Righthaven’s blogger-suing (often referred to as “copyright troll”) business model might be winding down. Though still appealing past rulings, the company has stopped filing new suits (at least for the time being). They may even have to file for bankruptcy after having to pay over $34,000 in fines.
Now even MediaNews Group, which has employed Righthaven’s services in relation to its newspapers like the Denver Post (it has about 50 of them) is saying the whole thing was a “dumb idea.”
Wired, who interviewed CEO John Paton, quotes him as saying: “The issues about copyright are real. But the idea that you would hire someone on an — essentially — success fee to run around and sue people at will who may or may not have infringed as a way of protecting yourself … does not reflect how news is created and disseminated in the modern world….I come from the idea that it was a dumb idea from the start.”
The publisher terminated its relationship with Righthaven in August, and Paton just assumed his new role last week, replacing Dean Singleton.
It will be interesting to see if Righthaven’s other partners, namely Stephens Media (which publishes the Las Vegas Review Journal), follow the lead of MediaNews Group.
Judges have been ruling on the side of fair use in recent Righthaven cases, essentially rendering the company’s services ineffective. Though the appeal process must still play out, things aren’t looking incredibly bright for the future of this copyright “protection” strategy.