Since March 2010, Righthaven has teamed with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post to file a whopping 275 federal lawsuits alleging copyright infringement and seeking damages of $150,000 apiece.
Here’s what federal judges and commentators have said about Righthaven:
U.S. District Judge James Mahan
"Plaintiff’s litigation strategy has a chilling effect on potential fair uses of Righthaven-owned articles, diminishes public access to the facts contained therein and does nothing to advance the Copyright Act’s purpose of promoting artistic creation.”— U.S. District Judge James Mahan in Las Vegas
U.S. District Judge John Kane
The purpose of the courts is to provide a forum for the orderly, just, and timely resolution of controversies and disputes. Plaintiff’s (Righthaven’s) wishes to the contrary, the courts are not merely tools for encouraging and exacting settlements from defendants cowed by the potential costs of litigation and liability.’’ — U.S. District Judge John Kane in Denver
U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt
Righthaven and Stephens Media have attempted to create a cottage industry of filing copyright claims, making large claims for damages and then settling claims for pennies on the dollar, with defendants who do not want to incur the costs of defending the lawsuits, (and) are now offended when someone has turned the tables on them and insisting on a judgment in their favor rather than a simple dismissal of the lawsuit.” — U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Las Vegas
I’m asking you nicely once again—don’t steal our content. Or, I promise you, you will meet my little friend called Righthaven.” — Sherman Frederick, at the time publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal
Eric Johnson, associate law professor at Univ. of North Dakota
Where the law has created a legal way to extort money from hapless netizens, Righthaven has stepped in for some quick cash. They’re not evil geniuses. They’re not right-wing extremists. They’re not left-wing zealots. The truth is much worse. They’re just jerks.” — Eric Johnson, associate professor of law at the University of North Dakota
Reporters Without Borders
"We were surprised to witness such behavior here, in the United States, while this is generally a phenomenon Reporters Without Borders witnesses in authoritarian regimes to silence netizens and intimidate journalists, bloggers and others. Therefore, we ask you to drop the lawsuit against him and find a reasonable compromise regarding his case.”
— International press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, in a letter to the Denver Post regarding a Righthaven lawsuit against young autistic blogger Brian Hill and Righthaven’s $6,000 settlement demand along with its threat to garnish his Social Security Disability Insurance income at the rate of $50 per month for 10 years.