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Righthaven Loses Again

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the nuke-them-from-orbit dept.

The Courts 119

Hugh Pickens writes "Righthaven, the Las Vegas copyright troll, won't be collecting any damages from a man it once branded as a copyright infringer but instead must pay the man's legal fees of $34,045. US District Judge Philip Pro awarded the fees in the case of Kentucky message board poster Wayne Hoehn, finding that Righthaven didn't have standing to sue him due to the Review-Journal maintaining control of the column [and that] Hoehn was protected by the fair use doctrine. This is the second attorney's fee award against Righthaven. These are likely just the tip of the iceberg, with prevailing defendant Thomas DiBiase asking for $199,250 while the Democratic Underground will likely seek a fee award of many hundreds of thousands of dollars after Righthaven was dismissed from that suit for lack of standing. The bottom line for Righthaven is that so far it has not won a single lawsuit of 275 filed since 2010."

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0 for 275? (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#37109766)

The bottom line for Righthaven is that so far it has not won a single lawsuit of 275 filed since 2010.

But how many smaller blogs, websites, etc have settled because they couldn't afford it if they fought back and didn't win?

Re:0 for 275? (2)

CaptainInnocent (2439004) | about 3 years ago | (#37109886)

That's why we need more companies like Google. Companies that are willing to take patent trolls and other bad companies to court for the common good. Google is probably the only company that fights against patents, copyright and other evil things for the greater good.

Re:0 for 275? (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 3 years ago | (#37109916)

No, we don't need companies battling things out in court. We need to change the laws so that routes for scams like this are eliminated wholesale.

Re:0 for 275? (5, Insightful)

stms (1132653) | about 3 years ago | (#37109968)

There's that and there's that fact that we need to make it so winning in a courtroom isn't just about how much money you can spend on lawyers.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

bragr (1612015) | about 3 years ago | (#37110140)

What do you propose? That the government pay for lawyers in everyone's trip and fall law suits? Clearly making it easier to get good lawyers will put end to all the frivolous law suits.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110248)

Get rid of law. You're welcome. I'll be at lunch.

Re:0 for 275? (3, Funny)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 3 years ago | (#37110646)

Your lunch won't be there. It's already stolen.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about 3 years ago | (#37110980)

If by that you mean get rid of copyright and patent law, you are absolutely right. The negatives of those two sets of laws far far outweigh the benefits (even ignoring all the stupid lawsuits over them).

Copyright and patent laws will need to go the way of the dinosaur eventually if human civilization is to continue to advance. The sooner we do it, the better.

Re:0 for 275? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110548)

Loser pays the other side's legal fees is a good start.

That right there will eliminate a large portion of the people who use slap suits and churning to whittle away at the competition.

Re:0 for 275? (3, Insightful)

Dthief (1700318) | about 3 years ago | (#37110628)

so not only will the person who payed more win, now the loser is doubly f**ked into paying a huge fee for the winning lawyers

Re:0 for 275? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112016)

On the other hand it's harder to be pushed into a settlement just to dodge hefty legal bills.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112476)

If the worst that can happen is you go bankrupt from legal fees, ratcheting them up to include the other side's expenses won't really hurt much more.

Once you're underground, you're underground.

Besides, once you start having "loser pays" you also imply that you get a refund on your legal bills if you win your case.

This in turn means that organizations like the EFF, ACLU, FSF, SFLC, and whatnot that provide legal defense funds will find their newly reusable donation dollars stretching much further, and they will be emboldened to step in more often.

The EFF chipping in 50k for a lawyer will be easier on their bottom line if they can use the same money once the vexatious plaintiff coughs it back up again.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 3 years ago | (#37111062)

Loser pays and in addition a government regulated fee cap for lawyers. Also, and I guess that will cause some ire, get rid of the bloody jury system, at least when it comes to technical lawsuits. No sense to let IP cases be ruled by virtue of which lawyer can better bullshit Jose the Gardener sitting in the jury.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112056)

Better still would be not allowing lawyers to exclude jurors for being too smart.

