Righthaven counter-sued over copyright claims

Anti-P2P lawyer Righthaven has been counter-sued by one of the website operators it accused of copyright infringement.

According to Vegasinc.com, the counterclaim seeks to represent defendants in all 57 Righthaven cases in Colorado.

The suit, bought by BuzzFeed, claims that all involved in the Righthaven lawsuits “are victims of extortion litigation”.

It said that as a result of Righthaven’s unlawful actions, class plaintiffs and members of the proposed class were forced either to fight needless litigation or to pay Righthaven a settlement fee.

It said that if Righthaven was legit it would not have to pay anything and that the legal outfit violates Colorado’s law against unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Righthaven victimises defendants by failing to send takedown notices prior to suing. It threatens to steal website domain names when that’s not provided for under the federal Copyright Act. It falsely claims it owns the copyrights and fails to investigate jurisdictional and fair use issues before suing.

The claim wants an injunction against Righthaven to stop it continuing the alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices. It also wants cash for those who sign up to the class action as well as their costs and attorney’s fees.

Righthaven has been making the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post’s names mud with its antics. On their behalf it has filed 274 suits against websites, bloggers and message-board posters over material from those newspapers since March 2010.

There are eight counterclaims filed against Righthaven and it has not done very well defending against them. The copyright enforcement company has already lost two Nevada cases on fair use rulings. It also has challenges to its standing to sue over Review-Journal material. Already a federal judge in Las Vegas says it does not have that right.

BuzzFeed said that it would sue the bottom off the Denver Post, but the fact that Righthaven has not got the right to represent the newspaper puts the kybosh on that plan.