Legal setbacks cast doubt on Righthaven's copyright lawsuit business model

Righthaven hasn't sued anyone for copyright infringement in two months, a dramatic slowdown after filing about 275 lawsuits since early last year on behalf of newspapers, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal and The Denver Post. Righthaven has settled more than 100 cases for a few thousand dollars each, but since then, judges have ruled that the company can't sue because it doesn't hold the copyrights. Intellectual property scholar Eric Goldman tells David Kravets that the legal complications cast doubt on Righthaven's business model. “In theory, it seems like it was ingenuous. Newspapers are one of the largest owners of copyrights out there and they just sit on their assets ... But you’d need such a high volume of cases with enough dollar value to justify the enforcement effort. They were going after the small fries — the least likely to pay.” || More trouble: Dan Gillmor tweets that he hopes the first thing John Paton "does with MediaNews is to terminate all relations with copyright troll RightHaven," to which Paton responds, "Media News has already terminated their relationship." || Related: U.K.’s Daily Mail uses blogger’s photos after she denies them permission, lifts photos from The Batavian

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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