The only reason lawyers get to bullshit Jose the Gardener in the first place is because Rosie the Rocket Scientist got expelled during voir dire.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

essjaytee (141772) | about 3 years ago | (#37111020)

Real 'Loser Pays' [wikipedia.org] would even the playing field and reduce the number of unwinnable, frivolous lawsuits.

-S

Re:0 for 275? (2)

solkimera (1319365) | about 3 years ago | (#37112236)

You mean if a huge corporation comes a long, sues you, trashes you with their huge legal team, now your stuck paying for it?

Re:0 for 275? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112500)

Maybe not.

If loser pays, then someone can donate to your legal expenses and get their money back when you win.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

stms (1132653) | about 3 years ago | (#37111754)

Yeah Government paying for all lawyers would be a possible solution. You could also potentially throw out many of those "trip an fall" lawsuits before a lawyer ever gets involved.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

stms (1132653) | about 3 years ago | (#37111822)

Another solution to occurs to me. If a Lawsuit is thrown out as frivolous you're fined your legal fees.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about 3 years ago | (#37111954)

Another solution to occurs to me. If a Lawsuit is thrown out as frivolous you're fined your legal fees.

And the damages you were seeking: the more you ask for, the more you could end up paying! Trolls like this would make damn sure they had a good chance of winning before they jumped into court.

Re:0 for 275? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37112258)

A national pay scale for lawyers. Pay them all $40 + 1.6*(years out of law school) per hour. Should have the pleasant side effect of reducing the concentration of soul-sucking money-grubbers within that otherwise honorable profession.

Re:0 for 275? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37111764)

Lets see now. In this United States of America, the legislatures of all states and the US Congress are mostly...Lawyers. The administrators of the laws passed by the legislatures ( Governors, the President, and most of the department heads of the executive branches) are mostly...Lawyers. The adjudicators of questions of these laws (Judges) are virtually all....Lawyers.
And you want to see rules limiting the powers of lawyers?.....good luck with that.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 years ago | (#37110022)

That would be a good step, but even if we do change the laws, there are still thousands of stupid patents and copyrights out there already, which will still cause billions in complete waste.

Maybe set up a public review board. If apple wants to sue Samsung over making a rectangular computing device with a button, they need to have the patent reviewed, and anyone who wants to submit arguments against it, say google, can. If the patent or copyright doesn't pass review, no lawsuit. If it does, that cannot be considered in the lawsuit (IE, it cannot be "the review board proves this is a valid patent with no prior art!").

Re:0 for 275? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112552)

I'll do you one better.

Hold examiners accountable for the quality of their work.

Make it so the USPTO stops rubber stamping patent applications.

At present reexaminations stand a VERY good chance of narrowing or invalidating the patents in question.

Which means that most of the patents are complete buckets of shit in the first place.

Which means that the examiners at the USPTO aren't doing their fucking jobs like they're supposed to.

I'd say that any patent getting overturned on reexamination or trial bites the original examiner in the ass...hard enough to make them think twice about rubber stamping a pile of bullshit.

Re:0 for 275? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110090)

Because people *always* obey the law.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 3 years ago | (#37110286)

Time for you to buy a senator or two.

All you have to do is raise enough money.
Time to start a collection.

Hopefully the media won't find out.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

kryliss (72493) | about 3 years ago | (#37111738)

Time for you to buy a senator or two.

All you have to do is raise enough money.
Time to start a collection.

Hopefully the media won't find out.

If the media finds out. Buy them too.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112124)

Media is already owned by the establishment that is hell bent on keeping things the way they are.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | about 3 years ago | (#37110822)

No, we don't need companies battling things out in court. We need to change the laws so that routes for scams like this are eliminated wholesale.

OK, so what's your solution, armchair philosopher?

