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Righthaven’s Colorado Suits Thrown Out

Copyright troll Righthaven has not filed any new lawsuits in Nevada in two months after most of its Nevada suits were dismissed by Judge John Hunt, who has called Righthaven “a law firm….masquerading as a company.”

Now a judge in Colorado has ordered all of Righthaven’s cases there to be dismissed, Ars Technica reports.

Righthaven’s business model involves suing bloggers and other websites who reuse its newspaper clients’ content without permission. The newspapers transfer copyright to Righthaven, which takes care of the messy legal proceedings, and then the paper and Righthaven split the proceeds.

That’s how it’s supposed to work. But documents unearthed earlier this year showed that Righthaven’s clients weren’t actually transferring copyright, only the right to sue. District Judge Roger Hunt in Nevada has not found that this is an acceptable use of copyright law, and it seems that Judge John Kane in Colorado agrees.

“A third-party who has been assigned the bare right to sue for infringement has no interest in the legal dissemination of the copyrighted material,” Kane wrote. “On the contrary…This prioritizes economic benefit over public access, in direct contradiction to the constitutionally mandated equilibrium upon which copyright law is based.”

Kane has ordered Righthaven to reimburse blogger Leland Wolf for his attorney’s fees. Wolf was sued by Righthaven for his use of a Denver Post photo of a TSA agent performing a pat-down. The Denver Post’s new owner has said that while copyright issues are very real, partnering with Righthaven was “a dumb idea.”

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