Righthaven reeling: secret doc could doom a copyright troll

By Nate Anderson

If a company’s entire business model is predicated on bringing copyright infringement lawsuits, you might expect that company to make sure it actually has the right to sue first. But a newly unsealed court document casts some doubt on Righthaven’s rights; defense attorneys are already using the new document to say that Righthaven cases are a "sham" and are "invalid."

And Righthaven’s moves to keep this document secret have angered the judge in the case, who ripped into Righthaven in spectacular fashion last Thursday as he unsealed the document.

"The use of phrases, in the Motion to Strike, such as ‘underhanded,’ ‘a ruse,’ ‘blatantly ignored,’ ‘brazen attempt,’ ‘fumbling attempt,’ ‘purposefully muddle,’ and ‘complaint reeks of hypocrisy,’ is a very unprofessional attempt to attack counsel rather than address the issues," wrote the judge. "There is an old adage in the law that, if the facts are on your side, you pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, you pound on the law. If neither the facts nor the law is on your side, you pound on the table. It appears there is a lot of table pounding going on here."

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