Re:0 for 275? (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 3 years ago | (#37111170)

No, we don't need companies battling things out in court. We need to change the laws so that routes for scams like this are eliminated wholesale.

OK, so what's your solution, armchair philosopher?

1) His solution is to change the law.
2) He's not philosophising
3) What do you expect - people sky-dive whilst philosophising?

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | about 3 years ago | (#37112350)

Change the law to what?

Saying the law needs changing is no different, and just as effective, as saying "Something needs to be done."

Useless drivel, unless the person saying such things has an actual solution.

Re:0 for 275? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37109920)

Go shill for Google somewhere else you whore.

Re:0 for 275? (2)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | about 3 years ago | (#37110210)

Go shill for Google somewhere else you whore.

Steve Ballmer, is that you?? ;-)

Re:0 for 275? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#37109956)

I wonder if legal settlements should come with a legally mandated double your money back clause. If the plaintiff's case goes to court with somebody else and they get shot down either based on law or based on facts specific to the plaintiff (such as they don't actually own those rights), they have to make everyone they extorted whole.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 3 years ago | (#37109970)

You can appeal?

Re:0 for 275? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#37110028)

Once you've signed a settlement, what's there to appeal? That's the issue. Yes, those that go all the way to court against crooked bastards like Righthaven certainly have no lack of remedies when the bastards' case is thrown out, but for the little guy who basically was terrorized into settling, there's no remedy. This is a rather unique form of extortion, where the extortionist may ultimately have to pay legal fees, but he won't see jail time for setting up a protection racket.

Re:0 for 275? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110196)

...no lack of remedies...

No money would ever leave Righthaven towards it's victims, except what is strictly necessary to appear to be in compliance with the law.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 3 years ago | (#37110976)

Yes, those that go all the way to court against crooked bastards like Righthaven certainly have no lack of remedies when the bastards' case is thrown out, but for the little guy who basically was terrorized into settling, there's no remedy.

If Righthaven claimed that you infringed on their copyright, and you paid to avoid being sued, and it turns out that Righthaven never had any copyrights, then I think this falls straight under fraud. So I'd say the step to take is going straight to the police. And see what happens.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 years ago | (#37111494)

IANAL.
So correct me if I am way off base here but ...
Could you not get away with some kind of "agreement was signed under duress" argument?
The duress being of course your inability to afford the lawyers fees to fight in court.

I mean since they really are depending on those huge legal costs to make you want to just settle and get it out of the way it could be a form of duress.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112148)

Actually I think that if you threaten a civil suit in bad faith it counts as duress.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37111778)

Well if you settled you might be able to sue claiming fraud. Multiple judges have ruled that Righthaven did not have the right to sue; therefore they misrepresented themselves and any settlement should be voided.

Re:0 for 275? (2)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | about 3 years ago | (#37110262)

That's why we need more companies like Google. Companies that are willing to take patent trolls and other bad companies to court as long as it suits their business interests.. Google is one of many companies that fights against patents, copyright and other evil things for the good of their company..

There. Fixed that for you.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#37110624)

Google is probably the only company that fights against patents, copyright and other evil things for the greater good.

Except that Google fights against none of those things?

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#37110648)

Just to add, please explain how this [slashdot.org] was Google fighting against either patents or copyrights. Because as far as I can tell, the only way they could order such a cease and desist is through leveraging their COPYRIGHTS to their proprietary software.

Re:0 for 275? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110860)

That's why we need more companies like Google. Companies that are willing to take patent trolls and other bad companies to court for the common good. Google is probably the only company that fights against patents, copyright and other evil things for the greater good.

WTF. This post is as bad as all the blatant Apple shilling around here. I assume it was deliberate, to smear Google through idiotic fanboyism. Mission success, I suppose.

Re:0 for 275? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#37109988)

But how many smaller blogs, websites, etc have settled because they couldn't afford it if they fought back and didn't win?

