cases in which it has been smacked down.

Judge Hunt, who has the patience of a saint, actually granted a ten day extension, saying that Righthaven has to pay up by August 8th. However, he also makes it clear that he's (yet again) not at all happy about Righthaven's actions. In Righthaven's filing for an extension it also asked for "clarification" on delivering the transcript to all of the parties it had sued, asking if it was okay to just file the documents with the court, rather than deliver them to the actual parties sued. Judge Hunt, who you can almost hear sighing, points out that he "does not believe clarification is necessary," but agrees to provide it just to be crystal clear:
First, as Righthaven points out in its motion, when the Court issued the sanctions the Court and counsel referred to “parties,” not merely cases. Accordingly, it is insufficient to merely file the required documents; Righthaven must produce the documents to the parties in those cases as the Court clearly stated. The reason for this is simple: the Court is fully aware of Righthaven’s practice of filing suit against a party and then entering settlement negotiations (and frequently settling) without ever serving the party. The Court concludes that depriving those parties of the benefit of the Court’s order would be unjust.
And then he notes that while he's granting the extension, he believes he's already being "overly generous" in doing so, and won't accept more delays, and will not be happy if Righthaven does not pay up:
Finally, after reexamining the issues and counsel’s stated difficulties, the Court concludes that it was overly generous in granting the extension because counsel’s situation is largely—if not entirely—of his and Righthaven’s own making. Righthaven and its counsel should concentrate their efforts on material issues and court orders, not wishful research. Further, if counsel does not have time to do all that he needs to in Righthaven’s dozens of cases, the Court kindly suggests that he or Righthaven obtain additional help, not complain to the Court about time constraints. Righthaven also informed the Court in its motion that it plans to request a stay of the monetary sanction. The Court already granted an extension, which it will not change, and suggests Righthaven not waste its time on a motion requesting any further relief from the sanction.
What amazes me is how incredibly tone deaf Righthaven appears to be to the repeated smackdowns it is getting from judges and how weak its legal position is. I recognize some of that is posturing, but it seems to go even further than that. It seems like Righthaven still thinks that these rulings aren't that big of a deal.

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  • icon
    The eejit (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 9:22am

    Frankly, I'm surprised that he hasn't thrown every one of them in for Contempt of Court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      Even if fined and jailed, RightHaven trolls will claim that this is helping to strengthen the cases of future would be copyright trolls.

      It's like SCO's "negative knowledge". (Don't ask. Or visit Groklaw. SCO used the "negative knowledge" argument in court. Its like saying SCO knows many ways how NOT to make a successful operating system.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PRMan, 4 Aug 2011 @ 11:36am

      Re:

      It's a good thing for them that I'm not the judge, because based on their past actions of ignoring everything every court ever told them, I would have thrown them in jail for Contempt of Court.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        PRMan, 4 Aug 2011 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re:

        Before I get sued for this, "ignoring everything every court ever told them" is obvious hyperbole and is not intended to represent that they actually never followed a court order.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 4:51pm

      Re:

      I get the feeling the judge is feeding them rope.

      I hope so. We should get to the jerk at the end pretty soon...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    A Dan (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 10:09am

    Minor typo

    "Here it's reasoning is somewhat ridiculous" should be "its"

    Also, this judge is awesome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2011 @ 10:17am

    Judge makes me laugh

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2011 @ 10:35am

    One almost has to wonder if a Rightshaven or Perfect 10 isn't really against the massive copyright abuses being pushed by the entertainment industry and others. It's almost like they are asking to be smacked down and have these precedents set.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 10:36am

    Please RightHaven --- DON'T STOP

    Keep digging!

    Eventually you'll dig deep enough and find oil. Or China.

    You're providing two valuable services:
    1. Precedents against future copyright trolls.
    2. Amazingly funny comedy material.

    Yes, just like SCO, you'll be a laughing stock for years. Hope you like your reputation. Glad you've managed to get the names of both Review Journal and Stephen's Media dragged into it. Good job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    kleuske (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 10:46am

    It occurs to me that if Righthaven produces the transcripts, the bottom will fall out from under its settlement-business. This suggests the stalling is more than just obstinate behavior, it's trying to stay in business. I bet they'd rather risk contempt of court that actually informing their intended victims and they will stall as long as they can. I see a bankruptcy looming...

    Now that puts a smirk on my face.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    specialized (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 10:51am

    Extortion 101:
    Truly believe that people have taken from you. Treat them as "thieves". Collect your money by any means necessary.

    Righthaven is not in the business of seeking justice for their clients, rather they're in the business of extortion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ron Rezendes (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 11:23am

    Queue the AC apologists in...

    3...2...1...{I see trolls silently shifting about uneasily in the shadows under the bridge...}

    Where's the paytard battle cry "But the law is the law!" now?

    Pay up RH! Feels good being on the other side doesn't it?

    I wish they'd just find the tallest tree in the county and hang 'em all, then throw a BBQ to celebrate!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2011 @ 11:29am

    "It seems like Righthaven still thinks that these rulings aren't that big of a deal."

    Denial is the first stage of grief.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eipekili, 4 Aug 2011 @ 12:05pm

    The judge is unprofessional

    This judge is unprofessional and off his rocker. He can't just act like an ass and think he'll get away with it for long. I see his career getting shorter and shorter.

    Mike, shouldn't this drivel have waited until Friday? One stupid judge acting retarded is not a good story line. The law is the law, and even judges can't circumvent it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Some some day, Anonymous will own them, and we'll all learn they were commissioned by the US Gov to do all that as scare tactics, and are probably funded by them. lulz

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeff, 4 Aug 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Who's looking out for big business?

    What happened to all the judges that big business put on the bench? Seems like money the RJ and RH put in the pot went to those damn activist judges that side with the little guy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tech42 (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Court shows a distinct lack of self-respect

    "It seems like Righthaven still thinks that these rulings aren't that big of a deal."

    Given the explanations, extensions, and all-around lack of consequences, Righthaven appears to be correct in thinking that way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2011 @ 2:15pm

      Re: Court shows a distinct lack of self-respect

      Exactly, the judge needs to just impose a large enough fine to bankrupt these people or throw them in jail. Let the bastards rot where they deserve.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), 4 Aug 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Too bad this couldn't be settled the old way

    Beating the living snot out of their lawyers until they beg you to end their misery is so much more efficient and cost-effective than filing motions and taking depositions. Might even prompt them to do some pro-bono work to atone for their sins. Nah! They're gonna be blood-sucking vampire extortionists unit their end, which can't come soon enough. Beat 'em!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 5 Aug 2011 @ 12:12am

    Righthaven might be in the process of finding out a well known but never talked about fact about judges.

    The more patient they seem to be, the more you really.. really.. I mean REALLY.. do not ever, EVER want them to become pissed off, because once pissed off they are more scary and unknown than a Judge who is by nature easily annoyed

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    snidely (profile), 5 Aug 2011 @ 1:03am

    You gotta know when to fold 'em

    I'm actually starting to feel a bit bad for Righthaven. It's like watching someone get their ass kicked, but they keep trying to get up. You want to say to them, "just stay down."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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