Righthaven in default again with state
17 February 2012
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Righthaven LLC’s financial position appears to have deteriorated further: For the second year in a row, the Las Vegas company's state business license has expired and now it’s listed in default.
Records at the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, which handles incorporation matters, show Righthaven’s business license expired Jan. 31.
The development indicates the copyright infringement lawsuit filer either can’t or won’t come up with the $200 needed to reactivate the license. A request for comment was placed with Righthaven on the issue.
This is just the latest symptom of financial problems at Righthaven, where a creditor is trying to seize its copyrights after already seizing its website domain name.
U.S. District Judge Philip Pro in Las Vegas has yet to rule on a request by Wayne Hoehn, a creditor and prevailing Righthaven defendant, to speed up the copyright seizure after Righthaven balked at voluntarily turning them over.
In early 2011, it was pointed out Righthaven’s business license had expired during a period in which it was filing lawsuits and claiming to be a ''in good standing'' with the Nevada Secretary of State.
Righthaven then promptly renewed its license after the problem became public last year — but hasn’t done so in 2012.
The lack of a business license appears to be mainly an academic point at the moment, as Righthaven has stopped filing new lawsuits.
While Righthaven works to fend off creditors, including defendants who defeated it in court, the company is also waiting for judges to rule on motions and appeals that could revive its standing to sue.
Righthaven, operating as the copyright enforcement partner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Denver Post, filed 275 no-warning lawsuits claiming material from those newspapers was infringed on by websites, bloggers and message-board posters.
The lawsuit campaign, launched in March 2010, came to a halt last summer after judges ruled in several cases that Righthaven lacked standing to sue or that defendants were protected by the fair use doctrine of copyright law in using material from the papers.
Separately, U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday dismissed Righthaven’s lone lawsuit in South Carolina — a case against Tea Party activist Dana Eiser over a Denver Post column allegedly posted on her group’s website.
The dismissal was expected after a magistrate judge recommended dismissal based on Righthaven’s lack of standing. Judges are finding Righthaven lacked standing to sue because the Denver Post and Review-Journal maintained control of the material Righthaven claimed to own.
The next issue to be decided in the Eiser case is her attorney’s fee request, which could be hefty given the number of court filings her legal team made in its fight against Righthaven.
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