They get to be sacrificial lambs in that wonderful world of litigation. Perhaps if the civil justice system had an automatic remedy system for those that settled when bigger guns tromped on a complainant with an invalid case, it might go some distance not only to righting such wrongs but in making those thinking of using the legal system in such a fashion think twice. But no, this is a system designed by lawyers for lawyers, and the odds of these crooks even being disbarred are pretty low.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110020)

I think what the original poster meant to say 'how many smaller blogs will be suing in small claims courts across the country to get their money back'.

Re:0 for 275? (2)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | about 3 years ago | (#37110132)

Wikipedia states that they received settlements on 70 suits filed in their first year (2010). I don't see any reference for that number, though, and nothing is listed for 2011.

According to an unofficial page tracking their lawsuits, they have received an estimated $350,000 from settlements. The page appears to be out of date, and there is no way to really know what they've collected, but I'll bet it's not enough to cover the original costs of the purchased copyrights and cover legal fees for cases that they lose.

Re:0 for 275? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#37110184)

... they have received an estimated $350,000 from settlements.

Don't they have to split that $350,000 with Stephens Media as part of their "agreement"?

Punies (2)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about 3 years ago | (#37110600)

Rather than just compensation for legal fees, abusive prosecutions like this needs to result in assessments of punitive damages on the scale of 3-10x times the compensatory damages. That would end this kind of abuse very quickly.

Re:0 for 275? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37112442)

This is exactly what bullets were invented for.
Courts kill 275 out of 275 but not one forbids them from ever filing again for abusing the courts.
When law fails bullets are all you have left.

Best part (5, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37109808)

Best part was that Righthaven tried claiming they shouldn't have to pay the defense's fees because they had no right to sue in the first place and therefore the court had no jurisdiction at all. I love the defense's response:

Righthaven deserves some credit for taking this position, as it requires an amazing amount of chutzpah. Righthaven seeks a ruling holding that, as long as a plaintiff’s case is completely frivolous, then the court is deprived of the right to make the frivolously sued defendant whole, whereas a partially frivolous case might give rise to fee liability.

Isn't this the sort of situation disbarment was designed to handle?

Re:Best part (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 3 years ago | (#37109892)

Did they seriously adapt "Well if I'm such a dummy and you're talking to me then what does that make you?" to the courtroom?

Re:Best part (3, Funny)

Spad (470073) | about 3 years ago | (#37109934)

Making the argument that "Well it's your stupid fault for allowing our moronic, baseless case to be brought into your court room in the first place" does seem something of a last-gasp strategy.

Re:Best part (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 3 years ago | (#37110052)

Righthaven isn't a real company, so it doesn't have things like corporate image to worry about, the people it's representing may. Ultimately bringing this thing to the media and exposing those responsible should take care of itself. Get out the tar and feathers? These people are committing a crime against society, not our f'ed up laws..

Re:Best part (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37110030)

Making stupid arguments is not grounds for disbarrment. If it were, many lawyers would be out of work. Just like any job; you can do stupid things at work. That does not mean your employer can fire you unless your actions have other consequences.

Re:Best part (5, Insightful)

John Bresnahan (638668) | about 3 years ago | (#37110122)

There is a point beyond which it should be grounds for disbarment.

I suspect this goes beyond that point.

Re:Best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110330)

Making stupid arguments and representations is a ground for disbarment, if you keep making the same ones. See Jack Thompson [wikipedia.org] . The rule most on point for Righthaven is probably FRCP 11 [cornell.edu] , especially subpart b. Basically you cannot make a claim that is not supported by some sort of good-faith argument. If you make many such claims and then do not voluntarily dismiss them when they are ruled not to be in good faith, then you can run afoul of the rules of conduct. Namely, Rules 3.3 and 3.4 [cornell.edu] because in the other cases, you are perpetrating a fraud on the court.

