The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s copyright trolling scheme is coming to an end. The newspaper invested $500,000 into Righthaven, a company formed to “protect” the copyrights of newspapers. Righthaven would search the internet for copyright infringements on behalf of the Review-Journal. When copyright infringement was found, Righthaven would then purchase the copyright for the original content from the newspaper and then aggressively pursue damages. In most cases, defendants settled out of court for thousands of dollars. However, in every case that went to trial, Righthaven lost, and therefore owed attorney fees.
The saga has now come full circle:
Righthaven, a copyright-troll law firm that failed in its attempt to make money for newspapers by suing readers for sharing stories online, was dealt a death blow on Tuesday by a federal judge who ordered the Las Vegas company to forfeit “all of” its intellectual property and other “intangible property” to settle its debts…
U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro of Nevada ordered Righthaven to surrender for auction the 278 copyrighted news articles that were the subject of its lawsuits.
As the article illustrates, the Las Vegas Review-Journal will lose any rights to content that was subject to Righthaven actions. The paper could therefore find itself in violation of copyright laws for publishing content that it originally created.
Filed under I for Irony.