Righthaven Blames Former GCs for Oversight - In House
In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Righthaven Blames Former GCs for Oversight

In a reversal of fortune, Righthaven, perhaps the country's biggest, if not most notorious, copyright troll, has suffered a sudden streak of losses at the hands of a variety of federal judges in Nevada, one of which has ordered the company to explain why it should not be sanctioned for making "multiple inaccurate and likely dishonest statements."

In a response filed on Wednesday, Righthaven's outside trial counsel pointed the finger at former in-house counsel, blaming them for the alleged misconduct.

As a bit of background, Righthaven is a company whose sole purpose is to sue internet users who have infringed upon copyrights owned by Stephens Media.

By contractual agreement, Stephens Media has retained its substantive intellectual property rights, but has transferred its right to sue to Righthaven. The two companies then split any proceeds evenly, according to MediaPost.

The company's copyright troll status stems from the fact that it has filed at least 200 suits against individual bloggers who have reposted newspaper photos and articles.

Last month, Judge Roger Hunt ruled that Righthaven lacks standing to sue on Stephens' behalf, finding that one cannot separate the right to sue from all other substantive rights.

This was only after Judge Hunt was informed of the agreement between the two parties, which Righthaven's counsel failed to disclose as required by Nevada rules.

Trial counsel's response was to point out that the judge could have determined Stephens Media's potential interest in the suit from the record, reports Courthouse News Service.

Plus, it wasn't the company's fault, it was an oversight by former in-house counsel.

Former counsel may have helped catapult Righthaven to king copyright troll, but this is a cheap shot, and it's probably not going to fly.

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