Righthaven rocked, owes $34,000 after "fair use" loss

Nate Anderson

The wheels appear to be coming off the Righthaven trainwreck-in-progress. The litigation outfit, which generally sues small-time bloggers, forum operators, and the occasional Ars Technica writer, has just been slapped with a $34,000 bill for legal fees.

Righthaven v. Hoehn, filed in Nevada federal court, has been an utterly shambolic piece of litigation. Righthaven sued one Wayne Hoehn, a longtime forum poster on the site Madjack Sports. Buried in Home>>Forums>>Other Stuff>>Politics and Religion, Hoehn made a post under the username "Dogs That Bark" in which he pasted in two op-ed pieces. One came from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which helped set up the Righthaven operation. Righthaven sued.

This was the salvation of the news business? Targeting forum posters in political subforums of sports handicapping sites? But at least it looked like Righthaven had a point; copying had certainly occurred. Had infringement?

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