Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Filed by Righthaven Dismissed by Sixth Judge

Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Filed by Righthaven Dismissed by Sixth Judge



It was another legal defeat for Las Vegas-based Righthaven LLC when a sixth judge ruled Friday that it did not have a legal standing to file lawsuits on copyright infringement.

The copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Righthaven against news gatherer NewsBlaze LLC of Folsom, California, was dismissed by Robert Jones, the Nevada’s chief U.S. District judge.

Righthaven, which is a company and not a law firm, launched a litigation campaign in March of 2010 unprecedented for the newspaper industry.

It filed 275 no-warning lawsuits through the month of July of this year, claiming that websites, bloggers, and users of message-boards had infringed on copyrights by posting material without authorization from the Denver Post and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Righthaven alleged in the lawsuits that the two newspapers had assigned the copyrights in question to Righthaven.

The lawsuits were a bit odd for the newspaper industry, which had dealt with copyright infringers in the past by asking them or demanding that the infringed material be removed or replaced with links to its source.

According to Righthaven, the suits were needed to discourage the widespread online copyright infringement of materials from various newspapers. However, critics say that the suits were frivolous and were part of a money-making scheme which involved questionable claims and efforts to obtain legal settlements through some shake-down legal tactics.

After it was able to collect what observers believed to be hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal settlement revenue, the lawsuit campaign of Righthaven stumbled this summer.

Before the ruling of Jones last Friday, five other judges in Colorado and Nevada ruled that Righthaven lacked the legal standing to sue because, despite its claims that it owned the copyrights, the newspapers maintained control over the content that Righthaven was suing over.