Re:Best part (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 3 years ago | (#37110360)

Just like any job; you can do stupid things at work. That does not mean your employer can fire you unless your actions have other consequences.

On the contrary, your employer can indeed do just that.

Re:Best part (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37111608)

Technically an employer can fire someone for any reason but unless they have cause, they are likely to get sued. Being an idiot in itself is not justification to fire someone. Poor performance is a reason. In the case of Righthaven, the client has decided to sue. The lawyer has to represent the client as best as possible; however, the client doesn't have much of a case. The lawyer has to make whatever legal arguments they can even if they are stupid.

Re:Best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37111786)

Not in "Right to Work" states. You can be fired for no reason at all.

Re:Best part (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112216)

Suing your ex boss won't ever fly.

1. Right to work specifically says they have every right to fire you at any time with or without cause just or otherwise.
2. Suing your ex boss is going to get you blacklisted with future employers who will quite justifiably be gun-shy.

All "cause" does is establish eligibility for unemployment benefits, or lack thereof.

If you were fired because the boss didn't like your political views or your sports team loyalties, you can collect.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37111118)

Your employer can fire you for nearly any reason, or no reason at all, apart from some specifically prohibited things like racial discrimination. You can certainly be fired for making stupid decisions in the performance of your job.

Re:Huh? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37111518)

in the performance of your job.

Wouldn't job performance be one of the consequences mentioned above?

Re:Best part (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#37110056)

Isn't this the sort of situation disbarment was designed to handle?

This is the type of situation that torches and pitchforks are designed to handle.

The saddest part (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 3 years ago | (#37111716)

This is the type of situation that torches and pitchforks are designed to handle.

The saddest part is that we're fast approaching that, down a slippery slope.

Re:Best part (2)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#37110400)

I wonder if I could use this as a DUI defense.

"Your honor, I shouldn't be charged with driving under the influence as I do not posses a valid driver's license."

Re:Best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37111180)

It would probably be as successful as Righthaven's argument was.

Re:Best part (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 years ago | (#37111556)

..and this car I stole is not registered to me either.

Re:Best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110464)

Isn't this the sort of situation disbarment was designed to handle?

In a just society, yes it would be. Sadly, we are lacking. Wasting the courts time should be not only looked down on, but the repercussions for it should be just short of cruel and unusual punishment.

Case in point, after how much bull-shiat did it finally take for the court to finally disbar Jack Thompson? You remember him right? The video games are evil 'guy'. I rest my case!

self policing don't work. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110474)

A group of lawyers to disbar lawyer(s) over (alleged) wrong doing... Riiiight.

Re:Best part (1)

sribe (304414) | about 3 years ago | (#37110770)

Isn't this the sort of situation disbarment was designed to handle?

One wonders... While the general reaction to that in this thread is the common sense one, that doesn't matter so much. I'm pretty sure that legally, Righthaven, when they filed suit in that court, submitted to the jurisdiction of that court for at least that proceeding. And I'm sure their lawyers knew that, making their argument against the court's jurisdiction now, not only laughable at the common sense test, not only wholly morally repugnant, but completely frivolous and abusive legally. Even if disbarment is not on the table, certainly the defendant should be awarded additional legal fees for having to deal with this nonsense, if not a contempt fine against the attorney that filed it.

Re:Best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37111008)

Isn't this the sort of situation dismemberment was designed to handle?

Fixed that for you. And yes.

Re:Best part (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 3 years ago | (#37111416)

That indeed takes balls.

Disbarment? More like impersonation of a legal professional.

Re:Best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37111642)

Are Jews so entrenched in your legal system that Yiddish is now considered legal vernacular?

Re:Best part (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37112580)

If they admit they had no right to sue in the first place that establishes that the lawsuit was frivolous.

Did anybody else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37109882)

See Thomas DiBiase and think Ted DiBiase?

