Righthaven copyright, trademark auction begins Monday

The second auction of Righthaven LLC assets, including its trademark and a copyright for a Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial, is scheduled to begin Monday morning on eBay.

Righthaven's intellectual property has been seized under court orders requested by creditors who beat back Righthaven copyright infringement lawsuits against them. The creditors are owed $188,927 for attorney's fees and costs.

Righthaven, a Las Vegas company, obtained copyrights from the Review-Journal and the Denver Post to file copyright infringement lawsuits. Beginning in March 2010, the company filed 275 no-warning lawsuits against suspected infringers.

Now, Righthaven essentially has shut down after judges threw out the suits on grounds the copyright assignments were flawed, leaving the newspapers in control of material Righthaven claimed to own. Several defendants also were cleared on fair use grounds.

With creditors going after Righthaven assets after the company couldn't or wouldn't pay judgments against it, receiver and Northern Nevada attorney Lara Pearson auctioned Righthaven's website domain name for $3,300 in January.

Next week's auction covers Righthaven's federal trademark and 18 of its copyrights.

The copyrights can be viewed here.

The copyrights are for two pornographic movies as well as 15 pieces of outdated sports betting commentary and predictions Righthaven had obtained from a company called Stevo Design Inc.

Just one federal copyright registration from one of Righthaven's newspaper partners will be auctioned in the sale that runs through Wednesday afternoon.

That's for a Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial published on June 24, 2010, called "Avoiding the issues.'' The editorial complained about the ''crippling fiscal burden of the state's exorbitant public employee retirement benefits.''

Pearson declined comment Friday on why all of Righthaven's 278 federal copyright registrations that she obtained title to aren't included in next week's auction and why just one newspaper copyright is being auctioned. She had been expected to auction a column by R-J columnist and former Publisher Sherman Frederick also complaining about public pensions. It was a Righthaven lawsuit over a Kentucky man's post of Frederick's column that resulted in one of the judgments against Righthaven and the order that its copyrights be transferred to Pearson for auction.

It's unclear if Pearson is just testing the water with the initial auction; whether she plans to auction the other copyrights later; or whether the Review-Journal, former Righthaven partner the Denver Post or Righthaven have been threatening legal action against the copyright registration auction plan.

Attorneys have said that since Righthaven was found to not have standing to sue under the flawed copyright assignments from the Review-Journal and the Denver Post, those newspapers maintain control of the material covered by the federal copyright registrations Pearson is auctioning.

That means they may sell for just memorabilia value.

It's also possible the buyer of the copyright assignment for the R-J editorial could demand that the R-J remove the editorial from its website or pay a licensing fee to post its own editorial.

That could put Stephens Media LLC, owner of the R-J, in the position of having to discredit the copyright assignment it earlier agreed to.

But doing so could contradict Righthaven's stance in pending appeals that the copyright assignments were valid.

Righthaven, owned by Las Vegas attorney Steven Gibson and the family of Arkansas investment banking billionaire Warren Stephens, the same family that owns the R-J, never responded to inquiries about why it acquired the two porn movies to be auctioned.



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Discussion 4 comments

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  1. I wonder if those porn films came from Sherm's desk when he was asked to move out? probably so.

    I've got to say the best part of this is the silence of Sherm after all his bravado when the project kicked off. he was sure he was going to be doing a lot of bank runs with his ill gotten gains. ah, the stupidity of the smug and greedy.

    I was recently reading Sherm's "blog" and his supporters wonder why anyone would ever bring up Righthaven --- old news they say. Not my take as I think the best will come when someone tries to pierce the corporate veil. Go get 'em Marc R!!

    and where oh where is the arrogant Sergent Rock these days? Anyone recall his predictions on how Righthaven was going to solve all the world's copyright ills? Yeah --- just like all of his other predictions. flat wrong.

  2. Vegas_Tom...
    Couldn't have said it better.

    It sometimes works in wondrous ways.

  3. "Why is no one facing trial?"

    excellent question ---- I mean we've got open contempt charges floating out there.

    the other question I have is what does it take to lose one's law license in this state? It should be clear to anyone sitting out here watching this train wreck that Gibson at the very least is incompetent or at worse criminally negligent. Where's the NV Bar? Down at a NV bar? Same goes for Mango --- or whatever his name is. Same for the new schmuck they've got "working" for them.

    these law (cough) professionals have made a mockery of the system. one can only be left to assume the courts and NV Bar are too protective of their own thievery to take down these RH parasites.

    Steve, when are you going to check back in with the NV Bar? Seems they've got some 'splaining to do.

  4. also, and as a side note, I know a guy named Wilfred Johnson who the RJ banned from Shermies playground. No explanation, no note --- just the extremely chicken sh*t plonk. I guess that's how Shermie deals with his intellectual superiors --- of which 3/4s of the population are.

    It's funny how Shermies legion of the ill-informed lap up his every word as though he has no history of being flat wrong, like Sergent Rock.

    You need no more proof of Shermies "prowess" than to look at the Righthaven debacle and his "predictions" on Sharon Angle. But Warren Stephens probably keeps Shermie around because he's willing to sell himself to get the right wing gospel spread far and wide. No facts are needed for those who call themselves Shermie readers.