Saturday, January 29, 2011

Righthaven files many cases in Colorado; new site keeps tabs on the matter

It appears that Righthaven has filed nineteen cases in Colorado, most or all of them at the end of last week (Jan. 27).  It has filed one in South Carolina.  The suits span the Ninth, Tenth, and Fourth Circuits.  The total count of cases on Justia is now 228.

A writer named Ken has a detailed account on a blog called “One Utah”, here.  Ken believes that Righthaven, while shaking people down, does poorly when cases actually go to court because the legal basis for the suits (champerty) is questionable.  He also believes that newspapers that align themselves with Righthaven may be putting themselves in longer term jeopardy.

There is another site keeping a tab on Righthaven, prosaically named “RightHaven Lawsuits”, here. The ownership connections with Stephens and other media interests could actually support Righthaven’s claims of legitimate standing to sue.

Readers may want to check the Denver Post’s policy statement (website url) here.   I notice that the Post seems to consider posting only a “summary” of a story, without other comment or criticism, not fair use (in other words, mere “rewriting” is not fair use).   

I’m now well into Tim Wu’s “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires”, will review it soon, and I wonder if this Righthaven thing is another battle in “The Cycle.” 

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