After filing more than 275 copyright infringement lawsuits, it now turns
out that Righthaven was not the owner of the copyrights asserted in the
lawsuit, and as a result is now on the verge of bankruptcy. The copyright
infringement claims were made for reposting pictures and stories previously
published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by Stephens Media.
A Nevada federal judge recently unsealed an internal agreement between Righthaven and Stephen Media
[enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers] which disclosed the lack of Righthaven's ownership. According to Kurt Opshal of the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
does not own the rights to reproduce, distribute, display or prepare derivative
works of the articles it is suing over, even though it makes those claims in
its lawsuits...Copyright law does not permit a person to sue for infringement
unless that person owns "the rights to reproduce and distribute the work.
Apparently Righthaven was trying to
pattern its business after patent trolls, but since Righthaven does not
have an ownership claim made in the lawsuit that model failed.
This is an interesting evolution of
Internet copyright infringement claims.
Visit Peter Vogel's Internet,
Information Technology and e-Discovery Blog
For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us
through our corporate