Righthaven is the subject of a bit of irony as it has had its domain taken down by registrar GoDaddy. If you go to Righthaven.com, you will see the message from the image above.
If you’re unfamiliar with Righthaven, it is a company which has made a business model out of suing publications and bloggers that it views as infringing on its clients’ copyrights, often bringing fair use into question. We’ve covered related incidents numerous times. You can browse the articles here for more background.
What makes this particularly ironic is that Righthaven has made it a practice to demand these publications/bloggers to turn over their domains. A judge recently dismissed a complaint from the company, and said that this practice “fails as a matter of law.”
Interestingly enough, Righthaven turned right back around and filed another case demanding not only the domain, but all hardware, software, and electronic media involved with the alleged infringement.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization designed to defend consumer rights, said, “Not only has the domain name claim been specifically and completely rejected by that very court, but Righthaven’s new citations do nothing to help its claim.”
I’m sure some of those who have had to defend against Righthaven’s claims are finding the company’s lack of an up-and-running domain quite amusing. As the message that appears indicates, the company seems to have failed to provide the proper whois info to keep the domain going.
“According to ICANN rules domain owners are required to maintain valid whois information,” explains Frank Michlick of DomainNameNews. “Anyone can report an invalid whois record via the WDPRS system, which then passes on the complaint to the sponsoring registrar of the domain. The registrar would then attempt to contact the domain owner and ask them to verify/update their contact information. Should they not do so, the domain can be suspended or even deleted.”
My guess is that this is only temporary, but it’s still another embarrassing moment for Righthaven. Recently, the company filed a suit against a contributor to the tech news blog Ars Technica, when the writer had simply been covering a story about Righthaven, using an image of an image from one of Righthaven’s client’s publications. The image of an image actually came from a court document. Righthaven quickly dismissed the suit as the press caught wind.