I first discussed Righthaven in a July 12, 2011 post that addressed whether you can copy an entire news article online and successfully claim fair use. Righthaven is a Las Vegas-based company co-owned by its CEO and founder Steve Gibson and Stevens Media, owner of approximately 70 media outlets, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The question in that post arose because Righthaven, sometimes referred to as a Copyright Troll, was engaging in a business practice of acquiring copyrights in order to file hundreds of no-warning infringement lawsuits with an eye toward settlement and without regard to whether the use was fair.
Some, including some federal judges, viewed Righthaven’s approach as an extortion-style “shakedown” with no real intention to see the case to its conclusion. And now another federal judge has agreed. And what’s more, the judge ruled that Righthaven should be stripped of its copyright holdings and its trademark!
A federal judge in Las Vegas on Monday stripped Righthaven of whatever interests it has in its 278 federal copyright registrations as well as its trademark. Judge Philip Pro ordered that the copyrights and trademarks be transferred to a court-appointed receiver so they can be auctioned to cover some of Righthaven’s debts.