Righthaven copyrights fail to sell at auction
7 May 2012
Creditors of Las Vegas copyright lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC are licking their wounds after no one bid for Righthaven copyrights in an eBay auction that ended Saturday.
Through the auction, it was made clear that certain Righthaven copyrights have no real value, either because of the type of content they cover or because of legal uncertainties about their validity.
“It would seem that everything that Righthaven and its parade of idiots touch turns to garbage,” said Las Vegas attorney Marc Randazza, whose firm is trying to recover legal fees after beating back a Righthaven lawsuit on behalf of a client.
Righthaven, now an inactive company, is known for filing 275 copyright infringement lawsuits in 2010 and 2011 over copyrights it obtained for lawsuit purposes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post.
Righthaven’s litigation campaign — unprecedented for the newspaper industry — ended when judges said defendants were protected by fair use or that Righthaven lacked standing to sue because of flawed copyright assignments from the newspapers.
Nevertheless, Righthaven continued to own pieces of paper called federal copyright registrations covering material from the newspapers, unrelated and outdated sports-betting information and two adult movies.
Creditors have been trying to sell some of the copyright registrations so they can recover some of the money they are owed.
The latest auction of 17 Righthaven copyrights for sports-betting material from a company called Stevo Design and for the two adult movies was aimed at raising cash for the benefit of creditors owed $188,927.
But no bids were received for that material. Information on eBay indicating people were bidding on one of the movies was erroneous and involved an invalid duplicate listing, said Lara Pearson, a court-appointed receiver trying to sell Righthaven assets for the benefit of creditors.
The copyrights attracted no bids when offered initially at a minimum of $100 and then at the reduced rate of $50.
“In both the $100 and $50 auctions, while the listings had lots of views, no one bid on anything, save the errant invalid posting for one of the adult videos,” Pearson said.
In the first auction of its intellectual property in January, Righthaven’s website domain name sold for $3,300. In last week’s auction, Righthaven’s trademark sold for $1,025 to an unidentified party.
In last week’s auction, a copyright for a Review-Journal editorial initially was included, but Pearson withdrew it from the sale for undisclosed reasons.
That means uncertainties continue about the value, if any, of Righthaven’s newspaper copyrights.
Defense attorneys have said the fact that Righthaven no longer owns any copyrights means the company can’t continue pursuing appeals of its legal setbacks since it no longer has any real interest in the cases — a theory yet to be addressed by Righthaven or the appeals court.
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