Dismantling of Righthaven appears under way with loss of website
22 December 2011
The court-authorized dismantling of Las Vegas copyright company Righthaven LLC appeared to be under way Thursday, with the company losing control of its website to a receiver.
As noted by the Righthaven Victims website critical of Righthaven, the righthaven.com website on Thursday was no longer operational and that domain name was “parked” at domain name hoster GoDaddy.com — apparently so it can be auctioned.
Records at Network Solutions, which tracks domain names, showed control of Righthaven’s website domain name was transferred Wednesday to Randazza Legal Group, which represents Righthaven creditor Wayne Hoehn.
However, attorney Marc Randazza said that information was incorrect and that a court-appointed receiver, attorney Lara Pearson of the Rimon Law Group in the Reno area, had control of it.
“She will arrange an auction of it in order to satisfy some of Righthaven’s debts,” Randazza said.
Pearson added Thursday, “If all goes well, I intend to put the domain name up for auction before the holiday break begins tomorrow, though I have not yet made a firm decision as to where the domain will be auctioned.”
Righthaven since March 2010 has been suing websites and website users over unauthorized uses of Las Vegas Review-Journal and Denver Post material, alleging copyright infringement.
Several defendants including Hoehn fought back and defeated Righthaven in court.
After federal Judge Philip Pro in Las Vegas found Righthaven lacked standing to sue Hoehn and that Hoehn was protected by fair use in his posting of an R-J column on a website message board, Hoehn was awarded his legal fees.
Righthaven has refused to pay those $63,720 in fees, causing the same judge to allow a receiver to auction Righthaven’s intellectual property including its copyrights and website name.
The loss of its copyrights could cripple Righthaven’s ability to sue over the copyrights it obtained from the newspapers — and to prosecute appeals of its courtroom defeats involving those copyrights in Nevada and Colorado.
Righthaven this week appealed the receivership and auction order, but through Thursday morning, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco had not acted on the appeal.
A request for comment was placed with Righthaven on the loss of its website.
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