Well, the ruling is on the books (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37110006)

Now let's see if it's enforced. I doubt that any winning defendant will ever see a red cent from Righthaven, before the profits get syphoned to Bermuda and the empty shell goes bankrupt.

Re:Well, the ruling is on the books (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about 3 years ago | (#37110696)

This is actually the second such settlement this particular set of lawyers has gotten out of Righthaven, and they've already gotten a cheque from the first one.

Admittedly, the cheque was sent to the wrong address (a previous address that the group had moved out of before starting work on the case, and hadn't used in any of the documents relating to the case), but still.

When you are 0 and 275... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37110042)

They should seriously consider changing their name to "Wronghaven"...

Illegal (1)

lowlevelio (2438916) | about 3 years ago | (#37110048)

This practice should be made illegal.

Re:Illegal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110190)

What are you some liberal hippie? Just because something is noxious doesn't mean it should be illegal. The free market is taking care of it just fine.

Re:Illegal (3, Informative)

FlyingGuy (989135) | about 3 years ago | (#37110394)

The "free market" is taking care of those who can afford to defend themselves. So this free market you espouse takes care of those with wealth and everyone else gets fucked up the ass and has no recourse. Sounds a lot like the Mortgage backed Securities disaster.

I know you posted as AC but I also know you are reading this.

Re:Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110536)

And you're a homophobe for the "fucked up the ass" comment. But that aside (I suppose you could apply it to women being victimized too but let's be honest, how often is that the intended usage?), yes honestly if you can't afford to defend yourself in court your opinions and positions do not really matter in the grand scheme of things in the US. You might not like it but we all know it's a true fact.

Re:Illegal (1)

V. P. Winterbuttocks (2246736) | about 3 years ago | (#37110622)

I suppose you could apply it to women being victimized too but let's be honest, how often is that the intended usage?

Well he did kind of say "everyone", which kind of does mean "everyone". In fact getting "fucked up the ass" is about as gender-inclusive as you can get, since after all "everyone" does have one of them.

Re:Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110762)

very good point. I, Anonymous Coward, retract the homophobe accusation. If anybody cares.

Re:Illegal (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 3 years ago | (#37110800)

Homophobe or describing an act he would prefer not performed on him? I prefer not to be robbed at gunpoint, does that make me biased against everyone who has a gun but chooses not to use it?

Re:Illegal (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 3 years ago | (#37112658)

Yeah well Texas figured out how to do it for those that can't. They make looses pay the court costs if they file frivolously.

Re:Illegal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110678)

> The free market is taking care of it just fine.

What? How is this in any way related to the "free market" taking care of anything?

This is the legal system calling BS on someone for trying to waste everyone's time and money. It does virtually nothing to stop them from trying again.

That said, there probably isn't much that can easily be done to make "this practice" illegal as the GP suggested. If someone wants to bring a frivolous lawsuit, you kind of have to prove that it's frivolous.

The truly unfortunate thing about this from a "free market" standpoint is that all of the resources that get effectively wasted on this sort of legal circle-jerk are resources that can't be put into something more productive... like developing new technologies and becoming more efficient in order to be more competitive.

Re:Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37111304)

Seriously, CAN you even laugh? Do you even have the slightest clue what laughter is? Or do is it just that annoying distraction you hear from the spawnlings playing outside in the light of the dayball while you try to find new ways to hide from the world so you can finish your "important" work that Those Fools(tm) will never understand, and about which they have most likely laughed at you?

The best part (1)

kawabago (551139) | about 3 years ago | (#37110064)

If each defendant is awarded similar fees the total bill for Righthaven could come to 275*35k = $9,625,000. ouch!

Re:The best part (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#37110076)

The company will declare bankruptcy and the lawyers will set up shop tomorrow under another name.

Re:The best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37110498)

exactly. this is, afterall, RIGHTHAVEN *LLC*

That's the worst part, actually (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 3 years ago | (#37110310)

Those aren't punitive damages - they're legal fees, and Righthaven won't be able to afford to pay all the defendants back for the legal costs they've incurred defending themselves against these sleazes.

