Things don’t appear to be looking too great for Righthaven these days. After losing some key fair use cases, the company stopped filing suits altogether, and got rid of a lawyer that’s been involved in over 50 cases.
For more background on the ongoing Righthaven saga, read our previous coverage.
Now, Righthaven says it might have to file for bankruptcy, according to a report from Vegas INC:
The warning came in an emergency request by Righthaven to a federal judge in Las Vegas that he stay his order that Righthaven pay $34,045 in legal fees to attorneys who successfully defended Kentucky message board poster Wayne Hoehn against a Righthaven lawsuit.
This fine was issued last month after a judge had already previously ruled that Hohen, a war veteran, was within the rights of fair use when he posted an entire article from the Las Vegas Review Journal to his site to generate discussion about it.
The judge was quoted as saying:
“Righthaven did not present any evidence that the market for the work was harmed by Hoehn’s noncommercial use for the 40 days it appeared on the website. Accordingly, there is no genuine issue of material fact that Hoehn’s use of the work was fair and summary judgment is appropriate.”
“While the work does have some creative or editorial elements, these elements are not enough to consider the work a purely ‘creative work’ in the realm of fictional stories, song lyrics, or Barbie dolls. Accordingly, the work is not within ‘the core of intended copyright protection.’”
The ruling also noted that fair use is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately for Righthaven, recent cases have ruled on the side of fair use in the defendants’ favor, though Righthaven continues to appeal.