Righthaven copyright suits tossed in Colorado, too
Posted in: Legal, Privacy & Security at 28/09/2011 19:25
In the last year, newspaper copyright troll Righthaven has brought its dubious lawsuits in two states: Nevada and Colorado. (Update: a lawyer in South Carolina says Righthaven filed a single case there as well.) With a new ruling today from a Colorado federal judge overseeing all of Righthaven's cases there, courts in both states have now told Righthaven to take a hike -- and to pay court costs before it goes.
Righthaven's business model has been based largely on suing small-time bloggers and forum posters who have copied articles or photos from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post. When threatened with a federal lawsuit for copyright infringement, many of these users decided to settle for a few thousand dollars instead. It turns out they needn't have done so, however; Righthaven never had the right to sue them in the first place.
Righthaven had no legal right to sue for copyright infringement, US judge rules
A US company that had an agreement with a newspaper publisher to enforce the newspaper's copyrights has no legal right to sue those it accuses of infringement, a judge in Colorado has ruled.29 Sep 2011
Senior US district judge John Kane said that only the "legal owner" or "beneficial owner" of copyrights can sue for violations of those rights. The 'legal owner' is a party that actually owns a right to the copyrighted works, whereas the 'beneficial owners' are "parties who lacked a legal interest in the copyright, but who still stood to gain financially from the legal dissemination of the copyrighted material," the judge said in his ruling.