Go After the People Behind Them! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 3 years ago | (#37110598)

A local restaurant 'round here got sued for various employment violations a while back. A friend of mine was curious and dug up some legal documents from the lawsuits. One of the things I found interesting was that the plaintiffs had made a motion to find that the owners of the incorporated restaurant were using the corporation as an alias and therefore the corporation should not afford the usual protection against going after the owners' personal assets.

I don't know how that one flew, but if you can actually do that, would it be possible to go after the actual parties who are using it as a legal shield from liability?

I won't even explore which side of the legal line they're on compared to a good old fashioned extortion ring, or whether their misrepresentation of their interests would constitute fraud or not, for the people who settled with them.

Re:Go After the People Behind Them! (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 years ago | (#37110798)

It's part of the corporate veil. As long as you don't improperly mix personal and corporate acts/finances, the corporation should shield you from personal liability.

The interesting part here is that the lawyers in charge are professionals (in the legal sense, like accountants, engineers, and doctors) and if they could be found liable for gross negligence they might be personally responsible. Every state code is different, though. Professional liability is not shielded by corporate status.

(I am not a lawyer, but I am a professional engineer and run a business, so I have had to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of corporate status)

Re:Go After the People Behind Them! (1)

sribe (304414) | about 3 years ago | (#37110824)

I don't know how that one flew, but if you can actually do that, would it be possible to go after the actual parties who are using it as a legal shield from liability?

I was getting ready to post something, and looking for the right post to reply to ;-) The first judgment, maybe 2 or 3, are arguable. But if there's a solidly established history of losing, then continuing the suits does become, I think, the sort of activity which is considered illicit enough to hold the owners personally liable.

They haven't won, but... (1)

EvilStein (414640) | about 3 years ago | (#37110672)

.. the people they sued (not including Democratic Underground.. I wonder what would have happened if they didn't rile up a bunch of bloggers by suing a liberal blog) have had a LOT of stress and financial hardship.

One of the people Righthaven sued is known to me. He's tapped out savings paying lawyers to defend against Righthaven's utter bullshit.

I hope the people at Righthaven choke on a huge bowl of dicks. Rotten thieving motherfuckers.

ellipsis (1)

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) | about 3 years ago | (#37110942)

Hugh Pickens [hughpickens.com] writes

Steve Green writes that in a stunning reversal for Righthaven, the Las Vegas copyright troll won't be collecting any damages from a man it once branded as a copyright infringer but instead must pay the man's legal fees of $34,045 [vegasinc.com] . US District Judge Philip Pro awarded the fees in the case of Kentucky message board poster Wayne Hoehn dismissing Righthaven's suit and finding that Righthaven didn't have standing to sue him due to the Review-Journal maintaining control of the column despite Righthaven's claims of ownership and even that if Righthaven did have ownership, Hoehn was protected by the fair use doctrine in posting an entire Las Vegas Review-Journal column on a sports betting website message board. This is the second attorney's fee award against Righthaven [vegasinc.com] . Earlier, Randazza Legal Group was awarded $3,815 for representing defendant Michael Leon. But these are likely just the tip of the iceberg, with prevailing defendant Thomas DiBiase asking for $199,250 [vegasinc.com] while the Democratic Underground will likely seek a fee award of many hundreds of thousands of dollars after Righthaven was dismissed from that suit for lack of standing. The bottom line for Righthaven is that so far it has not won a single lawsuit - of 275 lawsuits filed since 2010 - on the merits."

A front (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37111576)

Shame more news articles don't clearly state Righthaven's links to Stephen Media and it's titles. It'd be nice if Stephen Media titles suffered because of Righthaven's activities. I'm not optimistic though, as there are plenty of cunts who continue to read Murdoch's UK rag, and will almost certainly flock to his rebranded NoTW when it launches.

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