Court Slams Righthaven (Again); Refuses To Let It Back Into Democratic Underground Case
from the another-day,-another-loss dept
The latest involves one of the key cases here: the Democratic Underground case. This is the case where the Strategic Agreement between Righthaven and Stephens Media finally came to light, showing that the copyright transfer was a sham. That resulted in the judge dismissing Righthaven from the case. The case kept going, however, because the Democratic Underground had filed a countersuit against Stephens Media to get it into the case. Of course, part of the reason why Stephens helped set up Righthaven in the first place was to avoid having to be involved in these lawsuits. So, ever the dutiful spin-off, Righthaven keeps trying to reinsert itself into the case.
However, yet again, the judge in the case, Richard Hunt, has clearly rejected Righthaven's attempt here (pdf). Hunt says that key reason for not allowing Righthaven back in was because of the timing of everything, noting that even if it's now offering a (twice) "amended" agreement to make its case, it's too late to change things in this case:
Righthaven argues that the application to intervene is timely because it brought the motion soon after being dismissed from the case and rectifying the problems with the SAA by creating the Amended and Restated SAA. The Court disagrees. Righthaven filed this case more than ten months prior to its application to intervene. It is true that Righthaven could not have sought to intervene until it was dismissed, but this is because of the method in which Righthaven chose to pursue this litigation. Righthavenís application is untimely because ten months have passed since filing, intervention would prejudice Democratic Underground as multiple of their discovery motions were dismissed as moot when Democratic Underground was dismissed, and the reason for delay was of Righthavenís own making. See, e.g., Cal. Dept. of Toxic Substances Control v. Commercial Realty Projects, Inc., 309 F.3d 1113, 1119 (9th Cir. 2009) (laying out factors to consider in timeliness analysis). In fact, the reason Righthaven now seeks to intervene is to circumvent the Courtís June 14 Order by creating standing and rights after the fact. This is improper and does not make the application timely.And that's not all:
The Court is dubious as to whether Righthaven can essentially create standing in the middle of a case so as to either prosecute the case independently or intervene. Further, the Court questions whether Righthaven can even have a legitimate interest under any agreement (no matter the rights purportedly transferred) because Stephens Media and Righthavenís arrangement seems very much like a contingency fee arrangement with an entity unauthorized to practice law.In other words, the court is listening to the amicus brief filed by Todd Kincannon, which we've discussed before. Kincannon has been the lead voice is arguing that Righthaven is engaged in unauthorized practice of law, so it's interesting to see a judge suggest that he agrees.
At what point do the folks at Righthaven finally realize it's time to give up?