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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Copyright Troll Lost Its Domain

That’s where you start believing in karma – it turned out that the copyright troll Righthaven has recently lost its domain name. The service tried to make money out of Internet users by suing everyone posting certain news articles in their blogs. The troll threatened thousands of people, claiming that if they didn’t pay up, they would be taken to court and the company would take their domain name off them. Such threat was even applied to a number of the bigger names in the tech press.

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Originally, Righthaven was winning and settling cases, with the defendants having to pay a few thousand dollars each in order to make the copyright troll go away. But in the end, for the free speech rights of humanity it all went wrong for the copyright service with its legal get-rich-quick scheme appearing to flounder in court.

So, the things are different now: recently the press announced that the online domain for Righthaven has been sold at auction for $3,300. This money went to help satisfy the Las Vegas company’s debts. Indeed, it turned out that the copyright troll owes $63,000 in legal fees since the company lost a case in which a federal judge ruled that reposting an entire news article online can be considered fair use.

Right now it is unclear who exactly bought the domain name, but the suggestions are that some domain squatter picked it up with the hope that all links to it might help make it some money. However, the money received from the domain name sale is more like a drop in the bucket of the legal fees of Las Vegas lawyer for successfully defending one of the Vietnam veterans against a copyright lawsuit of the copyright firm seeking large damages for merely posting the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial to a tiny Internet message board. Although Righthaven is still trying to appeal the case in question, it has recently been hit by another order to pay $120,000 in legal fees for another lost case.

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